Throwing a stress-free Christmas party

christmas party
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Parties can be stressful for the host at the best of times, throw in all the hustle and bustle, family arguments and logistics of Christmas and it can potentially be a disaster.  Here are a few tips to help you sail throw the festive season.  So if you have decided to host a party/dinner/drinks and have been having sleepless nights about it.  Fear not!

1. Make a plan and ask for some help

Any type of party should be a reflection of you and/or your family.  So try to be something you’re not.  Pick something that you are well known for and showcase that.  So if you are into baking, make it a cake party.  If you are drowning under all the things to do, ask for help.  Make your list of food, decor, music, guest list (always invite a few really great entertaining guests, I call them your money in the bank guests) and delegate the different tasks.  As Derry Clarke from L’Ecrivain always says, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

2. Pick a dress code

We all love a costume party.  I know it’s hard to believe but people do really lose their inhibitions if they are asked to dress up.  While I’m not encouraging you all to ask your guests to dress up as extras from the nativity play.  It’s always a good idea to give them a hint of how to dress.  We have all that that spine chilling moment of walking into a room, over/under dressed (delete as appropriate).  So help your guests out and start the party before they even arrive.

3. Decor and staging

You don’t have to compete for the illumination of the year prize.  Pick a few areas to highlight.  Your entrance is always a good idea, as it’s the first place your guests will see and this sets the tone for the party.  Always walk through your space as your guests will and try to imaging the room/space filled with people and think what you will like to see.  Christmas scents are a good idea, so candles (make sure they can’t be knocked over though).  Only put flowers or decorations where they will be seen. Don’t get caught up  decorating every tiny little space (go on admit it, we all do it)

4. Drinks and food

Pick food and drinks that are easy to dispense if you’re not having someone to help you serve.  So if its cocktails, make up a big batch in advance that only needs something added at the last minute.  If you’re serving party canapés, make sure you’re not going to spend hours finishing them to look pretty.  Either get some help or choose something else.

5. Music and atmosphere

Music is the fastest and easiest way to set your atmosphere (this and lighting).  So if you plan on having a playlist, make sure its long enough or contain enough music so that you don’t have to change it during the course of the evening.

Finally – be in the right frame of mind.

Believe it or not, your guests can always tell if you’re stressed or not enjoying your event.  So do yourself a favour, pull the plug early on if you don’t feel up to it.  If not remind yourself they are going to spend time with you, not judge your food, decor or the cleanliness of your loo.  If they are i would suggest removing them from your guest list for the future.

Tara Fay @XenaProductions

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