“There be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of Christmases long long ago…“
With December heading our way, it means Christmas Day is nearer for all of us. And it means, 2021 is soon coming to an end. Ever since COVID happened, time seems to pass very fast. It felt like I had spent 2019 till now without doing much, because of the few months of circuit breaker blocks over these few years.
During this COVID, I realised the biggest takeaway from staying at home too long is that my memory seems to lag on me at times. Not that I had a good memory to begin with. I figured that I might had crammed my mind with too many worries over school and work.
And somehow, it seems to have worn many down, and friends around me us. I thought I would do a video chat for Christmas this year, but that’s not really my Skype of thing. And thank goodness, the release of news on the increase in social pax per group had brighten up my day.
After endless nights of binge-watching my Netflix, I almost forgot how parties feel like. And do you know that parties actually provide us with lots of unexpected benefits? Yes, they do, except minus all those intense drugs and alcohol-filled parties we see in dramas and movies. Socialising actually helps to boost our memory, parties help us to sleep better, and parties are mood boosters.
After that, I immediately grabbed my phone in lighting speed and texted my friends. Since the government has increased the social limitation to up to 5 per group, my friends and I were jumping in joy, as we finally can get to plan for our annual Christmas party!
Many of you might need some help in the party planning after a loooooooong stay at home so we will be sharing our step-by-step guide on how to throw the best Christmas party!
1. Create Your Own Party Theme
At every party, it is important that you have a theme. This is what I call the creative session. Everyone will do wild brainstorming and agree on a particular theme that stands out. This way, everyone can visualise how the party will look like as they prepare their costumes and the venue. One I had was on Pyjamas theme where all of us had to be dressed in our PJs. Another one was to do a onesie party. Though these are very common themes, it didn’t matter as my friends and I got to try them out together!
Here is the transition of themes my friends and I had over the years:
- Dress Nice Nice ah (How nice ah? = Wear dresses, look piaoliang together)
- Wear Christmas colours (Green & Red; It felt as though we were walking Christmas Trees, SO BRIGHT)
- Errr, Lupsup like White Christmas (Beyond comfort already, it was a white and denim year)
- Pyjamas Paaaaaarty (Sleepover matters at this point)
Themes are what set the party mood, so don’t limit yourself to what you can possibly come up with.
2. Gather Your Friends at DrawNames
Christmas has got my friends and I feeling extra Santa-mental. This is when we will gather and talk over almost everything. Our favourite activity was to draw names to buy a gift for our secret santee! P.S, may my secret santa this year hear my wishes HAHA.
The host can start the ball rolling by collating all the names and emails of the party participants. Set a budget for gifts. The participants will get an invitation link via email to join in the name drawing. Once everyone has drawn the name of their santee, the mind game begins muahaha~
It can be a bit of a headache when you run out of gift ideas. If you are unsure what to get, you can request anonymously for your santee to fill in his/her wishlist in DrawNames.
3. Prepare For the D-Day
For beginners, planning for a Christmas party can make you feel like you are stuck in a zoo. I say this because everyone will be very excited and want to have a say in everything. It can be hard to manage everyone’s overflowing enthusiasm and excitement to contribute. So, to make things fast and efficient, it usually works well when you delegate roles to each person. One might take charge of games, the other on food, another on decorations, costumes, etc.
Don’t worry about having to dedicate one role to one person, you can have overlapping people in each department. Most importantly, it is recommended to few people in each section to keep things going.
P.S, don’t forget to prepare the gift for your santee! It’s the season of giving~
If you need some prompts, here is my shopping list:
- Sojuuuuu (Because I’m not a fan of beers or wine or whiskey or vodka, or whatever else you name it)
- Christmas-themed Plates, Utensils and Cups
- Fairylights (Whatever shapes that makes you happy, I like the star ones.)
- Christmas Tree (If you don’t have any)
- Food Ingredients
- Snacks (Potato Chips, Popcorn, etc.)
- Table Cloth (Red or Green to fit the mood)
- Candles (Candlelit dinner or to scent up the room, you decide)
- Baking supplies (As part of Christmas activity)
- Marshmallows (To toast and for s’mores!!!!! Yekkkk, my favourite!)
- Polaroid Films (Girls being girls, you need to stock up abit on this. Because having 5 person means taking the same picture for 5 times HAHA)
- Film Rolls (I love being extra, IPhone is not grand enough to look extra)
4. Hoho-Host, Fire Up the Space
To set the mood up, the host can pre-prepare by setting the lights to fit the atmosphere. Host can prepare fairy lights to keep the atmosphere light and dreamy. Or else, you can keep your usual light on. To add to the mood, you can consider buying some scented candles and lighting them up.
The main spaces to decorate is:
- Gathering space
- Dining Tables with cloths and some ham and turkeeeey
I will recommend for the gathering space to be in the living room. Fill the space with beanbags, comfy cushions, soft toys, fairylights, candles, and photo frames. Fill up with whatever you can think of that will fit the mood of the party.
It helps, especially when you have a large group of friends coming for the party. In this case, you can only have up to 5 people. The living room is the best also when your friends are having a sleepover party at your home. So, with this in mind, remember to prepare mattresses and sofas to sleep in!
