4 Tips on Hosting the Perfect Christmas Party

By Danni White on December 3, 2017

This time of year is well known for its great food, good drinks, high spirits, and holiday parties. Who doesn’t love a great party, particularly a great Christmas party? It is an awesome reason to get all dressed up, take plenty of photos, and spend quality time with the people you love. During the holiday season, it can also be very easy to run over our budgets all in the name of shopping and making sure everything goes exactly as planned.

Image via Pixabay

Hosting a Christmas party can be a real challenge for college students given that we don’t always have all the money we would like, but do have a ton of friends and family to invite and to buy gifts for. You will want to be as festive and cheery as your parents’ classy party, but you don’t have to max out your credit card or overspend to have fun and entertain. With the year coming to a close and school soon to let out for winter break, there is a little time between studying for finals to get festive with our friends.

Whether you are more on the side of huge shindigs or small celebrations, here are some tips to help you host the perfect Christmas party:

While you may love the look and feel of a fully decorated, Christmas-y room, you do not have to go out and buy a load of decorations. You and your friends may have plenty of things in your dorm rooms or in your apartments to use that will look just as lovely as buying something new.

For example, mix and match eating and drinking utensils. Use stock paper cut in half or in fours to label the foods and drinks and also to serve as name tags if you’ve invited the entire campus of which you may only personally know a few people. Table centerpieces can also be made up of leftover items like cornucopia shells from Thanksgiving and/or candles that you bought several months ago.

Additionally, you may want to consider borrowing leftover or old items from your parents or grandparents’ previous Christmas parties to add to yours. And if you really need anything, a trip to the dollar store may be your best bet.

Caviar? Seriously. It is not likely that you or your friends are this sophisticated. While food is super important for a good party, the point here is that you really can skip all the expensive meats and cheeses. Instead of complete entrees, consider appetizer foods or finger foods as it is sometimes called. Crackers and dips, fruit platters, or meat, cheese, and cracker trays [the kind you will find in Wal-Mart or Target] could be more than enough to satisfy your guests.

Additionally, you could choose to make it a dessert and drink party only. Either you and a few friends can provide a range of desserts, or you can have everybody bring a dessert of their choice and share. The same could be done with food. Have everyone bring their favorite dish and then share it out accordingly when it is time to eat.

There are so many Christmas songs to go around that the only challenge might be which ones to play. The best case might be to have a little something for everybody. So, consider creating a Christmas playlist on Spotify or Pandora. Use your smartphone to connect to a portable Bluetooth speaker set or to wireless home speakers and let the playlist run throughout the room. If it’s a very large venue and you have the balls to have a DJ, then, by all means, do it.

Some music to get you started could include: “Little Drummer Boy” by Pentatonix, “Born in Bethlehem” by Third Day, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin, “Mary’s Boy Child” by Harry Belafonte, “O Holy Night” by Hillsong Worship, “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC, “Do You Hear What I Hear” by Carrie Underwood, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” by Al Green and Annie Lennox, and “Someday at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder among many other choices.

If you want your Christmas party to go on for hours and hours, it is a good idea to have some party games on hand. For example, you could have an ugly sweater contest in which you give out prizes to those who either designed the best ugliest sweater or to those who wore the best ugliest sweater. “Name That Christmas Carol” can get your guests to think and even laugh as you or someone plays a short tune and then lets everyone guess what it is. Then there is Christmas charades, which can keep going for hours especially if you have a lot of guests. And if you choose to have the White Elephant Gifting game, be sure everyone knows about it ahead of time.

Games can be an excellent way to break the ice among your guests especially if it is a large gathering. It can also make people feel more comfortable and get them talking about other things in their lives or at school.

Remember, as glorious as your Christmas party may be this year, it really is less about spending money on stuff that will be in your place for a few hours and gone the next day, and more about sharing quality time and memories with the people you know, appreciate, and love. Please ignore all the pressure to host an Instagram-worthy Christmas party. That is not what is important.

Danni White is a developmental psychology graduate student at Liberty University. She works in the digital publishing, media, and technology industries. After this degree, she will go on to work on a PhD in social psychology in which she hopes to do research on perception and social cognition’s impact on human behavior. She hopes to apply this research in corporate HR departments and community-based organizations. In her otherwise limited spare time, she blogs, writes and reads. She loves coffee, sports, music, cooking, meeting new people, and binge watching Netflix.

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