How to host an amazing Christmas party

It’s Christmas party season again – hooray! Is there anything better than getting together with your family and friends to spread joy, enjoy good food, and celebrate this most wonderful time of the year? We don’t think so.

If you’re panicking a bit this year because it’s your turn to host, fear not – we’re here to help. We have Christmas entertainment options, party ideas and dinner inspiration that’ll ensure everything runs smoothly.

Everything you need to know about hosting a Christmas party

The biggest fear when you’re planning a party of any sort is that you’re going to forget something. But this Christmas party guide is going to be your checklist, so there’s no detail that’ll escape your attention!

There are a few small jobs you can start working on right away. You can start building the perfect dinner party playlist now, and keep adding to it right up until the big night. And if you’re doing Secret Santa gifts, then start collecting names in a hat asap. Or, if you want to buy a little something for everyone, start planning what you’re going to put in your Christmas crackers – you can build your own so people pop open personalised presents!

Now though, on to the main event. Here are some exciting Christmas party ideas for 2023:

Plan, plan, plan

Planning saves you time, effort and stress. Whether you just scribble Christmas dinner ideas down on a piece of paper or put together a highly detailed minute-by-minute Excel spreadsheet (just us?), the more prepared you are in advance, the easier everything will be.

Lists will be your friend – who doesn’t love ticking things off a to-do list? With that in mind, here’s a (not exhaustive) list of things you might want to consider when you’re planning your Christmas party.

  • How many guests?
    Write down their names and dietary preferences so you can make sure you Christmas food ideas are as inclusive as possible.
  • Is there going to be a theme?
    Dress up, dress down – or even fancy dress?
  • Sit-down dinner or buffet?
    If you don’t have enough chairs, make it a mixing and mingling event with portable Christmas party food.
  • What are you serving to drink?
    Christmas wine is always welcome but remember to have some softies or even some homemade mocktails to truly cater for everyone.
  • Will there be games?
    These can be as active as recreating iconic movie dance offs, or as gentle as guessing how many baubles are on the tree.
  • Do you want the guests to bring anything?
    It’s fine to ask guests to BYOB or take part in a potluck Christmas dinner! As long as you give everyone a heads up.

And don’t forget the invites. Send them out early enough for people to respond – make sure you put an RSVP date so you know exactly how many you’re catering for.

Christmas Party Food to Make You Merry

Ah, the Christmas dinner menu. Basically, this is a question of how much pressure you want to put on yourself. Are you feeling brave/optimistic enough to cook everything from scratch? If you are, make sure you check out our guide to cooking Christmas food economically without using the oven. This will speed things up and reduce your energy bill.

Another option is to cover the main dinner event yourself – the meat, fish or homemade nut roast – and ask guests to bring along a range of other dishes. This communal feasting is  a great Christmas party idea because everyone gets a chance to shine.

If it’s not a sit-down dinner, then you’ve got different options. Snacks, nibbles and canapés are always welcome. Or you can have a more relaxed ‘help yourself’ spread, with slow-cooked pulled pork and buns to fill. Or a homemade cheeseboard presented with all the cheese and wine night trimmings. This means you’ll be out of the kitchen and amongst your guests for more of the evening!

For more Christmas food inspiration, you can find all our festive food ideas here on our blog.

That’s entertainment

As the evening goes on, people may be in the mood for a different kind of festive fun. We can help you with that. Our selection of Christmas party games includes everything from charades to quizzes and bingo to trivia games – we’ve even got a Murder Mystery game that’ll keep running in the background all evening long – or until the killer is caught!

Or you may decide that’s all a bit too chaotic and just settle for a bit of a boogie instead. Just keep things relaxed and not too scheduled or forced – it is a party after all.

Another fun Christmas party idea is to ask everyone to bring a similar value gift which is then put into the centre of the room. People then take turns choosing and swapping gifts, until all the gifts have been unwrapped and everyone has something, whether they want it or not! We’ve got Christmas gifting ideas and smaller stocking filler items to get you started.

Clean the Halls Before You Deck Them

It’s not the most exciting part of planning a party, but cleaning the house in time for festivities is important. Parties can get a bit raucous so make sure anything precious that could be easily broken is popped in a storage box or moved out of sight. You could assign a room in your home as a storage hub and make sure everyone knows it’s out of bounds for the evening.

Cleaning everything before the party will also make the post-party clean up easier. It doesn’t have to be a deep clean, but you’ll want to know that all the floors are clean and clear, that your bathroom is ready to dazzle your guests, and that the fridge is fresh and well organised! The latter is one that people always forget, but if your guests are bringing their own drinks, they’ll be peeping into your fridge and even your freezer to grab ice. Make sure everything is in order!

Twas the Night Before Your Christmas Party

Now your house is clean, it’s time to prepare the special Christmas party details. Think flickering candles and festive tableware that sings out with Christmas cheer. If you’re going for a themed look, our Alpine Forest range has bowls, plates, and place settings that’ll make your table as spectacular as your tree.

We even have a gorgeous range of crystal-look glasses, offering the beauty and look of glass without the danger of shattering. These are ideal for the more boisterous party nights, or just to prevent breakages when the Christmas crackers are pulled!

If you want to take care of all the nibbles and drink offers in one festive swoop, then a Christmas hamper is what you need. What better sums up the season of giving, than sharing and eating than unpacking a basket of festive goodies?

As we’ve said earlier, planning your Christmas party in advance will help things run smoothly and leave you with less to worry about on the day. You should be able to relax with family and friends – it’s about being together, not everything has to be perfect. And finally, it doesn’t matter if you forget something – people probably won’t notice anyway. Now, haven’t you got a party to plan?