man waering party hat with drink in hand and tinsel around neckWe have all been to so many Christmas parties.  What could be easier to organise?  Or is it so easy?

Stick to the same or change?

There may be an existing formula.  People may be upset if you depart from it, and if it’s working, why should you?  However, perhaps the formula is getting stale, and something new is needed to keep up the energy.

Try something new

If you are doing it for the very first time, give some thought to the arrangements.

  • Who is the party for – children or adults, or both; friends or family; work colleagues or club members?
  • What will they expect?
  • What will they enjoy?  (this is not necessarily the same thing)
  • What can you spend?

Christmas party expectations

Most people will expect a Christmas party to provide:

  • Traditional Christmas fare – turkey and stuffing, mince pies, Christmas cake;
  • Alcoholic drinks – sometimes too much;
  • Christmas crackers;
  • Party hats;
  • Christmas decorations.

Entertainment

There are lots of ways that a Christmas party can be helped along.  Here are some:

  • Magic show – you could hire a professional magician, or perhaps there is a family member who has conjuring skills;
  • Music – people are often much more willing to join in traditional songs or carols at Christmas than at any other time.  If you know the right people, or have a suitable budget, you could bring in a choir to perform and to involve all the party-goers;
  • Dance - this could be a disco, line dancing, barn dancing, or whatever your group is likely to enjoy the most;
  • Children’s entertainer – perhaps a clown.  Good for giving the parents a few minutes’ respite.
  • Command performance – get your guests to share their talents by putting on a show.  You may have an excellent singer, an accomplished pianist, or a passably good comedian.  If there are children, they might be able to put on a short drama.
  • Party games - these could be used to help people to get to know each other, or just for simple fun.  Here are some we’ve tried successfully:
  • Who am I? Pin the name of someone famous on every guest’s back.  They then have to ask questions of the other guests to discover who they are (asking for the name of the famous person is not permitted);
  • Anagrams. Guests are given anagrams of Christmas topics and are asked to solve them;
  • Limericks.  Guests are asked to compose and submit a limerick with a Christmas theme;
  • Pub quiz. A quizmaster poses a set of general knowledge questions to the guests, who are divided into tables.

Catering

  • Hotel - a hotel will do all of the catering, and there will be no washing-up or clearing-up to be done, but it is likely to be the most expensive option;
  • Caterers – generally less expensive than a hotel, and it may be possible to purchase your own drinks from a supermarket to keep costs down.  Check exactly what the caterer will provide – for instance does it include crockery and cutlery, and are table decorations and crackers included?
  • Do it yourself – unless you have remarkable skills, this is unlikely to be viable for anything other than small groups;
  • Collective catering – good for groups like the WI who have the necessary skills, but usually reliant on someone competent in charge (others might call them bossy) to ensure that everything is properly co-ordinated;
  • Bring and share – more of a free for all, but still needs co-ordination unless you are happy to risk having brussels sprouts but no turkey.

November 17, 2011 Filed under Party -

  

Ideas submitted by our readers on: Christmas party ideas

Great ideas

Thanks to Tim — July 24, 2012

Karabo

Thanks to Nicol — October 3, 2012

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