Planning the Perfect Christmas Party

By HOPP Team
Feature Image: Amie Bone Flowers

A wonderful year warrants a fitting celebration; indulgent food, extravagant decor, a few surprises, and plenty of good company to share it all with. 

Whether you are planning the annual company christmas party, or throwing a mass get-together for a long list of friends and family, it is vital that you begin putting plans in place with your party suppliers months in advance of the December rush. 

Luckily, that doesn’t mean you need to panic. Rather than getting worked up over the party planning festivities, follow our guide to planning an event worthy of the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas Party Themes

Settling on a theme is a wonderful way to tie the whole event together. Everything, from your catering and entertainment to your decor, set design, and tableware should be carefully chosen and designed to immerse your guests within the celebrations, so settle on an idea early-on in your party planning process.

Make the most of the bespoke services offered by your party suppliers, and call upon your party planning skills to create an event that will pay homage to a successful year.

‘Traditional’ Yuletide

A classic, red, green and gold christmas will never truly go out of style. Mulled wine, advocaat snowballs, fireworks, a festive jazz band and plenty of guests to dance around a twenty foot tree are just highlights of the most wonderful time of the year. Instead of the typical twelve-vegetable roast, talk to your christmas party catering team about putting a lighter twist on the traditional fare; perhaps a seasonal root veg tart, followed by pulled pork and a spiced panna cotta. 

Nordic Nights

A teepee, festooned with pea lights and cosy spaces will make for a relaxed, family-friendly gathering. Hire plenty of comfortable furniture and create a relaxed, fireside area in which your guests can talk, drink, and enjoy a quiet moment amid all of the excitement. Boozy hot chocolates and rum cocktails will ward off any wintry chills, and an acoustic band will encourage conversation long into the night.

Snowed In

If you would rather soft-pedal the decor, then crisp whites, silvers, and blues will evoke all the magic of a midwinter celebration. Hire teepee for the outdoors, and have a lighting technician cast a calming, cool glow over your wintry decorations. Provide your guests with a formal dress code complete with three-piece suits, evening gowns, and faux fur trimmings. Begin the evening with a champagne reception and trays of sweet and savoury hors d'oeuvres designed by artisanal party caterers, and end the evening with a display of fireworks set to live music.  

If you need any more encouragement, Pantone’s colour of the year for 2020 is blue, which gives you a more contemporary colour palette for your party suppliers to work with. 

Modern Minimalism

Let tradition catch up with style by putting a contemporary twist on classic decor. Contrast pine and mistletoe centrepieces against stark white linens and glass baubles. Work with your florist to create unique designs with winter’s elegant offerings. Give your guests a luxurious fine dining experience, and rent a pop-up bar with a selection of festive cocktails on offer. 

The Venue

As anyone used to party planning will know, the right venue holds great power over the atmosphere; not only should it accommodate a substantial guest list, it should also complement your theme. 

Similarly, an office christmas party needn’t take place in the office; although it’s a little easier for your guests to travel to, it is difficult to evoke the charm and opulence of Christmas and to celebrate the end of a fantastic year within the workplace.

When researching your Christmas party venues, you should remember to…

  • Start Your Viewings Early
    Christmas is never further from our minds than it is in the summertime, but planning ahead is the key to ensuring that the year ends on a high note. 
  • Ask the Right Questions
    Can the venue accommodate all of your guests? Are drinks and catering included within the price? When will the space be available for set-up? Can you bring in external party suppliers? 
  • Book Your Event Months in Advance
    You should commit to a venue as soon as you are confident that you have found the right space. The Christmas period is a busy time for everyone; you won’t be able to book your party suppliers until you know the date, and issuing your invitations early will give them plenty of time to mark it into their diaries, and arrange for childcare or accommodation.

Christmas Party Activities

Nothing evokes such a strong sense of nostalgia as December, which means that a Christmas party warrants a little more creativity when it comes to entertaining your guests. 

A photo theatre featuring an epic backdrop, such as snow-blown Narnia or New York City at Christmas, and props will provide a great draw for guests of all ages. A next level photo booth, the pictures can be branded with your company logo and taken home by your guests. Have guests give their emails to make it an effective, GDPR compliant business tool.

It can be nigh on impossible to coordinate a roomful of guests into a classic game of charades or 20 questions especially after a few jolly cocktails. If you are hoping to get everyone actively involved with the entertainment, then create an immersive experience with roaming performers, from sparkling stilt walkers to wandering magicians and dancers.

For something out of the ordinary, combine your drinks with your entertainment and hire an immersive bartender to infuse your refreshments with the christmas spirit. 

If you want to get everyone singing and dancing, then hire a stage for a gospel choir, 1920s ensemble, jazz band or DJ. Work with your lighting and sound technician to design a dance floor away from the bar and seating area. 

Christmas Party Entertainment for younger guests

If you are throwing a family party, then giving the kids their own entertainment will give everyone the opportunity to relax and indulge in the Christmas cheer. 

You might wish to keep with tradition by inviting Santa himself straight from the North Pole; cordon off a quiet area, and hire a photographer to catch those precious moments with The Man himself. 

For longer events, keep them entertained with a dedicated childcare team, who will provide Christmas-themed activities, readings, and a touch of magic to ensure that your party is enjoyed by even the youngest of guests.

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Written by our Team of HOPP Experts.