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Planning a Christmas party can be hard work. That’s why we’ve creating this ultimate guide to make hosting your Christmas event a breeze. We’ll take you through the best tips, ideas and advice, to make sure you’ve got everything covered to keep the process as stress free as possible.
Here’s the contents so you skip ahead to the different sections!
Christmas Party: Things to Consider
- Set a budget
- Finalise the guest list
- Choose the best time and date
- Pick a venue
- Christmas party food ideas
- Best Christmas drinks
- Christmas decorations
- Christmas party supplies
- Entertainment ideas
- Game ideas
- Best Christmas music
- Christmas invitations
- Best order of events
- More unique ideas
Set a Strict Budget
Finalise the Guest List
Choose the Best Date and Time
Generally, Christmas parties should last around 3-4 hours. This is usually enough time for some fun games and activities, and for you to serve some food and drinks without having to rush, but also without it dragging on too long.
7:00pm is a good time to start because it gives you plenty of time to prepare on the day of the party. It’s also not too late that you have to worry about hosting the party beyond midnight, unless that’s what you want to do. If children are attending the party, it’s also not too late in the evening. However, you could consider bringing the start time forward a bit.
We think that Saturday is the best day to host a Christmas party. Most people are not in work on Saturday or Sunday meaning that you’re likely to get more guests attending. If a Saturday is not possible, then Friday is your next best bet for similar reasons, unless you’re hosting in the daytime.
There are still plenty of things to consider though when choosing when to have your Christmas party. That’s why we’ve created an entire post to help you decide the perfect date and time for your Christmas party.
Find the Perfect Venue
Tips for Hosting a Christmas Party at Home
- Get rid of any clutter to maximise your space.
- Re-arrange the furniture to the edge of the room to create more space.
- Throw down some blankets and pillows if you don’t have enough chairs for everyone.
- Make sure you have plenty of bins to help make the cleaning up process much faster.
- Stagger the arrival time so that there isn’t a massive influx of people at one time which can be a bit chaotic!
Tips for Hiring a Christmas Party Venue
- The size and ultimately, the cost of the venue will depend on how many guests you’re inviting. So consider this first and foremost.
- Try and choose a central location that’s convenient for most guests to get to without paying a fortune for transport.
- Consider if the venue includes a catering service.
- Make sure you check the alcohol license of the venue to see if they can serve drinks when you’re planning on hosting the party.
- Some venues offer extras like a bar, decorations or entertainment, so consider the whole package to make sure you get the best deal.
- Make sure you keep your budget in mind and don’t get carried away!
Christmas Party Food
20 Christmas Party Food Ideas
10 Savoury Christmas Snacks
10 Sweet Christmas Snacks
- Pigs in blankets
- Sweet potato skins
- Deviled eggs
- Flatbreads with cranberry sauce
- Sausage stuffing skewers
- Rosemary dough balls
- Turkey wraps
- Tomato and basil soup
- Cheesy puff pastry
- Mince pies
- Mini chocolate Yule logs
- Festive cupcakes
- Bite-size Christmas pudding balls
- Candy canes
- Gingerbread man cookies
- Cheese board
- Chocolate covered strawberries
- Caramel apples
- Cinnamon popcorn
Christmas Party Drinks
Of course Champagne is a classic Christmas party drink. But you need to make sure there’s plenty of variety with the drinks menu. Try and include some popular alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and spirits with mixers but also think about offering your guests some cocktails too!
It’s essential to have some non-alcoholic options too. Don’t be boring and just offer fizzy drinks and juice, but be creative and try making some mocktails! Here are some great drink recipes to help get you started. If you need some more ideas, check out our list of the 10 best party drink recipes!
Cinnamon Amaretto Sour
Ingredients per Serving:
- 50 ml amaretto
- 20 ml sugar syrup
- 20 ml lemon juice
- 5 ml cinnamon syrup
Simply mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into a short glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice.
Candy Cane Cocktail
Ingredients per Serving:
- 25 ml strawberry vodka
- 12.5 ml sugar syrup
- 12.5 ml lemon juice
- A few dashes of creme de menthe
Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a candy cane.
Ginger Cranberry Snap
Ingredients per Serving
- 75 ml dark rum
- 50 ml cranberry juice
- 25 ml sugar syrup
- 25 ml lime juice
- 100 ml ginger beer
Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
Ingredients for 5 Servings
- 750 ml red wine
- 60 demerara sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A few dashes of grated nutmeg
- 1 orange cut in half
- 1 dried bay leaf
Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan on a low heat for around 15 minutes, stir frequently and strain into wine glasses.
Luxury Hot Chocolate
Ingredients per Serving:
- Large tablespoon of grated dark chocolate
- Teaspoon of sugar
- 200 ml of full fat milk
Heat the ingredients in a saucepan, stirring frequently until the chocolate and sugar. Pour into a large mug and top with whipped cream, marshmallows and grated chocolate.
