The most anticipated and celebrated time of the year is almost upon us. Celebrating Christmas in style doesn’t have to end with you frantically putting up last minute decs and throwing pizzas and rolls into the oven minutes before guests arrive. We want to share some of our fresh tips on how to throw the perfect Christmas party at home. You won’t break a sweat or have a panic; you’ll just kick back, relax and have a lovely time.
Set the Christmas Scene
Even if decorating isn’t your thing, your party isn’t a Christmas shindig without festive trimmings. Simply supplement your usual Christmas décor with a few fancy touches. Bedeck your bannister or mantelpiece with a fake garland, berries and traditional wooden or straw decorations. Get creative and make origami bird ornaments to sit along windowsills and paper snowflakes to hang over your fireplace and stove. Christmas decs don’t have to be costly; be inventive and make use of things you have lying around at home.
Mix up your lighting with a few scented candles in gold or silver candleholders or have a go at making festive paper lightshades out of paper in pretty flower or star shapes. These are a great way to add character and warmth to your home.
And remember, if you don’t have much time to make lots of homemade decs, less is always more. You can easily create a jovial atmosphere by giving your party a theme. Ask guests to come in their favourite Christmas jumper, or in Christmas-themed costumes, like reindeer antlers, jingly bells, or a Santa beard.
Top Tipples and Christmassy Nibbles
Christmas isn’t Christmas without fizz and bubbly flowing. Surprise your guests and have a go at making Christmas-inspired punch. Mix Bénédictine liqueur, scotch whiskey, and cranberry and clementine juices. Top with a few sour cherries for a seasonal drink that will have your guests feeling warm and festive in no time! If you’d rather keep it simple, a Prosecco cocktail is the perfect welcome party drink. All you need for this is one part raspberry liqueur, four parts prosecco and either fresh raspberries or basil to serve.
Have a few fancy appetisers to entice your guests, keep them satisfied and soak up the booze that will be flowing. Don’t skimp on the basics – put in a few minutes of your time to make some scrummy dishes. Make easy mozzarella and Parma ham bites – simply wrap a mozzarella ball in rocket leaves and a sun-dried tomato in Parma ham or pancetta, roll into a mini wrap and drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve. If your guests are fish lovers you can go for fancy salmon, crème cheese and décor with some delicate chives. Remember to keep veggie options as well: tomatoes and basil crostini seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar is an easy yet delicious non heavy dish that your guests will love.
Another very simple but delicious canapé is a pea and prawn crostini. All you need to do is blend the peas together, adding lemon juice and other seasonings for extra flavour. Bake thin slices of crusty bread, drizzled in oil, until toasted on both sides. When ready, serve the toasted bread with a spoonful of pea puree, topped with prawns. These simple nibbles look fancy and taste delicious; they’ll take minutes to make, but will look like they took hours.
Don’t feel you need everything to be fancy. You can go back to basics and get crackers and a selection of cheeses, as well as easy snacks like nuts and crisps. Put out plates and bowls of these, and you can be sure that everyone will enjoy them.
Unique Party Favours
Make your Christmas bash an unforgettable one by including party favours. Make an extra batch of punch and give your guests a small jar to take home and enjoy over the festive period. Bake several batches of cookies, pack them in colourful glass jars, and give them to guests. You could even make small Christmas ornaments from paper, cardboard, glitter and ribbon. Everyone could take one home to hang on their tree.
If you really want to impress, get your guests customised silicone wristbands like those sold by ID&C. With the option to design these yourself, you can give them a festive theme, colour and even a personalised message.
Set the mood with a Christmassy playlist on Spotify or go old school and make your own compilation CD. Try to keep your music low before the party really starts, so that conversation can still flow. Your music can even inspire a fun Christmas game like ‘Name that Tune’. Depending on the size of the party, get into teams of two or more and compete to name the Christmas tune first! It might sound silly, but you’ll be surprised how much fun your guests will have.
Christmas Carol Pictionary Relay is another great game that can get wild if your guests really get into it. Team members must race to get the name of a Christmas carol, which they have to translate to their team through actions and mime. Once the team recognises the song, they have to sing it. The first team to get all its members to complete the task wins.
Whatever you end up playing, have fun with it; Christmas won’t be back for another year!