In recent times, the art of hosting a large Christmas get-together has become too much pressure for some and many have taken to booking early and going to a restaurant for their Christmas gatherings. The beauty of an external venue is a lovely festive atmosphere, food and drinks all planned for you, and always within a taxi or drive home. However, do you get the same homely camaraderie? Can you really put your own stamp on the décor? We could go on, so we think the good old traditional Christmas hosting is certainly something you shouldn’t shy away from and can be turned into a super, rather than stressful, time with these helpful hints.
TIP #1: Plan While You Can
When it comes to hosting the perfect Christmas bash, it’s essential to start planning your appetising menu NOW. Save time by securing the guest list and confirm dietary requirements upfront. Create a checklist and map out your deadlines with set completion times so there are no nasty last minute surprises! Include things like food preparation time, set up timing, present opening, and schedule for the day.
TIP #2 Create a Look
Remember that simplicity is key. Pick a colour scheme that will run through, from the tree decorations and flowers to table runner and napkins. Stick to one colour (such as green, purple or gold) and team it with white as a great basic. Providing a fantastic centrepiece is also a great talking point and indicates a central point for your guests to gather round.
Create three or four focal points in the room, natural features to highlight would be the tree, the fireplace and the food table. If there is a working fireplace, light a fire, or fill it with lit pillar candles. House Beautiful offer up 16 DIY centrepiece ideas ensuring all your friends will be envious when they see what you’ve produced – click here for those crafty and classy ideas.
TIP #3 Something for the Foodies
Your normal family, festive party usually includes a sit down dinner, but depending on the size of your group, you may not have enough seating. If that’s the case, hors d’oeuvres served buffet style is perfectly adequate.
As far as types of foods, if you want to pull out all the stops, you can impress your guests with the likes of caviar and all the trimmings. If that’s a little over the top for even your most elegant friends, then Waitrose and M&S to name a few do various party platters where there is something for everyone and won’t break the bank should you not want to cook. Get the kids involved and let them make some homemade treats adding that homely appeal to your party or even get members of your group to bring something festive.
TIP #4 Set Some Ambiance
You want to create a setting for guests so that they spend their evening relaxed and comfortable, and the tempo of the music you choose will play a large part in that. However, you don’t want them to get so comfortable that they fall asleep to constant Michael Buble! A tasteful playlist for an elegant Christmas party could include a mix of traditional Christmas songs or maybe ask each of your guests to share their own tunes. If you want to incorporate your music, everyone loves to play, so consider incorporating a game or two into your party plans.
Hopefully these tips will help you on the road to host the Christmas party of the year. Don’t put pressure on as remember Christmas is a time to come together and be joyful, but if you can add that extra sparkle we think there’s nothing wrong with that!
Merry Christmas from all of us at Saxe Coburg!