I am such an organisational freak it really is my fave thing to do… I thought today I’d post a little review of how we planned our Christmas party and how we set up our flat for our guests! The food we choose went down a total treat and I will post recipes for those soon!
1 – First of all, we genuinely thought this would take AGES to plan and kept putting it off and putting it off! In reality it took no more than one hour… and that was totally chilling. Put the time in, it’s worth it!
2 – To help us get in the spirit we put on a banging Christmas playlist. This can apply to any party planning – set the mood with the music! Our ideas kept flowing as we listening to the sweet sounds of Mariah…
3 – Decide early on on what you are going to make your guests bring! We knew rather than asking our friends to pay towards the meal it would be easier and nicer for them to provide something for the occasion. We split it out as follows;
1 person / nibbles
1 person / cheeseboard
1 person / dessert and those much needed 10pm snacks
We also asked everyone to bring their own alcohol – but provided a couple of glasses of welcome prosecco!
*We made this fun by adding pink prosecco glitter!
4 – Think about what you want to cook and how many for! We were serving eight. We knew we would be serving a proper Christmas dinner so wanted to keep our starters light. We used the Polpo cookbook as they have great tapas-style recipes. We also wanted to look for things that were already bulkable or could be scaled up.
In addition to our turkey/chicken we knew we needed more food (even if only to enjoy as leftovers ;)) so we decided to cook a ham joint!
5 – Time to write the shopping list (eek)! I wrote out everything we needed and then ordered them on a separate piece of paper determined by which aisle they are located in (although my local supermarket does like to keep you guessing!?) Doing this hugely sped up the process. It also prevents random items being thrown in the trolley and keeps costs down!
6 – Think about timings – you don’t want to get caught short so try and keep a plan in place so your guests don’t get too hungry! However, providing nibbles (or asking your kind friend to provide them :p) and the starter does take the pressure off as no one is starving and it leaves extra catching up time between courses! We told our guests to arrive from 2.30 pm with the aim of serving starters at 4.30 pm.
7 – Decorating
First off if you are looking for a drunken affair… make up a list of rules for drinking and dancing : for example ‘everything The Pogues play’s take a sip!’ *we ended up forgetting them all but to be honest I don’t think we needed encouraging!!
Get yourself a mini chalkboard and write fun notes to your guests.
We also bought a load of fairy lights and cheap gold decorations to hang all around the living room area!
We found loads of random Christmas accessories, some that we’ve collected over a couple of years some we found in shops this year and laid the table with pretty candles and ornaments. We filled candle holders with leftover baubles and even treated ourselves to a winter spice air freshener 😉8 – Party time! We were up and at ’em, leaving to hit the shops at 8.30 am and back by 10.15 am phew! We had to crack on quickly but the main point was to get the ham cooked and AWLLL the prep done, so when our guests arrived all we had to do was get cooking! We then proceeded to run around the house tidying away before leaving limited time to get ourselves ready… praying our guests would be late! Once they had arrived you can totally chill, knowing you have prepared everything there should be less room for disasters! Serve that glass of prosecco helps the guests to relax and you can take your time to ensure dinner perfection!
We had the absolute best afternoon/evening and really got us into the Christmas spirit! We constantly updated the playlist and sung numerous karaoke songs! These are just some little tips but I so much fun organising it, I thought I would share with you how we went about it!
Anyone else hosting a pre-Christmas dinner for friends or family?
Love, A x
- Crackers – the cheap and cheerful the better (try and ensure your guests keep them on for as long as possible … my guests did a pretty good job of this!)
- Prosecco glitter – I used this one from Popaball
- Glass decorations
- Fairy lights
- Window stickers
- Chalk board and chalk
- Karaoke machine