I’ve called this “Christmas Party Planning” but actually the advice stands for any type of party and that is to keep it simple! When you decide to have a party you want to make sure it is the best one ever, one which people will remember for years to come, but if you are anything like me, you can go a bit overboard!
I have hosted many parties over the years and I hope they were memorable, I’ve certainly had great feedback! However, for me they were pretty stressful and I have now learned that less is definitely more, do a few things really well and that is what people will remember!
The key to keeping it simple is to use the “power of one”, by doing one thing really well and making it brilliant, the whole party suddenly becomes easy to plan. Divide your party into key areas, such as the entrance, cocktails, appetisers, decorations and concentrate on producing one amazing piece for each area.
I’ve taken inspiration from the Better Homes and Gardens website, which is a great resource for all aspects of home life, including planning parties! The ideas I’ve gathered together are on my Pinterest Board- Christmas Party Planning, a great place to “pin” your ideas! The following plan is how I’m going to organise my annual Christmas Party:
Your entrance could either be your driveway, porch or hall but whichever you choose make a statement with one truly sensational display. For the driveway, this could be lanterns and decorations lighting the way for your guests:
Using lights at night is always spectacular and an easy way to create drama without too much effort. You could also use lights in the porch and hall way, take a look at my Pinterest Board- Christmas Lights for more ideas. Putting candles in fire resistant paper bags looks beautiful, you can buy them from Amazon.
Concentrate on making one drink really well and buy the rest! Most supermarkets now sell ready made Mulled Wine so you can have a pan of this bubbling away in the background creating gorgeous aromas!
A stunningly simple cocktail which most people love is a Mojito, this refreshing mix of mint, rum, lime and sugar is bound to go down well, follow the instructions in this great video on the BHG website to create your own masterpiece. Rope in a handsome chap to make them and this will certainly be remembered by your female guests!
As with the cocktails, there are so many great appetisers to buy that all you need to do is make one thing yourself and tell everybody you made them, they’ll think you made everything! I found a lovely recipe for Crabcakes on the Better Homes website and you can check out more recipes here… I would serve these with lots of nibbles such as: roasted nuts, olives, breadsticks (with hummus dip, shop bought, decanted into a dish), cherry tomato halves with a basil leaf and a mozzarella ball on a stick. There are plenty more ideas on Pinterest.
Think about how you will display your food, this can make all the difference to shop bought items, take them out of their containers and put into pretty, festive dishes. Also, think about using height (cake stands or footed bowls are great), width (long, narrow platters) and depth (large, round dishes) together with smaller glass bowls and glasses for nibbles. The following photo demonstrates this really well:
Keep your decorations simple with glass bowls of lights (battery operated ones are ideal) and stick to one colour for maximum impact.
Green foliage from the garden can be used in abundance with just the odd shot of another colour such as white, gold or red.
And that’s it! A simple party guide which will hopefully make your entertaining stress free. Have a wonderful Christmas and please do share your own ideas.