Christmas Party Decorations
Everyone knows that one of the best things about a Christmas party is the decorations. You can either get creative and make your own Christmas party decorations or hop online and find some great value options. Here are some of the best party decoration options.
- Stumps Party is another awesome party supply store offering custom event supplies and regular deals and discounts. This is a great option if you’re hosting a large Christmas party with a big guest list and you’re looking to go all out to create the perfect event.
- Festive fairy lights
- Ginger bread houses
- Wreaths and garlands
- Paper snowflakes
- Tinsel and baubles
- North pole sign
- Christmas candles
- Fake snow
- Christmas scene wall tapestry
Christmas Party Supplies
You’ll also need some essential party supplies if you’re hosting your Christmas party at home. Here’s a checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything important!
- Table cloth
- Shot glasses
- Wine glasses
Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas
- Live band
- Professional dancers
- Carol singers
Best Christmas Party Games
- Christmas music quiz
- Celebrity Who am I?
- Cards Against Humanity
What you’ll Need:
How to Play:
- Split your guests into teams.
- Each time will have a small stocking at one end of the room.
- Have tubs full of candy at the other end of the room.
- The players must race to fill their stockings full of candy first in a relay.
- The first team to fill the stocking wins!
Drunk Pass the Parcel
- A small prize
- Wrapping paper
- Some music
How to Play:
- First you’ll need to wrap the prize in a layer of wrapping paper. Wrap the present again but underneath the layer, have a truth or dare written on a small piece of paper. Repeat this so there are around 6-10 layers.
- Get all the players in a circle and pass the parcel around until the DJ stops the music.
- Whichever player the music stops on, must unwrap a layer and do the truth or dare written on the paper.
- Keep going until someone unwraps the prize!
Wrap the “Present”
What you’ll need:
- Plenty of wrapping paper
How to play:
- Split your guests into teams of three.
- Each team must decide who is the “present” and who is doing the wrapping.
- Set a timer for 1 minute and each team must wrap their “present” in wrapping paper covering them as much as possible.
- You then decide which team has done the best job!
Christmas Party Music Ideas
Apple Music is the perfect way to create a party playlist. It’s intelligent recommendation feature makes it really quick to add songs to create the perfect track list and it’s cross fade feature makes seamless song transitions. It’s only $9.99/ £9.99 per month and you can get a free 3 month trial to check it out. And don’t worry, you can use it on Android devices too!
Join over 50 million subscribers and sign up for your 3 month free trial today!
So now you’ve got all the essentials sorted, you’re in a position to start sending your party invitations. But there are a few options to consider when deciding what format to send your invites.
Our favourite way of creating professional looking invitations easily is to use Canva. It’s a website that allows you to create a range of graphic design media using a range of ready-made templates. They look great, are really easy to create and you can print out as many as you need.
If you want an easy and quick way of sending your invitations, make a Facebook event. It’ll allow you to add everyone in one go, and keeps a track of everyone’s response so you know exactly who’s coming.
Whichever option you choose, there’s a few things that need including on your invitations.
- Date and time
- RSVP instruction
- Dress code
- Plus one policy
Christmas Party Order of Events
Now you know everything that needs organising, here’s a quick schedule to help get you started with deciding order of events for your Christmas party. You don’t have to be really strict with the timings, it’s important to relax and have fun, but keeping a rough order of events in mind can help keep the process stress-free.
- 0:00-0:30 Welcome your guests and serve some drinks.
- 0:30-1:30 Serve the food
- 1:30-2:00 Gifts and relaxing
- 2:00-4:00 Games and other activities mixed with plenty of breaks.
Unique Christmas Party Ideas
Karaoke parties are the ultimate way for guests to get involved and have fun with the party entertainment. Karaoke machines are really easy to set up at home, you just need some basic equipment. Head over to our list of the top 20 karaoke machines which includes the best party karaoke machine options. It’s great for any age group and can be set up at home or in a hired venue. Take a look at our karaoke party tips for some advice.
Fancy Dress Competition
Hosting a fancy dress competition is a great way to get all your guests in the festive spirit. Fun.com is our favourite place for fancy dress and they have plenty of selection for Christmas parties for you to choose from! Be creative too. Classic Christmas jumpers are great, but you can think outside the box and dress as pretty much anything. Fun.com have some great unique ideas. But if you’re on a budget, just wrap yourself in wrapping paper and go as a present!
Secret Santa is a great idea for small company parties. It gets everyone involved without having to spend a lot on gifts. A £5-10 limit on each present is more than enough if you want to get involved. If you’re hosting a large company party though, secret santa is not the most practical idea. Consider giving a small gift or some drinks vouchers to each employee as a thank you for their efforts over the year.
So that’s it! Now you have plenty of ideas to plan the perfect Christmas party. We hope you have a great time!
Don’t forget to take a look at our party planning timeline to make sure you’ve got everything covered. It’ll tell you everything you need to do at each stage of the party planning process so you can create an amazing party without any stress or worry about forgetting anything! It even includes a free printable party planning checklist to make sure you stay on track.