Parties & Entertaining

Planning a Christmas party

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christmas party
snowflake decorations, christmas lights and mood lighting - just an example of christmas themed party decor
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‘Tis the season for planning a Christmas party

‘Tis the season for planning a Christmas party!  The holiday season is packed with excitement and wonder.  At it's very essences, Christmas is a time rich with sensory experience… the beauty of a fresh snowfall, the sound of a crackling fire, the piney aroma of the Christmas tree, the taste of warm sugar cookies, the anticipation of Santa Clause, and the joy of spending time with family and friends. 

A successful Christmas party incorporates the rich sensory experience of the holiday, and creates memories that will live on long after the last of the eggnog and cookies have been savored.  Christmas is a time for numerous parties, celebrations and social events.  However, planning a Christmas party can be a daunting and stressful undertaking.  Here are some tips to help you plan an enjoyable, memorable, stress free Christmas party. 

1) Begin planning a Christmas party in early Novemeber or even late October.  Make a guest list, send invitations, plan a menu, and set a budget for food and decorations.

2) Leave enough time for stress-free cleaning!  Allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to clean the house, polish the silver, and prepare your holiday china, table cloths, wardrobe, etc

3) Select your color theme, decorations and holiday décor.  Red, white, green, gold, and silver are traditional holiday colors. Use just one color or combine several for your decorations. Incorporate decorations into every room that your guests will enter. Some simple suggestions include wreaths, candles, Poinsettias, Christmas lights, bows, bells, garlands, as well as other Christmas novelties and party favors.  For fun, hang some holly and mistletoe from a door frame to entertain guests!

4) Of course, planning a Christmas party includes… planning a Christmas menu.  Some traditional menu items include roast turkey with cranberry and gravy, Christmas ham, plum pudding, gingerbread, mince meat pie, oranges, hot cider and eggnog.  If you want to get more creative, research Christmas recipes from around the world, and experiment with some new recipes.   If you are on a budget, you may want to consider a potluck party.  Encourage guests to bring a dish.  A potluck party is a great way to learn about new recipes, and it will certainly save you some time in the kitchen.

5) Don’t forget the Christmas music!  If a live band is out of your budget, simply select some of your favorite Christmas CD’s to enjoy as background music.

6) Plan some party activities for your guests.  Traditional Christmas party activities include caroling, exchanging gifts, or trimming the Christmas tree.  If your party includes children, you may want to research themed games or other age appropriate activities.

7) Keep a camera on hand for picture perfect memories.  Christmas is the season that makes memories.  Be sure to snap some photos of your friends and family enjoying the party. 

8) Make sure you can enjoy the party. There's nothing worse that being so exhausted from preparations to have any fun. Or spending the entire party running in and out of the kitchen. If you can, hire some help to clean the house, cook, serve food or clean up. If that's not an option, consider having a simple party you can be a part of, instead of a major event you'll barely experience. After all, it should be a party for you, too!

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