These tips for planning a holiday party are perfect for throwing great Christmas parties and events this year! “Wow” your guests with the best invitations, decorations, food, and more holiday party ideas.
Are you throwing a holiday party this year?
Here come the holidays, and we have family, love, and Christmas parties on the brain! If you’re planning on donning that ugly Christmas sweater at your own holiday party at home this year, you are not alone. Lots of people are planning Christmas parties and we have plenty of tips to help you make it the best ever.
How to plan a Christmas party at home
There are so many ways to plan and throw a Christmas party. I believe that you can keep things easy and straightforward by being prepared and planning ahead. If this is your first time, or if you are looking for some party planning tips, you’re in luck! Read the step-by-step ideas below and learn how you can “WOW” your guests at your holiday party this season…
7 tips for planning a holiday party
Planning a party for the holiday season can be very easy, as long as you’ve got your elves in a row. All you have to do is make sure you are covered with the following steps…
1. Planning your holiday party budget
You must start here, this is the determining factor of the entire shindig. You can’t plan and prepare everything until you know how much you can spend! The number of guests, venue, food choices, and decor are all riding on the budget, so be sure you know what you can afford. Crunch the numbers! Also, we think that once you decide on a budget, everything should match and/or be themed. Make sure you can afford the holiday party you are planning.
The WOW Factor: Obviously, a larger budget will give you more options, but don’t be afraid to ask for help, contributions from friends or family members, or to DIY it.
2. Choosing your Christmas party venue
Dependent upon what type of guests you have and the holiday party budget you’ve narrowed down above, choose a place to host your party. This could be in your home, at a restaurant banquet room, in a warehouse, a complex clubhouse, or even outdoors in a backyard.
The WOW Factor: Choose a cool place, something different, like a museum. They often rent out space during their off-hours. I went to an event in a museum in NYC and the vibe was so cool!
3. Sending out the holiday party invitations
Decide whether you want to be fancy and send out invitations via snail mail, or send a simple invitation online. Get your guest list together and make sure your timing is right! Send out your holiday party invitations as early as 1 month in advance, and no later than 2 weeks before your party. Make sure all of the info is available, the time, date, location, what to wear, contact info, and any other special information.
The WOW Factor: Order modern holiday party invitations from Tiny Prints (my fav), or hand make them yourself. People love the thought and care!
4. Get the best Christmas party decorations
Once you’ve got your venue squared away, you need to making holiday-ready with festive decorations. Take a look at the rooms and think about what you’d like to do to them. Garland? Reds and greens? White winter snow? Be sure you pay close attention to detail and that everything matches. Don’t forget about the little things.
The WOW Factor: Add a Christmas wreath as a focal point to a plain wall or area. Tie ribbons and bows on each of the chairs. Create gorgeous tablescapes and Christmas table place settings with name cards. This simple red and green holly and berry holiday decor is so beautiful!
Offer fun holiday party activities
Will there be kids? Will there be a gift exchange? Or is a lot of fun chatter enough to keep everyone entertained? If kids will be present, you NEED something for them to do to avoid chaos. You can provide coloring sheets, crafts, or other activities. For adults, there’s holiday bingo, charades, name that tune, pass the present, karaoke, photo booths, and other traditional fun games and activities.
The WOW Factor: Plan to have a gift exchange. Everyone brings an anonymous gift, draw numbers to see who chooses first. They pick a present, then the next person decides whether they want the first gift that was already opened, or if they want to choose another to open. If a gift is stolen, that person opens another gift. Each gift can be stolen twice, then it’s frozen. Continue until everyone is finished, it’s such a fun game!
How to plan a holiday party menu
Of all of the tips for planning a holiday party, the food is one of the most important! Everyone is going to want to eat and drink. Gauge your guest count and be sure to provide a variety of selections. Also, look at what time your party is being held: At an afternoon event, it may be good to serve various appetizers and drinks. If your party is closer to dinner time, a little more food will be necessary.
Be sure to get enough for all of your guests, healthful comfort foods and finger foods are great choices. I am a fan of frozen mozzarella sticks, taquitos, and sweet rolls to hold off our guests. Also, you’ll need some type of dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth. Plan to bake a fresh cake or pie using fresh eggs and milk. Note: Frozen food is actually fresh food, preserved. Simple, affordable, nutritious, and tasty!
The WOW Factor: Try making something that is super festive for the holiday season. We love this Christmas Tree Cheese Platter with Sausage and there are some good Christmas party food ideas here. Also, remember that lots of people are on a health kick these days, watching what they eat. It is a great idea to serve fresh, flavorful, and wholesome dishes that use real food ingredients. None of the processed crap. I think a cranberry juice cocktail would be a festive beverage to serve, spike it for the adults! Also – open bar. Just do it.
Extra fun for your party
If you have additional budget, consider party favors or small holiday gifts for your guests. Tie some ribbon around a scented holiday candle to make them yourself, or purchase some delicious festive Christmas chocolates to hand out as parting gifts.
Enjoy hosting your holiday party!
Christmas time is such a wonderful time of year and we hope these tips for planning a holiday party are helpful for your next event. If you need more Christmas ideas, here are some of our favorites:
- Easy White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Recipe
- We Love These 22 Brilliant DIY Christmas Home Decor Ideas!
- DIY Cranberry Orange Stove Top Potpourri Gift Jars