Christmas is the perfect time for being merry and socialising with your friends and family. But, if you and your loved ones haven’t already made arrangements with an exclusive party venue or booked that all-important festive meal, you might well find that it’s too late and there’s no room at the inn.
Fortunately, there’s another solution: hosting your own DIY Christmas party. And, with a little bit of prep, your Christmas shindig can be just as good as a swanky venue. To help you out, we’ve put together a few essential tips for hosting the perfect party.
Decorate with some festive style
Though you might have the tree up, hosting a really Christmassy party requires you to go the extra mile with your décor. From your entranceway to the dinner table, you need to ensure that you’ve created a winter wonderland that will encourage your guests to get into the spirit of the season.
Whether you need to jazz up a side table or adorn your stairs, fairy lights are always an easy go-to for adding some twinkling magic to proceedings. You’ll struggle to find a larger selection of indoor lights than the range at Lights4Fun, where you’ll find everything from micro lights to those with a Christmas shape to them. Combine your illuminations with some green garlands and a lot of tinsel and your home will be ready to welcome your guests.
It’s also important to pay attention to your dinner table when you’re decorating. From picking your table settings to putting out fun festive accessories, such as party hats and crackers, there’s plenty to consider. You could also add some candles in holders to your table for an extra level of cosy atmosphere — check out the beautiful choice of candle holders from Alliance Online where you can get free delivery on orders over £50.
Choose between a buffet or sit-down meal
When you’re planning your party, you’ll need to decide in advance what type of festive food you’re going to offer to your guests. On one hand, you could host a sit-down meal that will lend your soiree more of a dinner party vibe, and on the other, you could opt for a finger buffet, which encourages a more relaxed, informal atmosphere.
If you’re going to go down the sit-down meal route, you will need to plan your menu in advance to make sure you’re well-prepared. Be sure to think about your guests when you’re coming up with a set of dishes — take special care to find out if anyone has any particular dislikes or allergies that you need to account for. You will also need to plan time in for food preparation to make sure there are no unwanted delays during the party.
A buffet is much easier to plan and put together. Not only can much of the food be pre-bought and simply served up, but you don’t need to account for your guest’s individual tastes as much as they have freedom of choice. Just make sure you put out a nice variety of dishes that will help your party feel as festive as possible.
Should you need some inspiration, check out BBC GoodFood’s collection of Christmas recipes, where you will find both main meals and finger food to suit the occasion.
Offer up a varied Christmas drinks menu
Alongside your food, you’ll need to come up with a selection of Christmas drinks that will dazzle your guests. Again, you should consider all of your guests tastes, so you’ll need to source some quality beer and wine, as well as some non-alcoholic options for those non-drinkers.
The real fun happens when you begin putting together your choice of festive cocktails, as this is where you can start to get really creative. Keep Christmas flavours like cranberry, cinnamon, peppermint, and vanilla in mind if you’re coming up with your recipes to stay right on theme. Alternatively look to others for creative inspiration: this white Christmas martini by Inspired by Charm or this winter-spiced old-fashioned by Spoon Fork Bacon are excellent starting points.
Take our advice on board and you’ll be all set to host the perfect DIY Christmas party. All that’s left is to invite all your friends and family to celebrate. Have fun!