The lead-up to Christmas is a busy and intense period for most. There are presents to wrap, food and drink to buy and many engagements to attend and arrange. If you have been tasked with planning or hosting a festive party, for colleagues or family and friends, the season can almost seem more stress than its worth.
But like Christmas itself, party planning is something to be enjoyed rather than be apprehensive of. With that in mind, here are some key Christmas party planning tips that will ensure you don’t need another holiday by the time January comes around.
Perhaps the most important element of any Christmas party is the venue. Get it wrong and the event will most likely go down as a stinker. Sorry, folks. But let’s concentrate on the positives, shall we, namely the many ways you can get it right. Location should be your first concern: is it within easy reach of potential guests? Are there ways for people to get home without having to rely on a cab (people tend to be a bit skint at this time of year)? If the answer is no to both then maybe think again. Another element to consider is the layout of the venue. Try finding a space which has both communal and intimate areas – so that extroverts and introverts are comfortable. Finally, pick somewhere conducive to the rest of your needs. If you’re planning on catering, for example, make sure your space has cooking equipment and cutlery and plates.
Perfecting the ambience should be your next concern - not something that should be left to the day of the party. Start by figuring out the general tone of the get-together: there is a big difference between an office Christmas party set in the day with clients invited and one held in the evening with just direct staff, for example, so plan accordingly. Make a playlist, suss the lighting and don’t be afraid of a few festive props!
Some knees-ups eschew food altogether (a recipe for a sore head in the morning if ever we saw one) but we happen to think Christmas food should be integral to any festive party. Apart from anything else, it brings people together and gives them something to talk about. Catering for large numbers can be stressful, so it is important to plan a menu that is well conceived and above all achievable. For groups of over ten, stick to canapés and batch dishes like soup and casserole. Hearty crowd-pleasers like bread and cheese always go down well, too – especially if they’re of good quality. And don’t be afraid to be a little inventive. If you do plump for soup, pimp up by serving with some sourdough bruschetta, perhaps topped with a slice of seasonal charcuterie.
Our experienced and talented chef can take care of all your culinary needs. Speak to us today to start planning your dream menu.
This being the season of plenty, make sure the drinks options are as wide and varied as possible. Cocktails and ‘mocktails’ always go down a treat and work well in many different contexts. To keep things seasonal plan tipples around Christmassy flavours like cloves, cinnamon, clementine and cranberry. A few glasses of fizz never go amiss either and help to ramp up the celebratory atmosphere. Wine and beers should come as standard – extra points if you can match them to the flavours of the food.
Planning all these elements ahead of time will allow you to enjoy the festivities as much as the rest of the guests. So once your work is done, grab a drink and try to relax – you’ve earned it!
Turn to Jenius Social. We have some great office Christmas party ideas and our in-house chef whips up an epic Christmas dinner! Why not try our three-course Christmas Menu complete with 30-minute cookery class for every guest? Or for something a little more challenging, how about our very own Christmas Mystery Box challenge?
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