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Christmas Party Games -- Plan a Merry Event!

Aug 17, 2007
Who can resist the joys of the holiday season all the decorations, traditions, contagious cheer and endless parties! If the holiday spirit has swayed you into hosting a Christmas party you've come to the right place! With a little planning you can host a memorable Holiday soiree that will be remembered long into the new year!

It's Just Around the Corner - Plan Early!
In case you haven't noticed (but we're sure you have), the month of December is crazy busy and gets crazier as Christmas comes near. Best advice on this topic is to PLAN EARLY! Planning in November will assure you have time to organize the party and still tackle your own Christmas "To-do" list. You'll also be able to get the invitations out before your guest Christmas calendars fill up.

Mind the Pocketbook - Set a Budget
The first, and most important, step is to set a budget! Determine how much you can comfortably spend. Setting a budget (and sticking to it) will not only keep some Christmas cash in your pocket but will also help guide your party planning decisions.

The Whole Crew and Aunt Sue Too - Make the Guest List
Be realistic about how many guest you can handle. Take into account the size of your place and the work involved in entertaining a group. Remember too that 'tis the season to be jolly and someone will likely bring an extra guest or two. Better to have a shorter list of closest friends and family unless you plan to have some hosting help and can afford to feed and entertain a larger crowd.

Any Day Now - Choose a Day and Time
'Tis the season for full social calendars so choose your date early and wisely. If possible, it's best to give guest at least three weeks notice. Saturday is usually the best day for most people to attend but Sundays can be good too. Remember to consider your schedule, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the party and tend to your Christmas "To-do" list.

It's All about the Food - Plan the Menu
Your budget, guest list and party time will help guide this step. You can choose a potluck event a catered affair or anything in between. Perhaps a formal dinner and invite guest to bring their favorite dessert. The only rule on party food is the time of the party. If the hours of your party include the dinner hour you should serve heavier entree foods. Evening parties can serve lighter to heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Don't forget the beverages! Alcoholic drinks are not mandatory so don't feel obligated to serve them. Perhaps wine options are a better fit for your affair. If you do offer alcoholic drinks be sure to have alternatives for those who don't drink and designated drivers. Keep the bar drinks simple to avoid the added work of playing bar-tender and the extra expense of stocking the bar. Should any of your guests have one-too-many be sure they do not drive home.

Get the Party Started - Plan the Fun
Above all else your Christmas party should be fun! Plan fun activities to get the party started and keep it going.
- Christmas party games. Games are a great way to get your guest talking and mingling.
- Trim the tree. Have all your tree decorations out and let your guest trim your tree.
- Christmas caroling. Take the party outside and sing carols for your neighbors.
- Decorate cookies. Prepare a table with cookie icings and sprinkles and let your guest decorate the cookies. They get to take their decorated cookies home.
- Exchange gifts. Either secret Santa or grab bag style. Be sure to include this on your invitations along with a spending limit.

Ya'll Come - Send the Invitations
Now that the party plans are in place, it's time to send out the invitations. Remember, three weeks notice (or more) is best so get those out ASAP!

It's the Thought that Counts - Party Favors
This is not always necessary but it is nice to give each guest some small token of thanks for their attendance. This can be as simple as a slice of cake to-go to a beautifully wrapped party favor gift. Again the watch cry is...budget!

Count Down - Final Steps
Shop for decor and party accessory items 2 weeks before. This will give you time to find any items that prove hard to locate. If you plan to order Christmas party games or other party supplies online, shop three to four weeks before the party.

Buy Food items and beverages the night before the party. Also, prepare any food that can be prepared ahead of time the night before. This will give you time to decorate, prepare food and get ready for your guest.

There you have it, plans for a Merry Christmas party! Have fun and remember, no matter what the budget or theme your guest will appreciate the time spent sharing the season's joys with family and friends Above all else, keep it fun and you can't go wrong!
About the Author
Terri Hunziker founded GamesAndLetters.com. Games and Letters provides hundreds of print-and-play games -- Christmas party games, bridal shower games, baby shower games and more! For immediate access to hundreds of fun games and ideas for your next party, visit, gamesandletters.com.
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