If you asked someone to sum me up in a few words, they would probably say “a list girl” – and I don’t have a problem with that. I love writing myself little checklists and to-do’s, because there is no better feeling than checking that little box off with a nice big tick! But when it comes to planning a party, wedding or hosting your Christmas…
MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE
Be sure to whip out your trusty ball point pen and start brainstorming your event. Write down things like, menus, decor, theming, budgets, guest lists, beverages, gifts, seating plans, order-of-the-day (if you want to get that organised) and entertainment. There is never such a thing as too much information when it comes to being a successful host.
DRAW A MUD-MAP
For our Christmas, we will have all of my family here to celebrate with us (totalling 8 guests). Now this doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve seen the size of our little townhouse, you might ask “How will you fit them all in?”. The answer is simple. I draw a mud-map. Yes, it looks like I will have to shift some furniture around to make room for the fambam. But once you get a good idea of where everything will fit, you will be better equipped to make decisions on where everyone will sit, where you will display your food and drinks, put your Christmas tree up and what spaces you will need to decorate! If you don’t get a reasonable idea of where everything will be going, you may find you overcompensate (or underestimate) on your styling items, the amount of food you can have on offer, and how much money you spent.
GET YOUR FAMILY INVOLVED
Don’t think for a second that because you are hosting Christmas at your place, that you are in charge of ALL the cooking, food preparation, drinks, styling, gifts and accommodation. Share the love (and the load)… your family will want to take part and do something to contribute. Whether it be bring along some chips and dip, or create the centrepiece for the dessert table… give them something to do and to take part in it. I have emailed out our Christmas Menu to my whole family, and asked them to choose a meal and dessert they would like to bring. I have briefed them on the style of the day (and even asked them to bring their food on a glass bowl/tray/plate, to keep in with the food table theming). Family will love you for including them in your party plans! And don’t be afraid to delegate, even your 14 year old brother may be more useful than you ever realised!
STICK TO TRADITION (BUT GIVE THEM SOMETHING NEW, TOO)
If you have any family traditions, make sure you incorporate these into your day. For example, my fam manage to find themselves eating Prawns every Christmas. So rather than breaking this old practice, keep it. But feel free to add a new twist, by spicing things up a bit. Maybe try a new recipe, or add a new ingredient, something they will remember (in a good way)!
Make sure you also give them the opportunity to experience something new… something they will remember and associate your Christmas with in the future. Be fun and creative, Christmas is once a year and is a great way to show everyone around you how much they mean to you. It may be a special little Christmas favour, the groovy Christmas Carols you had playing, or the little personal touches with your styling. Whatever it may be, make it something unique and different, as to create “the Christmas they’ll never forget”.
THEME, THEME, THEME
Now, I know it’s tempting to just use all the ideas you found off Pinterest and put them all together, but you will probably find that together, they don’t mesh so well. This is the most common problem, we event/wedding planners struggle with. Pick a theme, and stick to it. If you choose gold as your Christmas theme, don’t go adding rustic elements and beachy tokens. It’s either one or the other. This year, we have decided to to do a bright, natural theme, with fresh flowers, lots of green, and touches of white (see photos above). Sometimes less is more (actually most of the time, less is more)…
If you are struggling to pick a theme. I would suggest finding your ultimate Pin on Pinterest and theming your whole day around that image. Use your imagination. Don’t limit yourself to things that others have already done. Be creative and come up with something new. If you’re worried, try it first before going all out on Christmas.
Hopefully, these helpful hints will guide you on your way to becoming a successful Christmas host!