The festive season is almost upon us, and that can mean only one thing. It’s time to organise your famous Christmas party.

Christmas parties are an opportunity to catch up with friends, let your hair down and celebrate the festive season. After almost two years of virtual parties, this year’s festive events will likely be more extravagant than ever. It can be tricky to juggle work commitments, family life and a hectic social schedule in the festive season. Remember to take some time for yourself and schedule a few rest days where you can.

Follow these steps to throw the best Christmas party ever.

Pick a date

You need to find a date that doesn’t collide with any other major holiday parties in the area. The last thing you want to do is compete with someone else’s Christmas celebrations. Try to find a date that works for your close friends and family but isn’t too close to Christmas Day itself. Make sure to ask those invited when works best for them so you can be as accommodating as possible.

A weekday evening usually works better for people, and you don’t have to sacrifice your entire weekend. Throw the party around 7 pm, so people have time to get home and change after work. Make sure to decorate with Christmas balloons and party decorations for an extra festive touch.

Decide on a meal or snacks

A sit-down meal works nicely for a small group of your close friends. You can chat and enjoy the delicious three-course meal throughout the evening. It doesn’t need to be too formal either. You could serve a family favourite with a pint of beer if you like. The important thing is that you get to spend time together around the holidays season.

Buffet style works better for a larger party. People can drink and mingle while helping themselves to snacks throughout the night. No one wants to drink on an empty stomach, especially on a weekday night. If you’re organising a work party, make sure to send out questionnaires during planning to get an idea of food and drink that everybody likes so you can order the right amount of each. For a family and friends get-together, suggest a BYOB style to reduce cost and ensure everyone has something they’ll enjoy.

Set up a photo booth

A photo booth is a perfect addition to any holiday party. It adds a special touch to the evening and can entertain your guests for hours. Fill a box with a few props, like masquerade masks and silly glasses, for people to pose with. You could even include a chalkboard for guests to write cute messages on. You can keep the memories forever and make a scrapbook from the photos.

The photos you take can be used in future Christmas cards to personalise them, and to remind everyone of the good times you’ve shared together.

Have a theme

Set a theme for your party to give your guests something to chat about when they first walk in. For example, you could go for your ‘favourite Christmas movie’ or ‘favourite Christmas character.’ This will give guests the option to dress up and can help you choose matching decorations.

Themes such as ‘winter wonderland’ or ‘a snowy night’ will help set the scene without being too specific, which can be a great option if not everyone celebrates Christmas. Use cool toned fairy lights, cotton wool and tinsel to give the bright effect of snow throughout your venue.

Have fun this Christmas and make the most out of in-person social activities.