5 Tips To Throw a Cheer-Filled Christmas Soirée

Cue Mariah Carey’s Christmas album and put that bad boy on repeat.

Let me guess—you were put in charge of throwing this year’s Christmas party for the neighborhood and you have no idea how to entertain and feed a houseful of guests without breaking the bank. Well, have no fear, because ESTATENVY has got you covered.

Either you love hosting parties because you can’t stand anyone else being in control, or you hate it because the thought of entertaining 20-some people stresses you out beyond belief. This year, get ready to plan the ultimate Christmas soirée with less pressure and more cheer.
 
From decorations that will make your home dazzle like a winter wonderland to a hot chocolate bar that Santa Claus himself would approve of, these five hosting tips will have you and your guests rockin’ around the Christmas tree all evening long.
 
Prepare on the Eve of the Party
 
There’s nothing worse than putting the honey-glazed holiday ham in the oven at 6:30 p.m. when your guests are supposed to be arriving at 7 p.m. On the eve of your party (or a few days before that), make sure you have all of the ingredients and decorations needed—that way you’re not running to the grocery store fighting over the last gallon of eggnog the morning of.
 
According to Instagram influencer and Designer of Chalk Couture Tara Panasiuk, the key to a holly jolly shindigy is to do most of the high maintenance prep work as soon as you send out the invitations.
 
“Once the date is set and invites are sent out, I figure out the theme of my decorations,” said Panasiuk. “Planning the food and deciding if you are cooking or catering is another thing to do far in advance. Another pro tip—once your guests begin RSVPing, make sure to keep track of who’s coming so you have enough seating.”
 
A Dash(er) of Decorating
 
This may or may not be the most important tip of them all. As the hostess, you want your guests to feel like they’re entering the North Pole when they walk through your front door—minus the below freezing temperatures. You can’t go wrong covering your home in classic red and green. If you want to add a more elegant vibe to your home, go for white, gold and silver decorations.
 
No, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy all new furniture to fit your party’s color scheme. Adding a few throw pillows fronted by reindeer, snowflakes or the infamous lyrics to “Let it Snow” on your couch and chairs will do just the trick. Oh, and don’t forget the wreath and Christmas tree!
 
“This year, I’m going for a fun winter wonderland theme and including all things white, silver and red,” said Panasiuk. “Since Christmas is my favorite time of the year, I decorate my entire home. I love putting trees in each room because I think it adds a homey touch.”
 
Believe it or not, your kids could come in handy when it comes to decorating. Get your paper and scissors out because this paper snowflake garland is the perfect project for you and your family to craft together. DIYing your holiday home decor can save you a penny or two and according to Panasiuk, “handmade pieces are always extra special to hang throughout your home.”
 
Rejoice-Worthy Recipes
 
Finger foods and smaller-plate meals are perfect for a holiday party. Keep in mind, you won’t have room for all of your guests at your kitchen table—so, you want to serve foods that are mess-free and that can be eaten without a steak knife. Having an array of appetizers in a buffet style is a hassle-free way for your guests to serve themselves food.
 
When it comes to displaying your foods on your counter, have a designated space for your savory items and another for the sweets. Speaking of sweets, Panasiuk’s go-to party dessert is one her and her mom have baked together since she was little.
 
“My favorite dessert to make for any party is called striped delight—made out of chocolate pudding, graham cracker crumbs, cool whip and topped off with chocolate chips and peppermint,” said Panasiuk.
 
Need a savory supplement? This Caprese salad Christmas wreath or cheesy pull-apart bread in the shape of a tree are two recipes that will have your guests singing “Joy to the World” with every bite.
 
A Hot Chocolate Bar Without the Spirits
 
Rather than spend all your bucks on booze, why not opt for a hot chocolate bar for all ages to sip and enjoy at your Christmas party? There’s nothing more toasty than a steaming hot cup of cocoa. Display all of your scrumptious toppings, hot cocoa packets, Keurig machine, cute holiday coffee mugs and candy canes for stirring on a bar cart and ta-da!
 
“I always have a hot chocolate bar set up and I go all out with marshmallows, peppermint, cookie crumbles and caramel,” said Panasiuk. “Hot chocolate stations are my favorite because everyone gets to make their own individual cup of hot cocoa and add whatever toppings they want.”
 
Reindeer Games
 
Whether it’s via a classic game of Christmas charades or watching your football team kill it on-screen, providing lively entertainment for your guests is what will set your party apart from the rest.
 
“I always aim to provide fun at everyone’s fingertips,” said Panasiuk. “I turn on some Christmas music to set the tone, but sometimes that gets switched to a sports game—but hey, that’s entertainment, right?”
 
The best types of games are the ones you don’t need a million different pieces for. In an empty salad bowl, have all you guests throw in a piece of paper with a Christmas-related word or phrase. Divide your party into teams and you have yourselves a lively game of charades. Depending on how large your party is, you can host a white elephant or Secret Santa bash. After all, it is the season of giving.
 
If you follow these tips, you’ll surely have yourself a merry little Christmas party. In the words of Clement Moore, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”