For many people, it is the days and weeks leading up to the holidays that provide all of the fun and excitement of getting together with family and friends to make the holidays such a wonderful time of year. For those planning a holiday gathering, simple checklists can make organizing a fabulous event a breeze.
To organize a successful event, theme selection, guest list, date, location, menu, and activities must be chosen. Creating a memorable holiday event this year is made far easier with a straightforward timeline, a small notebook, and the many online resources for Christmas party invitations, holiday cards, decorations, and thank you cards.
One Month In Advance: Theme, Date, & Guest List
Christmas parties come in all shapes and sizes. They can be formal dinners, black tie cocktail affairs, romping snowball fights off the back porch, cookie decorating or tree trimming parties, or something entirely different. Write the theme at the top of page one and start adding decoration ideas.
Your guest list is the most important part of your plan, as it will determine many other details. Be sure to take travel needs (and winter weather) into account when deciding whom to invite and how much notice to provide your guests. Create a guest list in the notebook and verify all addresses.
Now begins the fun of designing unique Christmas party invitations and holiday cards that feature family photos, personalized messages, and other personal touches. As an added convenience, preprinted address labels, matching thank you cards and decorations can be ordered for that extra special touch and to save precious time. Needed supplies and decorations may include streamers, favors, balloons, and food service items.
Two To Three Weeks Prior
Christmas party invitations should be sent out at least two to three weeks prior to the event with a response request. This is also the time to plan the menu and activities. Finger foods are by far the easiest food to serve. If the gathering will be a formal dinner, it must be stated in the Christmas party invitations. As an added safety precaution, as guests RSVP, ask if they have any food allergies.
Gift exchanges, cookie and tree decorating, and countless other traditions can add fun and provide entertainment. Games such as Name That Christmas Carol or Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph can be used, or the kids can entertain guests with a skit in which they complete a holiday related sentence, such as, “A good thing about Christmas is…” The responses can be enlightening, charming, and outright hysterical. Have a few extra games and activities ready in the background, just in case. If supplies and decorations were not ordered along with the invitations and holiday cards, now is the time to get them.
One Week Before
Now is the time to ensure that everyone has responded to the Christmas party invitations. If no response was received, take a few minutes and contact those guests to see if it was an oversight or if the response was lost in the mail. An accurate guest count helps in preparing the correct amount of food and ensuring everything else that might be needed is available.
If a caterer is to be used, be sure to contact them and clarify instructions, guarantees, and the estimated guest count. Unless decorating the Christmas tree is one of the activities, this is a good time to get the family together and trim the tree in the relative tranquility of the early holiday season.
One Day Before
This is the day to complete all of the major housework and to prepare any food or drinks that can be stored overnight. Some of the decorating can also be done. Take a few minutes and walk through the home, looking at things the way a guest would. Very often, something may appear out of place or at risk of an inadvertent bump. Additionally, take a moment to ensure that all of the necessary bathroom supplies are readily available.
After all of the planning and effort at creating unique Christmas party invitations and holiday cards, selecting a fun theme, creating a guest list, building a menu, and putting everything in place, the party day has finally arrived! On the day of he event, finish preparing food and drinks that couldn’t be done ahead of time, put out the last of the decorations, and welcome family and friends into your home to share the joy of the holidays. Relax, smile, and don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!
Chris Harmen enjoys creating colorful, one of a kind holiday cards, delightful photo Christmas party invitations, and matching thank you cards to set the tone and stage for memorable holiday parties that are looked forward to year after year by family, friends, and neighbors alike.