The festive season is upon us and ‘tis the season for Christmas drinks, gatherings and parties. So how do you make sure your Christmas get together is a success? Follow these tips to ensure that it’s not only your guests having a fantastic time but as the perfect host or hostess, you have an enjoyable stress-free experience too.
Avoid Jingle Bling
Creating a Christmassy look will get your guests in the right mood and help make the occasion feel more special. The look you don’t want, however, is jingle bling – where you hang up so much ornamentation and so many lights that your guests would be forgiven for thinking they’d wandered into the decorations aisle at Asda.
The key to achieving a great look is to keep it simple. Choose a single Christmas colour – gold, silver or green – and combine it with white so that the overall effect isn’t too over the top. Use your colour scheme for all your decorations, from table to tree.
Choose just a small number of features in the room to highlight with decorations, rather than trimming the entire room with glitzy tinsel. Aside from the tree, good spots for decoration include the food table, the fireplace mantel if you have one, the window ledge and any other tables in the room.
Use the bling sparingly – natural materials such as ivy, berries, mistletoe, wood, pine cones, evergreen sprigs and twigs look far more attractive and can be set off beautifully against a touch of gold and some unscented candles. Dried oranges, cones and cinnamon sticks make fantastic decorations to hang from the tree or place on the Christmas table and poinsettias are an attractive choice if your colour scheme incorporates red.
Light the room carefully to set the mood. Your lights should be bright enough for people to see your decorations but low enough to be warm, welcoming and intimate. Main lights are usually too bright so if you can’t dim them down, use uplighters, lamps, candles and fairy lights to get the right atmosphere. Tiny white fairy lights (the sort that don’t flash) are perfect for drawing the eye to the areas you’ve decorated – and if you choose battery powered ones, you’ll have a lot more flexibility as to where you can place them.
Remember to decorate outside as well as in – but not with flashing reindeer or Santa sleighs! A beautiful natural wreath on the door made from evergreen sprigs and berries will welcome your guests into your home. If there’s a path leading up to the door, consider adding candle bags with battery powered candles to make your home’s entrance really inviting.
Finally make sure your guests have plenty of spaces to sit. If your sofa is looking a little worse for wear, now’s a good time to consider whether your budget will stretch to a new one. There are so many good deals at this time of year and it’s a great time to snap up a bargain. If the Christmas pinch has left you short, invest in a throw and some cushions to keep the shabbiness out of sight.
Create a Flow
Aside from beautiful surroundings, the one thing sure to keep your party in swing is serving the right tipple. Offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks – even if nobody is driving, it’s good to give your guests the option of spacing out the alcohol if they want to. Mocktails are a great choice for this and there are so many easy recipes out there. Try serving this delicious peach cooler – simply mix 3 parts carbonated water with 1 part peach juice and one part white grape juice, serve in a wine glass and add fresh slices of peach to finish.
If you’re not serving a full meal, Christmas canapés are a must – they will keep your hungry guests happy and help to soak up the alcohol. The no-effort way to serve these is to buy them from the ready-made or frozen section of the supermarket where there are plenty on offer at this time of year. If you have a little more time, mini oatcakes or cocktail blinis with various toppings are an easy alternative that will taste much better than the frozen offerings. Spread them with soft cheese or add a slice of goat’s cheese, then finish with a choice from smoked salmon, chives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichokes or mackerel.
Have you got any party tips to share? Let us know your thoughts below!
Images sourced via Pinterest. Credits: hometalk.com, home-decor-ideass.blogspot.ro and andeelayne.blogspot.com.