A Christmas Dinner Party to Enjoy
This time of the year can be immensely stressful as so many things are added to already stretched “to-do” lists. On top of all of daily activities, school and work well now you have to tackle the long holiday planning list! However, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the holidays and Christmas are all about spending time with family and friends. It’s the time to share the joys of the season and what better way to do that if not hosting a Christmas dinner party for your friends?
We love entertaining and having friends and family over really make for happier days in our lives. We have just hosted my husband’s large family for Thanksgiving and it was a great success! So, here are a few tips to planning the perfect Christmas dinner party for the holidays.
A Christmas dinner party can be a more elegant affair than your regular dinner party with friends. Take the opportunity created by the colder weather, this special time of the year and bring a more formal atmosphere to your party. Your girlfriends will thank you for the opportunity to dress up!
Invitations Go Out
1. Invite guests in advance. The Christmas engagement calendar fills up fast and you want to get your dinner party on the roster. Host a Christmas dinner party for your office department. For a dinner party that is purely personal, invite friends and their dates or spouses. Although we never exclude the children from our gatherings with friends, if you prefer, specify on the invitation that it is for adults only. This will give everyone time to find a sitter for their children.
What to Serve
2. Plan the menu. If you’re inviting colleagues or friends that you usually don’t host, make sure to ask if anyone has any special dietary concerns. There could be vegetarians in the group but we are more concerned with food allergies or other health conditions. Plan the food courses accordingly so no one feels left out.
Checking It Twice
3. If everyone hasn’t responded a week out from the Christmas dinner party, contact them with a quick message just in case they forgot. For sit down formal dinners having an accurate head count is necessary to be sure there is enough seating for everyone. Also, make sure you are preparing enough food. As a standard rule of thumb, calculate at least two pounds of food per person attending the dinner party.
Who Will Cook?
4. Budget and preferences permitting decide on cooking or catering. There is nothing wrong with catering a dinner party for a larger group of friends. Cooking can be an all day affair and no one wants to left out during their own dinner party because of the work in the kitchen. The host or hostess wants to mingle with the rest of the guests, enjoy their time. If you decide to cook, keep the menu simple and opt for a buffet presentation instead of table service, allowing guests to “help” you this way.
Get That China Out!
5. With your menu in mind pull out from the cabinets the serving platters you will need and make sure they’re clean and in good shape. A good idea is to use sticky notes to mark what food will go in each dish.
Decorate and Make It Yours
6. Set up the table and decorate a day in advance. This will give you time to purchase whatever is missing to make your table and rooms look beautiful. I love to include flowers and lit candles on every room. Leave glasses until the last minute so they don’t gather lint and dust particles overnight. After setting the table, check around to make sure everything is clean especially in the areas where guests will be mingling.
7. To make your life simpler and make your guests comfortable, prepare a table with a beautiful tray with glasses, napkins and the drinks you’ll be serving. Serve your guests’ first glass to welcome them and let them know they can help themselves at any time.
8. Make sure you check your powder room and include a small candle or flower arrangement in there. I also like to place a small basket with items guest may need from personal care to over-the-counter pain relievers.
Make Yourself Pretty
9. Get yourself ready a good hour before your guests are set to arrive. The last thing you want after so much preparation is to look stressed out when welcoming your friends and colleagues in.
Have Great Fun
10. Have fun, make pictures, and enjoy the evening!
An elegant Christmas dinner party is a nice way to get to know co-workers away from the office or to relax with friends you don’t see much of during the year. Everyone has a chance to show off their best holiday clothes and share good laughs.
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and having opportunities to enjoy family and friends.
Download the Christmas Planner and enjoy an organized holiday season!