Hosting and lifestyle experts, Shannon and Jenna of The Busy Bee, are on the blog today sharing their best Christmas party hosting tips that will help you plan a fun and purposeful holiday soiree.
Ever since we were little girls, the holidays have meant so much to us, and now as we have our own kids they mean even more. They have always been full of traditions, our grandmothers’ best recipes and too many gatherings to count. And as the holidays near, we know there are a few things we can expect – overindulging in our favorite dishes, our extended family staycation, seeing The Nutcracker performed live, and Mimi’s Annual Ladies Christmas Party.
We’re not sure when she started it, but Mimi’s Ladies Christmas Party is something we always look forward to each year. Mimi has cultivated strong relationships with the women in her tribe through the years and invites them to her home to enjoy an evening of good company, tasty treats, lots of laughter, and the infamous White Elephant Gift Exchange. And every year, we’re always amazed at how effortlessly Mimi seems to organize the party and how she makes each guest feel right at home. She has a knack for pulling all the details seamlessly together, both for style and function, during the busiest time of the year, while creating an inviting space for everyone to enjoy. With that, we had to ask her for her best Christmas Party Hosting Tips & Tricks, and she was so eager to share so others can further strengthen their relationships while getting together for the holidays.
The Best Christmas Party Hosting Tips & Tricks
1. Give Plenty of Notice
The holidays are the busiest time of year, so be sure to send your invitation with plenty of notice. Send your invites at least 3-4 weeks in advance (if not sooner) to get a spot on the calendar.
2. Set Table(s) and Décor in Advance
Setting your table(s) and décor at least a day in advance will set you up for success on the day of the event. Decorating and styling is usually the biggest undertaking, so setting in advance will free up more time on the big day and will highlight any details you may have missed.
3. Serve a Variety of Foods
In order to appeal to a variety of palettes, serve a variety of food to please all guests. For larger, diverse groups, consider serving heavy hors d’oeuvres over full entrees. You can serve an array of cuisines that appeal to different regions without having to over-prepare.
#HostfulHack: Just because you’re hosting a party, does not mean you have to make everything homemade. Buy a premade dish and plate it nicely on a decorative dish or platter, and your guests will enjoy just the same! For our favorite easy holiday appetizer recipes, visit our blog post over on The Busy Bee.
4. Ask Guests to Bring a Dish to Share
It may seem faux pas to ask your guests to bring a dish to a party you are hosting, but it’s an opportunity to invite your guests to participate in the fun of bringing it all together. It also serves as a conversation starter where you’ll likely hear guests ask, “who made this?” That will then create an opportunity for guests to engage in the conversation beginning with a discussion on how they made their favorite dish.
5. Serve Food Conducive to Guest Seating
If guests will be standing or sitting without a table in front of them, serve food that does not require being cut with a knife. Also, avoid finger foods that crumble easily, are super saucy and/or sticky.
6. Maximize the Function of Your Coffee Table
Guests will likely get cozy in front of your coffee table at some point during the night, so maximize its function by placing snacks on the top. Think nuts, pretzels, cheese boards, popcorn, and simple dips.
7. Play Instrumental Holiday Music
There’s nothing better than a good playlist to help set the mood. Choose instrumental versions of your favorite holiday tunes so guests don’t feel they have to compete with the vocals when they’re conversing with one another.
8. Play Reindeer Games
It wouldn’t be a Christmas party without a reindeer game. Invite guests to bring a small gift for a white elephant gift exchange or plan Holiday Minute To Win It games that will have guests laughing and enjoying themselves thoroughly.
9. Give Yourself an Hour of Pre-Party Downtime
This is probably the hardest tip, but it’s also the most important. Try to plan to be ready an hour prior to your party begins to have some calm quiet time. This will help get you centered and mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for your guests’ arrival. The more relaxed you are when your guests arrive, the more relaxed they will feel to be there.
10. Be Present, Not Perfect
Above all, remember to enjoy yourself and always be in the moment. Don’t worry about having the perfect décor or the perfect recipe or being the perfect hostess. Instead, remember to hug your guests tight and laugh with them deeply. Remember to count the many blessings around you and know these moments will soon turn into memories.
Merry Christmas, friends! We hope this year is extra special!