When I was at university I studied Marketing for one semester. Everything we were taught was obvious. Every point mentioned by the lecturers, we experience every day with advertising, media and even to a certain extent how we portray ourselves. Likewise, the Christmas party rules, no, in fact all party rules are dead obvious. We are not expecting Nobel Prizes for these (although we wouldn’t mind one) but the points below are food for thought. Likewise, we can’t be held responsible if you happen to have dull friends- sorry.
Music is key in setting ambience and tone to your party. We have been to dinner or parties where the music has made us want to hurl ourselves from the balcony. I have seen friends reach for that dreaded CD and you think to yourself is there a way you can grab it when they are not watching and crush it! Everyone wants to believe they have good taste in music. That's just not possible (although we of course do!). Here's the fact though, you cannot have a Christmas party without the tunes. Be imaginative with your selection. There is a wide spectrum of Christmas CDs out there. Make sure you cover the Christmas classics, but also consider mixing it up with some swing (Rat Pack?) or modern jazz (Diana Krall?). Lastly, anticipate when you need to err away from the Christmas tune and move on to cheese or modern music. At the end of the day, you may not want to hear it, but there are only so much Christmas tunes one can take.
We’re putting this above food. There are so many Christmas drinks from mulled wine, to eggnog, Champagne or cocktails. Therefore, it would be a shame if you did not make at least one for your guests. Offering mulled wine, for example, sets a tone for the evening. It says to your guests “yes this is a Christmas party and yes I do expect you to wake up with a headache in the morning”.
3) Christmas decorations
Ummm…This is dead obvious. Please do not try to get away with a three foot pitiful Christmas tree, with tinsel that looks more like an elastic band. If you are going to throw a Christmas Party, your guests are expecting to walk in and feel like they are in Santa’s Grotto. Ok, not quite, but visual assistance is necessary.
4) Christmas foods
Bring it on. We want smoked salmon, pates, canapés, nuts, mince pies, the classic cheese board, trifles, roulades. Do not hold back. Your guests expect it, no they demand it.
5) Feed people
I’ve been to parties, where there is no food. Why? Why hold a party and then not follow through with any food. Or worse, provide your poor guests with only cheese puffs until they are so starved they are forced to suck on your Christmas potpourri. You have made the commitment to have a party, like it or not you have to feed your friends.
6) Keep food and drink at a pace
As you get less and less sober you can lose it altogether. That is when you wake up the next morning and realise a) you are the only person with a hangover as the only person you poured drinks for was yourself and b) all the food is still in the fridge and you will obviously be having the cheese you forgot to serve for dinner for the next few weeks. Serving food at intervals will also stop your friends from hanging from the chandeliers and your party being thrown into chaos.
7) Do not overwhelm yourself
so be organised I’ll admit, on Saturday I had an embarrassing meltdown in the morning. By my own admission I am a control freak. I can’t even stand being in an Easyjet queue, it throws me out of sorts. Likewise being organised stops the crazy from setting in. Use our checklists to help.
8) Accept help
This ties back to point 7. Do not be a martyr. You often hear of Mum’s having a meltdown as the pressure to cook Christmas dinner for the family escalates. If someone offers their help, do not look a gift horse in the mouth. Take it.
9) Laughter and time with friends
It’s inevitable that you will be lured into the kitchen. Therefore minimise your time in there as much as possible. Your friends are there to see you. They expect to be able to spend time with you. Through careful organisation you can decrease time away and spend more time on play. In contrast, if your friends are dull, take every opportunity to hide in the kitchen and avoid them.
10) Enjoy yourself.
There’s no point doing it if you can’t have a laugh at the same time. If that doesn’t work have a drink and make it a triple tipple!
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