The approach of Christmas can mean only one thing; party season is upon us, and this year’s ‘do is your responsibility. The Christmas party is the ultimate bash, and a chance for family, friends, and work colleagues to come together and celebrate the magic of this time of year. Your handling of the Christmas party could make or break your social standing or work reputation, so be mindful of how you approach such a task…
Your ultimate party wish list
Whether you’ve been asked to organize the office Christmas party, tasked with bringing the guys together for a festive shindig to end all shindigs, or have finally relented and agreed to sort out your family’s bash, it’s never too early to start thinking about the ultimate party. Your venue will depend upon the type of party you’re going for, although house parties are popular amongst friends and families, and external venues are often preferred when it comes to work ‘dos; how many people are you expecting? What kinds of parties have come before your own efforts? Have you been given a budget, or any guidance from the powers that be, or your significant other? Decisions regarding date, theme, and entertainment will depend upon your answers to these questions, so get scribbling now…
The kinds of decorations that you choose will, of course, depend upon the theme you’ve chosen and, to a lesser extent, the venue hosting your ultimate Christmas party. External venues may want to keep decorations to a minimum if they usually provide their own for other guests, while offices, homes, and privately rented locations will afford you the chance to be creative. A vintage Christmas, the casino, movie night, and traditional black tie are all popular themes, each with creative scope. Candles, wreaths, tinsel and sparkle of varying degrees, and balloons, as well as the eponymous Christmas tree could all be used to complement any theme, but keep things as simple, yet effective as you can; the Tree Dazzler, for example, is a great way to create the effect of glittering Christmas lights without having to deck the halls with your own fair hands, while battery powered candles in colored jars will look effective, but vastly reduce the risk assessment you’d have to complete.
Food and drink
Will the centerpiece of your party be a delicious three-course Christmas banquet, or a buffet that keeps guests coming back for more? Have you the budget, and space, to create a cool cocktail bar, or will those invited few bring their own bottles to keep in the fridge? Again, the size and theme of your party will greatly influence the drinks and nibbles you serve, but aim to provide at least a welcome drink and canapés, as well as a bar of some description; mulled wine or eggnog make great arrival drinks, while miniature pigs in blankets, Christmas puddings and cake make for tasty, and creative snacks. Buffets tend to work well at house parties and celebrations held at the office, while food at hired venues can be a little more elaborate; you may even have the budget for a DIY cocktail bar to accompany your a la carte menu. Think about the kind of look, feel, and taste, you’re going for now, and discuss menus and tastings with your venue if applicable. Food is often the most anticipated part of any Christmas bash, so it has to be perfect.
Will you be providing a live band or DJ, or relying upon an awesome stereo system to play a pre-prepared playlist? Have you considered the dance floor, and mentally blocked off an area where people can get their groove on? After food, entertainment is essential at any Christmas party, and can make or break your efforts with a single Christmas classic, or an act that may not be to everybody’s taste. Think about your theme; movie night, or an evening at the casino, almost demand entertainment, including hired roulette and poker tables, or your very own miniature cinema. If your budget will allow explore the option of a live band or DJ to add to the ambiance, and always consider the playlist; it must be the right balance of cheesy festive classics and contemporary tunes to keep everyone happy into the wee small hours. Finally consider those touches that are going to add to the atmosphere, include goody bags or a photographer to capture the evening; how can you make this a memorable evening?
Finally think about the touches that are going to add a little festive sparkle to your event, including organizing transport away from the venue or gathering together local taxi company details, providing a manned cloakroom, and hiring additional security if you feel it appropriate for your venue. As the party planner extraordinaire it’s your responsibility to ensure that guests can enjoy the evening from start to finish, so take those details that are often overlooked into hand now. Taking on the ultimate Christmas party is a huge responsibility, but also a big honor; embrace the challenge now and get ready for the party to end all parties.