December 22, 2013

Sunday Funday: Tips to Throwing the Perfect Christmas Party

Picture Credit: Google Images

Are you planning on throwing a holiday party this year? Are you confidant in your party planning abilities? Even if you are an extra tip or two can only add to the magic of your Christmas soiree and if you have never thrown a party before take heed to the advice below and your friends will be talking about your party for many holidays to come.  Keep in mind that your Christmas party can be a major undertaking or a low-key gathering of close friends and/or family.  That being said it is best to plan ahead so that you can be prepared for whatever comes your way.  However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t throw a last minute get together that is every bit as wonderful as it would have been had you taken more time to prepare.  If you take advice from my tips I can guarantee your party will be bopping and don’t worry if you feel a bit unsure if your friends and family will enjoy themselves because one thing is for sure, no matter who throws it, everybody loves a Christmas party. Good parties take planning (even if it’s short notice planning), so here's where you can start...
Tip # 1: This is the best tip I can give you so listen up.  While it is important, don’t focus all your attention on the food, alcohol, or even decorations. The most important thing to keep in mind when throwing the ultimate party this Christmas is your guest list, because it's about the people. Just keep your focus on your guests and everything else will fall into place.  The first thing you need to do is get some names down. Start your guest list with these things in mind: Make sure you think about compatibility, ages, interests, and personalities which will help create ambiance for the evening. What singles or couples can you help to connect with other singles or couples? When you think about the singles you plan to invite be sure to consider those who mix well in groups. Think about who you are missing in your life, who you'd like to spend the most magical time of the year with. Invite all ages because mixing older and younger people together can make for a fun party.

Tip # 2: Select a theme for your party.  I know what you’re thinking, isn’t Christmas the theme? Yes it is but selecting a theme within this theme will make it easier when you are shopping for food and decorations.  One example of this would be choosing a Winter Wonderland theme for Christmas.  You could cover the tables in fake snow, hang snowflakes from the ceiling, and give everyone a gift of ice skate or snowflake ornaments.  You could take it a step further and do winter wonderland in New York.  Then you could decorate with landmarks from the city and mix in a few Broadway tunes into your Christmas playlist.  Have a white elephant gift exchange and be sure everyone brings a gift associated with your theme. You get the idea.  The most important thing is that you have fun with it. Don’t forget to give your guests a dress code. This will ease everyone’s mind when they are getting ready.  No one wants to out dress anyone or worse, be under dressed.

Tip # 3: Cook what you know. Don't let the pressure of having all your friends and family over for the most important meal of the year lead you to choose a complicated menu to impress them. First of all, you will be spending the whole night in the kitchen which none of your guests will appreciate.  Secondly, what if it goes wrong?  You will have to serve everyone a disastrous meal which would cause unneeded embarrassment and anxiety. To start, make a list of your favorite recipes and pick out the ones you are a pro at cooking.  All your guests will enjoy the food and you won’t be spending the entire evening cooking.

Tip # 4: Be sure to actually spend time with your guests at the party. The whole point of getting everyone together during the holidays is to share memories and laughs.  Be sure you thank all your guests for coming. You can take this a step further by making a point to take a picture with every person at your party.  After the party you can print copies and send them in a thank you note to your guests. Christmas is the perfect time to tell our families how grateful we are for them.

Tip # 5: Be sure to keep your guests occupied.  Give them something to do, because most people like to play an active role at a party. Below are few game ideas to get you started:

Decorate a person as a Christmas tree: Using green crepe paper, ornaments, tinsel—whatever you can find—decorate your “tree”. First or best one wins.
Christmas Carol Charades: Get dramatic! You can’t beat this crowd pleaser, as it is sure to bring the laughs.  

Ornament guess: Have guests guess the total number of ornaments on the tree as they come into the party. The closest guess wins.

Name that carol: Make a list of lyrics from songs that only provides 3-4 words from each song (not the title). The person who names all - or the most - songs in a certain amount of time wins.

Tip # 6: Above all make sure that YOU have fun.  Relax and enjoy the company of all of your favorite people. Forget all the pressure and expectation that comes wrapped up with the Christmas season. You don’t need to impress anyone at the party, you just need to be yourself, because the only expectation that your guests have is to be in your happy company.

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