The Christmas season is abuzz with a variety of activities - from shopping and wrapping to card sending and gift giving. It may seem that there is not enough time for gathering together friends and family beyond Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But, rest assured that a well-timed and well-executed Christmas partycarols for the season can actually alleviate the stress of the holidays. If you are organized and creative you can pull together a Christmas party that will be remembered - and anticipated - for years to come.
Begin by setting an appropriate date for your Christmas party. The beginning of December can be a great time of year as many people are not yet full swing into holiday chaos. There's also nothing saying that you can not host a Christmas party after December 25th. Perhaps make it an annual holiday wind down party. Your guests will surely appreciate the opportunity to mix and mingle without gift purchasing on their minds.
Once you've set a date, mail your invitations. Make sure to send out your invitations 4 to 6 weeks before your Christmas party - even 8 weeks during the holiday season. People's calendars fill up quickly; give your guests adequate forewarning.
Once your guests are invited, it's time to start planning. Set the tone for your Christmas party by warmly decorating your home. Light candles throughout your house, prominently display beautiful holiday decorations, have your Christmas tree lit, and - weather permitting - a fire lit in your fireplace. Your guests will feel warmly welcomed by a lovingly decorated home.
Christmas party food is equally important. Take your guests into consideration when planning the menu. An intimate gathering lends itself to a more formal sit-down dinner; a larger crowd may be best served by a buffet. Or perhaps you would prefer a more low-key affair where only cocktails and appetizers are served. No matter what you serve at your Christmas party, decorate the food table festively to set the mood.
Music at your Christmas party will also help to set the tone. Put together your favorite holiday tunes into compilation CDs that can be used to entertain your guests. For a special treat, think about hiring some Christmas carolers to visit the party midway through - this will be a festive surprise that your guests will not soon forget.