Eating during the party is important too. Food and bonding go well together. My friends seem to like having sausages, ham, mashed potatoes, and turkey as our annual menu during Christmas parties. If you want to lessen the time from washing up the dishes, you can get some fancy plates, utensils, and cups from Daiso. They are usually Christmas-themed.
5. Being Present is The Best Present in A Party
Yes, it might seem insignificant but your presence matters! Imagine turning up to find a friend missing, UNLESS emergencies, I would not take laziness as a valid reason to skip the party. I will personally go up to your house to drag you down to the party. If you don’t want to see me standing outside your house, holding a……. hehe candy cane~ (Attention: Everyone)
Ever since COVID, we don’t get many chances to hang out in a group of more than 2. So, cherish those around you by showing that you appreciate spending time with them! <3
From here, let us get the party moving!
6. Let Us Dress You, Mr. Christmas Tree
With the decorations ready, everyone can take turns to put up ornaments on the tree. Personally, decorating the Christmas tree makes me emotional for some reason. Somehow, I felt that the Christmas tree is a wishing tree. It is a communication way for me to share my ride of the year with the tree.
Of course, we mustn’t forget to put our presents under the Christmas Tree! This is one of the highlights when throwing a Christmas party. If the presents are not enough to surround the tree, you can grab some empty decorated boxes and soft toys to fill up the space. It will provide you with much warmth just by looking at it.
7. Prepare For Pot Luck and Eat!
Usually, my friends and I will go on a potluck-style for dinner. We will set the dinner menu before we meet. Before heading over to the gathering venue, we will gather at a supermarket and buy ingredients for the dishes. If the host wants to wait till this point to get the food shopping on snacks, alcohol, and whatsoever done, go ahead!
There is a budget that we need to keep in mind, of course. From there, we will cook up the meals together, with a ‘head’ chef in charge of each dish.
You can imagine the satisfaction when everyone finishes their dishes. For some reason, you will feel touched for cooking up a whip and when the meal made it to the dining table. It feels like….. real adulting.
8. Sit in a Circle and…… Cry?
Not to cry, of course, unless the mood gets there. This is where you can start to warm up with games and all the gossips. Card games are welcome at this point. Usually in this section, we take time to share what is happening in our usual days to get everyone updated with our progress. Some might feel like they don’t want to talk about work or school during off time. But, in our case, it is a way for us to rant to one another so we won’t keep things bottled in. It is also a way for us to share our joy with friends too, to let one another know that we are doing well.
This is where you insert in your alcohol and snacks time. In a very chill atmosphere, get your heart-to-heart talking started.
9. Exchange Presents
Hello santas, this is the time to reveal your secret santee! During the exchange, we usually have drum rolls or to let the santee guess who their santas are. We start the ball rolling by playing scissors, paper, stone and the loser will start to reveal his/her santee. Hehe, it might not be hard to guess for close friends. But you never know, some friends still surprise me till today. During Secret santa, you will have 2 kinds of friends.
First, the Kaypoh ones who like to pretend they are your santa when they ain’t. Secondly, the true santas who play mind games and can hide their identity real good~ I had a santa who declared she was my santa from the beginning, I thought it was just a fake but turned out she wasn’t HAHA.
10. Grab Popcorn, Cuddle on the Sofa, and Watch a Movie
What better way to have to wind down by watching movies together? Okay, we might have ran out of shows to watch thanks to circuit breakers and working from home. But, nothing beats watching a show together with your friends. Set a movie marathon or a singing night, you name it. This can be more exciting than it seems when you are planning.
Some shows that you can watch (From my experience):
- Classic christmas shows
- Netflix marathons
- Watching rerun of sad Taiwan movies (小幸運!!!)
If you need some movie inspirations, you can check out our recommended list of Netflix shows!
11. Sleepover Mood
After the movies, you can make some handmade s’more or hot chocolate if you are feeling it. I imagine the scene to look as though we are crowding around the campfire and holding marshmallows for toasting hehehe. Even without a barbecue pit, you can toast the marshmallows through the frying pans. It is domestic-style camping.
S’mores are easy to make too, all you need to prepare are crackers, marshmallows, and chocolates. Here is a simple s’mores recipe that you can refer to.
As for hot chocolate, we can do it simply. Just boil milo and throw in some marshmallows. Our favourite version of hot chocolate to soothe our heart and mind.
Yikes to 12. You can’t Have a Party if You Don’t Clean Up
I know, I know. I am not a fan of cleaning up too. But, you wouldn’t want to hear mom nagging over the dirty aftermath of parties. So, take some initiative in helping the host to clear up a little. Show your appreciation to your host by helping to neaten up the sleeping space, dining area and most importantly, clear the kitchen mess from cooking.
This is the part of the deal when you throw a Christmas party. You may only leave after you clear~
To Sum it Up on How To Throw a Christmas Party
It might not be the best guide, but hopefully, this helps you to have a structure on how Christmas parties goes. Christmas is a festive of giving and despite the COVID situation, I am happy that we get to celebrate and end off 2021 on a good note. Hopefully, 2022 will be better for many as we try to find our footing again.
Psst! The social restriction rule of 5 still apply, so for the sake of everyone’s health and safety, please do not gather in groups larger than 5~
In advance, I wish you and your loved ones a merry merry christmas and a good holiday <3
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