Holiday parties are the highlight of many people’s holiday season. They are a fun way to bring people together that might not be a normal part of your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions. This might include friends, coworkers, distant relatives, or loved ones that live afar. Pulling together the Christmas party that your guests will talk about for months to come? Now that can be a challenge.
As a Maine-based catering company, we are party experts. We’ve been a part of, and helped create some of the most beautiful weddings, corporate gatherings, Christmas parties, graduation parties, birthday celebrations, and more. We know the ins and outs of planning the ultimate party and on that same note- have learned what not to do.
We put together a few recommendations on how to plan the perfect Christmas/ holiday party. If at the end of this blog you have more questions or would like some help planning- we are always here for you!
Deck the halls & set the mood
No holiday party is complete without decorations. If you plan to host, plan to decorate! It will take the atmosphere and “Christmas cheer” at the party to a whole new level. This doesn’t mean you need to make your home or gathering space on the same level as Santa’s workshop but consider the basics. Garland, lights, mistletoe, poinsettias, a well-decorated tree, and stockings should do the trick. To set the mood, make sure to have a fireplace going to tie it all together. Don’t have a fireplace? Technology is amazing and will do the trick. Many online networks including YouTube and Netflix have recorded a fire and even plays the sound effects of one. Crackling wood and Christmas go together like fireworks and the fourth of July. They can play on a loop to keep the mood for the entirety of the party. Lastly, but certainly not least, music! Christmas music is what will tie it all together. Pandora has great holiday stations and saves you from having to create a playlist. We recommend a more neutral genre like Frank Sinatra or Michael Bublè Holiday radio.
Have a theme
We all know the traditional “ugly sweater” party- but that is not the only Christmas party theme. Picking a theme and letting your guests know can add a really fun element to your holiday event. Some ideas? You can be a little out there and do something comical and creative like your favorite Christmas character, the usual ugly sweaters, Christmas pajamas, or even pick a Christmas movie and have people dress to that. There is also the option to keep it classier- everyone loves an excuse to get dressed up! Let guests know it is a formal party or cocktail attire and let them wow you with the latest holiday fashions.
Give back to a charity
As much as the holidays are about gratitude, family, relaxation, and indulging- they are also about giving back to your community. It is not only important to find a way to get involved but also feels really, really good to do so. Consider doing a toy or food drive and having your guests bring a physical donation. The next day you will have items to donate to the cause of your choice and it will bring some good energy to your party as your guests will feel good for giving back. Here are some of our favorite Maine based charities to support:
Offer a Christmas themed cocktail
This is the part we are good at- and passionate about. Food and beverages can make or break an event. Crafting a signature cocktail is one of the best ways to add some holiday cheer! Now we know you can do a simple google search and have thousands of holiday cocktail recipes at your fingertips- but we will share with you one of ours.
The Rustic Taps Eggnog Martini
1oz. Vanilla Vodka
1oz. Baileys Irish Cream
Cinnamon or nutmeg to top
Optional- sugar rim
Consider hiring a mobile bar service to take the bartending responsibilities off of your plate and make sure your guests are served safely. With a cocktail like this- you will have a line for refills! You can read more about our mobile bar services here.
Consider hiring a caterer
We know we mentioned this in the last section about a bar service- and we promise we are not just saying this because we are a catering company. Hiring a caterer and mobile bar service for your event can take A LOT of responsibility off of your plate. It can seem more expensive, however, when you really break down the list of what you need to host an event it gets pricy- not even considering your time. There is the food, horderves, alcohol, cocktail mixers, glasses, napkins, stirrers, garnishes, plates, ice…. The list goes on and on. When you hire a catering company all of this is included in the price and it leaves you with very little to plan or worry about. Even most of the clean-up is included in the service. Interested in hiring Rustic Taps to host yours? Inquire here.
One thing we did not mention is the pandemic, and that was in hopes that this blog will be helpful in years to come when we are not amidst a global pandemic. However, if you are hosting a party this year be sure to consider ways to help your guests feel and stay safe. Masks, sanitizer, limited guest list, etc.
At the end of the day, your guests are most likely just excited to spend quality time with you and let loose for an evening. Don’t let planning an event cause you unnecessary stress in an already very hectic season! For our party planning lovers- we hope these recommendations were helpful. Have a blast at your holiday celebrations and we wish you a very Merry Christmas from the entire team at Rustic Taps & Catering!