Christmas traditions help to make the holidays a special time for those you love. Hosting a huge Christmas Eve party for all your closest family members, friends, and coworkers is a popular tradition for many people.
If it’s not one of yours, but you’re thinking of starting this tradition, or you need to spice up a longtime one, here are some ideas for things you might do.
1. Vary the Menu
Although sometimes people won’t admit it, they often come to parties for the food. So having a good menu to offer is imperative if you hope to host a great party.
Everything from the hors-d’oeuvres to the after-party drinks may contribute to making or breaking your party. When you think about your menu, look at the type of party you’re going to have.
If it’s a formal affair, craft a delicate three-course menu served at the table. If it’s going to be more casual, put out a variety of finger foods and desserts on a buffet-style spread so guests can serve themselves throughout the evening.
Also, don’t overlook the dietary needs and restrictions of those on your invitation list, so you’ll have plenty of options that everyone can enjoy.
2. Dress Up for the Occasion
For a more formal affair, dress to the nines. You might rent a tuxedo and/or evening gown for the occasion. That would certainly make the night memorable.
You might also consider dressing up for Christmas in an “ugly Christmas sweater” or similar holiday gear. Or take the Christmas party outfit game to a whole new level with Christmas-themed three-piece suits!
3. Bring in Santa
If your Christmas party is a family affair and has lots of kids on the guest list, make it fun for them and hire a Santa. You could also rent a Santa suit and ask one of your jolly guests to play the part for the kids, if anyone’s inclined. It’s a great opportunity for kids to get their picture with Santa in a more relaxed environment than the mall.
4. Delegate to Reduce Stress
It’s hard to have a great time at your Christmas party when you’re stressed by the preparations. You probably won’t eliminate the anxiety and tension of party planning entirely, but you can reduce their effects.
One of the most effective tactics is to delegate to those willing to help. Ask likely family and friends to shoulder some of the burden, such as making some of the food, tending the bar, setting up tables and chairs, or decorating.
5. Decorate Tastefully
As early as September, stores begin to stock their shelves with Christmas décor, so it’s usually not a challenge for you to find things you can use. But don’t get too carried away for your party.
If every inch of your walls and ceiling are covered in tinsel and pine boughs, it could make your guests feel claustrophobic. Instead, use good taste when you decorate.
Include the basics like a well-decked Christmas tree, a few snowmen, and a garland or two. You’ll also want a strategically positioned sprig of mistletoe as a Christmas party classic. Do a little research on current trends and colors to gather ideas.
6. Play Christmas Music in the Background
Nothing sets the mood for a Christmas party like holiday music. Before the event begins, draw up a playlist of classic songs. Look into some of the new music produced by contemporary artists.
If you don’t have time to create your own, you may depend on a pre-crafted playlist on one of the streaming services like Amazon Music or Spotify. Spring for the premium package so you can cut the annoying commercials.
7. Set Up a Photo Booth
Let guests preserve more memories with a photo booth. Create a holiday-themed background with garlands and tinsel to set the mood. Provide props like scarves, fake beards, and snowman hats to make the pictures more festive.
You might hire a professional photographer. This not only creates more beautiful memories through both candid and staged photos, but it also frees up more of your time to enjoy the party rather than having to snap pictures for much of the night.
8. Make It a White Elephant Gift
Anyone who says he or she doesn’t like white elephant parties is lying. They take all the awkwardness out of gift-giving while providing laughs and entertainment that will survive beyond the party.
For this to be successful, give guests plenty of advance notice. Set a price limit for the gifts and create a system of swapping to amplify the hilarity.
9. Have a Holiday Bake-Off
Take some of the burden off yourself and let your guests show off their cooking skills in a holiday bake-off. They’ll provide the desserts for your party as they compete to win a prize for the best treats.
To spare feelings and make it a more inclusive competition, select a variety of prizes. For example, you might offer a prize for the “sweetest” treat, one for the most “festive,” and other categories.
This will create a feeling of inclusion while keeping the competition lively for a successful party.