Entertaining

Christmas dinner party ideas

By Susan Crowley
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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christmas dinner setup
Keep your guests entertained throughout the holiday season.
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The holiday season is quickly approaching. It's time to shop for gifts, decorate the tree, and plan for holiday parties. If it is your turn to host, you'll benefit from these Christmas dinner party ideas. Take some time to look through the following tips. Then send out the invitations and get ready for some holiday cheer!

Have a Dessert Party Avoid preparing a six-course dinner by throwing a dessert party. Bake Christmas cookies and treats in advance and freeze them. When it's time for the party, pull out the desserts. Make cider and eggnog to go with the goodies. You can also ask guests to bring desserts for more variety.

Candy Cane Match Buy a collection of assorted candy canes. Break each one of them in half. Hand out the various halves, giving one to every guest. Then ask them to find the missing half of their candy cane. This game also works with frosted Christmas cookies.

Eat and Run There's no rule that Christmas dinner parties have to be held inside your home. Suggest going to a holiday movie or Christmas event in the area. The group can eat out at a restaurant before or after the event.

For a variation of this Christmas dinner party idea, hold a quick meal in your home before the outing. Ask each guest to bring a dish or dessert. Enjoy the holiday food, and then head out to the movie or to view Christmas lights. This is a good way to spend time together without having to prepare huge meals and host a party all night long.

Deck the Halls Ask each guest to bring a small Christmas wreath. When they arrive, have them place the wreath on a board or string them on a hanging cord outside. You can also buy materials for wreaths and have guests create their own during the party. Display the artwork and vote on the best wreaths. Hand out prizes to the winners.

Christmas Open House For this party idea, send out invitations with the times of the open house listed. This way guests can drop in when they have a chance and leave when they need to. Set out a simple buffet, such as cheese and crackers, sausage, sandwiches and hot soup. You may want to have a "build your own eggnog sundae" area for fun. A table with frosting to decorate sugar cookies will keep the children busy. If you are feeling ambitious, have someone dressed up as Santa Claus ready to listen to guest's wish lists.

Caroling Party Tell guests to dress warmly. Make copies of favorite Christmas carols and hand them out to guests as they arrive. Practice a few songs together and then go visit the neighbors. After a round of caroling, return home and have a hot meal ready for the chilled singers. If the weather does not cooperate, you can stay inside and sing carols together.Remembering Santa Claus For this game, find a large picture of Santa Claus. Have the guests gather round and show them the picture for a few minutes. Then take away the picture and have each person write down as many details about Santa Claus as they can. The person with the most correct characteristics wins a prize. For extra fun, have a guest dress up in a Santa Claus costume for this game.

Gift Exchanges Consider having a gift exchange. Ask each guest to bring a wrapped present. When all have arrived, have them sit in a circle. The first person chooses a gift and unwraps it. The next person does the same. This person then has the option of keeping the gift or exchanging it for one that is already opened. Besides gift exchanges, you can ask guests to bring cookies or ornaments to exchange.

Tips for Planning To get ready for the Christmas dinner party, be sure to start planning early on. Start by making a guest list. Choose a theme and send out invitations. When thinking of Christmas dinner party ideas, remember to stick with foods and recipes that you have successfully made in the past. Make as many desserts and dinner dishes as possible ahead of time. Clean the house a week before the event. Set the table or buffet the day before the party.

You may want to ask others to help you with Christmas dinner party ideas. They can provide advice and extra hands to pitch in with the work. Plan ahead this holiday season; then sit back and enjoy the company of family and friends.

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