How to Host a Christmas Party at Home
Choose the Theme
Choosing a party theme helps you determine details for the whole party. The number of guests, for instance, is dependent on the type of party you throw. If you decide on a dinner party, you’ll probably invite significantly fewer people than a party with a buffet. Your theme will also help you plan the party decor and activities. Decide whether you want a creative theme, like a winter wonderland, or a simple theme, like a red-and-gold Christmas.
Invite the Guests
Once you know how many people you want to invite to your party, you can start making a guest list and invitations. Instead of sending invites through the mail or with a group text, create an invitation that’s innovative and memorable. People get invited to so many holiday events — you want to make your invitations stand out! Put the party details inside a mini stocking or attach them to a cute Christmas ornament that your guests can actually use. Most holiday calendars fill up quickly, so hand out your invites up to four weeks early.
Plan the Menu
To decide on the food you will serve at your party, refer back to your theme. For a buffet, stick to foods that can be eaten with one hand as most people will have a drink in the other. If you opt for a dinner party, you have more dining options since you can serve foods that require utensils. You can make your party prep easy by finding ways to save time. Look for recipes that allow you to prepare food a day early and serveware that can go straight from the oven to the table. Both will save you time on the day of the party with less cooking and cleaning.
Stock the Bar
A fully stocked bar is an irresistible stop for any party guest. Include mixers and garnishes to make your bar self-serve, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the party and less time mixing drinks. You could even simplify the drink options by offering one custom cocktail, served in a pitcher and labeled, in addition to beer and wine. Once you have the drinks figured out, equip your bar cart with plenty of glasses and napkins. Don’t forget to add some holiday cheer with the decor, like garlands, wreaths, and twinkle lights.
Deck the Halls
Although your home might already be decked out for Christmas, consider adding party-specific decor designed around your theme. The party decorations, from the dining table to the mantel, should feel cohesive. Any room that a guest might visit could use a holiday update, whether it’s the porch, kitchen, or even the bathroom. Garland, lights, and festive doormats are charming additions to your front porch. Look for places to incorporate decorative Christmas accessories in the kitchen, on the buffet table, and around the guest bathroom to carry out your party theme. Miniature white Christmas trees work well for a white Christmas theme, whereas wreaths with red-and-gold bows fit a color-focused theme.
Clean the House
The day before the party is the perfect time to give your home a good cleaning. As you plan your cleaning strategy, try to look at your home through the eyes of a guest. The new perspective will help you notice things that you, as the resident, might otherwise overlook. Tidy up floors and ensure that all seating is free of pet hair for optimal guest comfort. Be sure to stock up on paper goods like napkins and toilet paper — you don’t want to run out during the party. The day before is also when you should rearrange furniture to accommodate large groups of people if your current layout doesn’t already.
Set the Mood
Make your party stand out by creating the perfect holiday ambiance. About 30 minutes before guests begin to arrive, light candles so the inviting aromas have a chance to fill your home. You should arrange candles away from any major walkways or gathering spots, so they can’t easily be knocked over. Turning off overhead lights helps set the mood — rely on twinkle lights and accent lamps instead. Don’t forget about the music. A mix of holiday favorites with classic party tunes makes a great playlist. Set it on repeat so no one has to monitor the music.
Enjoy the Party
Once the prep work is done, make sure you enjoy yourself. You might be the host, but you should still have fun. Your mood sets the tone for the whole party — if you aren’t relaxed, your guests won’t be either. Try to finish getting yourself ready about 15 minutes before you expect guests to arrive. That should give you time to unwind so you’re not flustered as people walk through the door. With the music playing and candles flickering, you can sit down with a glass of wine and relax for a few minutes before the doorbell rings.
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