Hosting a Christmas party can be a lot of work. There’s plenty to plan, organise and think about. One of the things you’ll have to decide, is what is the best time to host your Christmas party. And also, what day should you be hosting, how long should it last and what is the best order of events?
We’ll go through everything you need to know about your Christmas party timing to help you decide. So let’s jump right in!
How Long Should a Christmas Party Last?
Before we talk about the best time to host a Christmas party, it’s a good idea to talk about how long it should last. This, of course, will depend on what you have planned for the party.
Here are the some things you need to consider:
- The type of food you’re serving will affect the length of your Christmas party. Buffets are much faster than sit-down meals and require less preparation during the party.
- What kind of games and activities you are planning on doing, plus how many you want to include.
- The age of the guests will also be a factor to consider. Typically, Christmas parties with children are shorter, whilst adults prefer the party to go on for longer.
- If you’re hosting at a venue, the times that are available will affect the length of your Christmas party. This isn’t so much of an issue if you’re hosting at home.
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.
What is the Best Time for a Christmas Party?
We think that the best time for a Christmas party to start is around 7:00pm. However, the exact start time will depend on a few factors such as:
- How long the party will last.
- If the guests are mainly children or adults.
- If you want to host in the afternoon, evening or night time.
- What kind of food you’re serving, if any.
7:00pm is a good time slot 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.
If you’re on a budget, the best time for your Christmas party won’t be over a mealtime. If you need to serve a full meal to your guests, this is likely to cost a lot more than some snacks, which is suitable if you’re not hosting over a mealtime. Take a look at our party planning budget tips for some more help on keeping your Christmas party cost-effective.
What is the Best Day for a Christmas Party?
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.
You will have to consider your venue when deciding what day to host your cocktail party too. If you’re planning it at the last minute, then it’s possible that your ideal venue might be booked up on a Friday and Saturday evening. In which case you may have to host it on a weekday. But if you’re hosting at home, then this won’t be too much of an issue.
It’s good to try and host your Christmas party as close to Christmas day as possible, but don’t worry if your guests are too busy, or your ideal venue is booked up. Anytime in December is usually great.
Christmas Party Order of Events
The best way to stay organised and make sure your Christmas party runs smoothly, is to decide the order of events well in advance of the day of the party. Of course, the exact order of events will depend on what activities you have planned and how long your party is expected to last. Here’s an example of a Christmas party schedule to help you decide on your order of events.
Best Order of Events
- 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.
Christmas Party Hosting Tips
- Double check everyone’s dietary requirements before you serve any food just to be on the safe side.
- Try and plan some games and activities to keep your guests entertained!
- Accept help if it’s offered. Don’t try and be a hero and decline help at every opportunity. As long as you’re not relying on your guests for everything, it’s fine to let them get involved if they want to.
- Offer all your guests a drink when they arrive and keep and eye on them throughout the night. Offer a top up if anyone’s glass is getting close to empty.
- Enjoy the night! This might not seem like a proper hosting tip, but you really shouldn’t ignore it. If you’re running around unable to relax, your guests won’t be able to relax and enjoy their night either!
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 Christmas 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.