santa girlIt can be very satisfying to cater to friends, families and loved ones during the Christmas holidays. Taking the time to share food, fun and laughter in a happy, jovial manner truly embraces the spirit of Christmas. In deciding to have a party at home, one of the first things to consider is whether it will be formal or informal. Among the key things that need to be considered are the number of people to attend, the menu, the preparation of food and arrangement of decorations that is attractive and has a particular theme for the holidays. It’s also important to make a note of how much, if any, help will be available from friends or family members.

A formal Christmas party likely would include a small number of people – not more than 12 and likely fewer – who would be seated at a table for the duration of the meal. It means that place settings will have to be prepared and a decision made on whether the meal will be a three- or four-course dinner. The advantage of a formal dinner is that it is very organized, as seating has usually been predetermined, everyone around the table usually engages in pleasant conversation. Also, it provides a good opportunity to get to know and hear from everyone present without having to initiate any small talk, which some people are not comfortable doing. As the host of a formal dinner, you will also have the responsibility of keeping the meal flowing smoothly by having each course brought out at the perfect timing and to also be aware of any special needs that a guest may have.

In contrast, an informal Christmas party at home is organized in a different manner and does not have the predictability of a formal one. The fun and festive spirit of an informal holiday party comes from groups of people who mill around, move about freely to have conversations, laugh and enjoy munching on Christmas treats, goodies and other foods. Despite the easy, fun-filled atmosphere, it is necessary to plan the use of space and to think about the area that people will use or wander around. Making such a plan will facilitate contact between party goers so that the party spirit will pervade everywhere and put participants in a livelier mood.

Another consideration to make for an informal Christmas party among friends and family is if children will be present and about their ages, if they are allowed to attend. Children, even older ones, always need careful supervision. If children are going to attend a holiday party at home, arrangements should be made for adequate supervision of them and special activities should also be provided that can occupy their attention.

An important feature of a festive Christmas party at your home is the right mix of music. In selecting Christmas music, consider what tunes will be played at the start of the party as guests are welcomed and introduced to each other. The songs that can be played later to inject or enhance liveliness and create the right mood as the party goers bid farewell with ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays.’ Along with the music, Christmas decorations and even the food can also help to enliven a Christmas party at home. Food presentation that is interesting and looks festive due to the color and arrangement of the food items, as well as the decor of the plates and servers, infuses a sense of enjoyment among guests adds an intangible element to the level of excitement of the season for everyone.

Christmas parties at home can also be personalized with special cookies, treats, signature dishes, and foods that are ethnic. The presence of some ethnic food, but not an overwhelming quantity, which isn’t frequently enjoyed by guests will be different and will add something that is unique to the host. Also, the home party will give you the opportunity to share a special recipe or dish that has been passed down from previous generations just for the holidays. And that is a part of what a Christmas or holiday party at home is about. It’s to entertain family, friends and acquaintances with a personal style while all enjoy the merriment of the season of goodwill and good cheer.

Go Dawgs!