Hosting your family’s Christmas party is a huge honor since this responsibility often falls to the person who tends to be the most organized. Whether this is your first-time hosting or the tenth, there are always so many things to add to your to-do list. As you get ready to plan, make sure to do these five things to help everything go as smoothly as possible.
Ideally, you should start talking to your family about the holiday party about four weeks before Christmas. Doing a check-in with everyone even earlier is a great way to get an idea of which date and time works best for them. While you might not be able to please everyone, trying to choose a time when the majority of your family can attend is best. As the date draws closer, you can contact them again to go over the theme and any other details that they need.
Making a list and checking it twice is the best way to avoid those last-minute rushes to fix the things you forgot. Once you have a date in mind, you can begin creating a general list that includes things, such as when to order dessert trays or other essential items for the party. Depending upon the venue, you might need to reserve tables and chairs for the setup. Or you may also need to hire entertainment. Being able to see what to do with a glance helps you avoid wasting time trying to remember what to do next. You can also use the checklist to look at how much you’ve accomplished. Being able to see each item getting checked off helps you to see your progress, which is a great way to manage to feel overwhelmed.
Speaking of feeling like you’re in over your head, one of the most stressful parts of hosting a party is making sure that everyone has drinks and is well-fed. Trying to run around serving appetizers or mixing up drinks behind the bar leaves you zero time to connect with your family. Instead of trying to do this part yourself, make the decision to hire event staff. Bringing professional bartenders and servers into your party plans takes the burden of serving your family off your shoulders. This is especially helpful if you’re not the type to know how to whip up those requested drink recipes or might forget to set out more of everyone’s favorite hors d’oeuvres.
Family Christmas parties tend to be more casual than other events, such as weddings. This means that you’ll likely have lots of children running around. Having a few activities on hand will help to minimize the running, which could lead to an accident. Plus, the kids in your group will be better behaved when they have something to keep them busy. If the weather is nice, you might plan to set up some outdoor activities. Bean bag tosses and other simple carnival games can easily be turned into activities with a Christmas theme. For indoor activities, think about arts and crafts. Kids love making ornaments, and setting up a crafting table gives kids and their parents a fun way to make a keepsake that they can take home later.
If you have a large family, then it might not be feasible for each person to buy a gift for everyone in the group. Yet, you may still love the idea of incorporating generosity and caring into your holiday party. White elephant gift exchanges are a fun way for everyone to give and receive a present without too much pressure. If you decide to do this idea, then make sure to let your family know ahead of time about your plan and any special guidelines. For instance, some people choose wacky gifts while others prefer to keep things under a certain budget. Letting everyone know how to shop prevents any embarrassing mishaps. Looking at holiday party planning as a step-by-step process helps to break each part down into manageable chunks. This year, try to remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. Recruiting help from your family and outside holiday support teams makes it easier to kick back and enjoy getting to spend time with your favorite loved ones now that all of your hard work is done.
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