Recently I hosted my birthday party. A lot of work, planning, budgeting, and shopping had to be done. The satisfaction of hosting an event that my friends and family enjoyed was priceless. The same can be said of hosting an annual Christmas party. I’d like to help by giving you my Christmas party planning checklist for 2019!
Maybe you hold an annual Christmas party, or it’s your turn to host one this year. Are you always forgetting to do things? Do you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do? So much so that all your work comes to a halt? No matter how good you are at party planning, this checklist will help!
Feel free to download the checklist and print it out. To do so, right-click on the image and click “Save image.”
#1 – Brainstorm ideas for the party (theme, food, drinks, entertainment, the date)
What will the theme of your party be? Will it be, fun, classical with a black suit and tie, focused on the holidays, or will it have no theme at all? What are you going to do to make your guests feel extra special at your party or event? Are you going to give each of them a small present to enjoy? You don’t have to, but these are the kind of party details to think about.
What type of food do you want to serve on your menu? Is there going to be some form of entertainment or activities to partake in? Will there be kids? What are they going to do to keep themselves busy? Are you going to provide drinks, or will guests need to bring their own?
#2 – Create a list of friends and family to invite
You can’t plan a party without knowing how many people you are going to invite. Also, you need a headcount to prepare your budget, food, drinks, etc. Create your list to start.
#3 – Plan the menu and drinks
Food and drinks are a critical element of any party. Are you going to serve snacks before the main meal? What type of snacks will you serve? What about the main course and dessert? Are you going to ask guests to chip in and provide some food items? In some areas of the world, it’s not uncommon to do so. Are you going to do the catering yourself or hire a caterer? Planning is critical here.
What about drinks? You don’t want everyone to get drunk by providing them with unlimited drinks, but you don’t want them to be boring and thirsty all night, either. Everyone should have enough to drink. However, it’s a Christmas after all and not a college party.
#4 – Find a location to host the party
Are you going to host Christmas at home, or will you rent out space for the event? Since this Christmas party checklist is mostly for hosting a party for family and friends, chances are you’ll host it at your house. However, it’s still a critical piece of the puzzle to decide on the venue.
#5 – Make a list of everything you need
I love making lists. I make to-do lists daily. The key to any successful planning is creating a detailed list. This way, you won’t forget anything and know exactly what you’ll need to get to make it a party to remember.
#6 – Create a budget
Maybe your husband told you that you could go all out this year with the Christmas party. For those of us that don’t have that luxury, chances are you’re going to need to work according to a specific budget. Take the list of everything you need from the previous point and find out what everything costs. This way, you can see what you’ll need to cut, keep, or get more of.
#7 – Send out invitations with a RSVP date
You need to know who is available to attend your party. If not, you might be hosting an event with low attendance and waste money on supplies that nobody will use. There are a few ways you can do this.
- Deliver invitations in person (this is great a people will love you for it)
- Send out invites via email
- Call people
- Create a Facebook event
Make sure you set an RSVP date. If people don’t respond quickly enough, don’t feel bad for reminding them of your invite. You can remind about the party about a week or two before the event. Simply send out a few emails or contact them via SMS in order to check them off your list. People often forget. Also, here are some Christmas party invitation templates you can use.
#8 – Get confirmation of the headcount
You’ve sent out your invites, and you have an idea of what you are going to do for the party. All you need now is to know the exact number of people attending your Christmas party so that you can buy food, drinks, plan seating arrangements, etc. Again, if you’ve not had people respond to your invites, call them up and message asking if they’ll be able to attend your party.
#9 – Purchase supplies (food, drinks, decorations)
Now the real work begins. Since you’ve got a date, theme, and a plan, you need to buy all your supplies.
#10 – Decide on the flow of the event
You could skip this step if you want a more casual party, but for those who like to plan everything out, include this step. By now, you should already have told guests to arrive at a specific time. Next, decide on the flow of the event. When guests arrive, will you present them with a special drink, or will it be a lot more casual? When will dinner be served? When are you going to open presents? Are you going to sing a few Christmas songs?
#11 – Enlist help if needed
Hosting a party of any nature is a lot of work. You’re going to need help! Get friends and family to help you. If you are able and want to spoil your guests, hire waiters, get people to help clean your house after the party or caterers to make the food for you. There is nothing wrong with doing it all yourself. It just depends on your budget, the time you have, and the number of guests you’ll entertain.
#12 – Set up a music playlist (set the mood)
Music helps set the mood. Thankfully you don’t have to rely on CDs to play music or a DJ. Just sign up for a music service like Spotify or Google Music and set up a Christmas playlist. Don’t know how to do it? Get your kids to help.
#13 – Decorate house
You can’t have a Christmas party without Christmas decorations. You’ll need to set up the Christmas tree, stockings, wreaths, set the table with Christmas themed ornaments, set up decorations outside your house, and anything else you’d like to do.
#14 – Build anticipation
This is something I did with my birthday party that I think people appreciated. Often you get invited to events and don’t know what to expect. It can be fun, but with a little information in advance, it can build a lot of anticipation.
You can do this by sending your guests a simple message on the day of the Christmas party. You can send the message via email, text, or any other form of communication. Remind them of the theme, the holidays, and that you are going to host one of the most amazing parties they’ve ever attended full of activities! It can be something like the following:
It’s that time of the year again! You guessed it, it’s our annual Christmas party.
Expect a lot of fun, great food, drinks, and awesome party games. Also, don’t forget your Christmas presents!
Join as for drinks at 19:00, while dinner will be served at 20:00 followed by our specialty dessert at 21:00…
You get the idea. Provide a few nuggets of information without spilling all the beans. You can be more specific about what people will be eating etc.
#15 – Enjoy the event and have party!
When the guests arrive, make sure that everything is in order and that people are having a good time. However, don’t forget to enjoy the party! It’s great to want your guests to have a great time, but don’t obsess over it so much that you end up not having a great time yourself.
Hosting a Christmas party is no small feat. However, it’s a fantastic feeling blessing those you love by hosting a successful event and to check your planning items off your list. After all, it is the season of giving! When you step back and see people smile, laugh, eating together, singing carols, and having a fantastic time, it will be all worth it. Celebrate with them! I hope my Christmas party checklist helps you to host a fantastic party!