From office parties and casual drinks, the festive season is the most social time of year and a chance to gather with friends and family to celebrate with good food, good drinks and good company.
While hosting a Christmas dinner party for your nearest and dearest may seem like a lot of work on top of all the other festivities, we’ve got all the best tips you need to make sure your fabulous party will be a roaring success and remembered for years to come.
1. Plan Ahead
It can never be too early when it comes to planning your Christmas dinner party. The more you can do before the party starts, the less stress you’ll have to deal with on the day too. Planning the event weeks in advance will give you plenty of time to get everything, such as food, drinks, decorations, invites, the theme and your outfit, in order. Plus, it’ll make the whole experience more enjoyable.
Ideally, you’ll want everything to be ready the night before the party, so that on the morning of, you’ll have more time to get yourself ready and busy yourself with the last-minute finishing touches.
2. Send Invitations
A party isn’t a party without guests! We’d recommend sending out your invitations 2-3 weeks in advance to give people enough time to plan their schedules and find the perfect dinner party attire. While it’s easy to send an email invite or invite people on social media, making the extra effort to organise high-quality, handwritten paper invitations that match the theme of your party will feel much more special.
Ask guests to RSVP the week before your party so you can prepare enough food for everyone, but make sure you buy for a few more people just in case any unexpected guests arrive.
Image Credit: LuxDeco
3. Plan the Christmas Menu
Before planning the Christmas dinner party menu, make sure you’ve asked your guests for any dietary requirements so you can cater to all. Thankfully, Christmas food is fairly straightforward, with turkey and stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, fruitcake and gingerbread being the biggest crowd-pleasers.
If you’re cooking for a lot of people, we’d suggest sticking with the classics rather than being experimental. The last thing you want is to be trying a new recipe and feel overwhelmed if it doesn’t go to plan. Simple foods that you’ve made before won’t take as much time and energy, meaning you’ll be able to spend more time with your guests.
4. Decide what Drinks to Serve
Your drinks menu is just as important as your food and enables you to be a little more creative. You’ll want to serve a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in luxury designer glassware for everyone to enjoy. Winter warmers such as mulled wine, hot toddies, old fashioneds and their non-alcoholic counterparts are always a good choice. Toward the end of the night, you could also offer tea, coffee or an indulgent hot chocolate to sip on.
If you have an at-home bar, make sure it’s fully stocked with elegant barware, including shakers, jiggers, pitchers and ice buckets so you can be fully prepared for the evening. You could also create a menu board for guests to choose from as a fun way to make the night more memorable.
5. Design a Festive Table Setting
Impress your guests with a beautifully decorated dining table. Creating a table setting with luxury Christmas tableware such as dinner sets, cutlery, table runners, and serving dishes will instantly put your guests in the festive spirit. Using seasonal flowers that match the colour of your theme will also tie the look of the table together. Plus, don’t forget the crackers for a bit of festive fun between courses!
Knowing how to set a table properly will enhance the evening for both you and your guests. Our top tip is to sit down in multiple seats to test the height of your centrepieces, as well as the other decorations, to ensure it doesn’t look or feel overloaded and you can see the platters of food and other seats clearly.
Image Credit: LuxDeco
6. Set the Mood with Lighting
If you’re wanting to create a warm and cosy atmosphere, use different types of lighting to set the mood. Candles and tealights are a popular choice this time of year that will give your dining table a lovely, soft, warming glow. Just make sure they’re unscented, so they don’t take away from the aromas of the food.
If you’re worried about a candle being knocked over, place them in a secure hurricane lantern or use LED flameless candles instead. You could also use fairy lights to create an appropriately festive twinkle in the room.
7. Create a Playlist
While there may be a constant stream of chatter amongst guests, having some music playing quietly in the background can help to set the tone of the evening and fill any potential silence. When it comes to creating a playlist for a festive dinner party, you’ll certainly want to include some Christmas classics to get everyone feeling jolly.
Include a good mix of genres that you know most of your guests will enjoy. We’d also recommend playing lively tunes during the meal to lift the atmosphere and more mellow music at the end of the evening when people are winding down and getting ready to leave.
8. Organise Entertainment
Lastly, don’t forget to organise some kind of entertainment. Although the meal is the main portion of the party, you don’t want to risk your guests being bored while they wait for the food or when they’re relaxing after. Having a selection of board games and card sets available to play will add an exciting element and allow your guests to bond.
The most important thing to remember is that a party is meant to be fun. So try not to let yourself get too caught up in the logistics on the day, and make sure you have a good time!
Browse our luxury Christmas shop which is full of everything you need to deck the halls and throw the best festive feast.
If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift, take a look at our luxury Christmas gift guide which features the best things to place under the tree.