Whether you’re hosting a Christmas get-together before you head home for the main event, or ditching the family for a spectacular feast with friends, you can’t beat a festive gathering with your nearest and dearest. Without nagging parents to worry about, hosting Christmas chez vous can be as creative or as laid-back as you’d like. But if you’re stuck for inspiration, here’s how to host the ultimate Friendmas…
Photo Credit - Etsy
Create a guest list
There’s something sophisticated about sending invites to your friends in the build up to the main event. Make the invites as elaborate – or humorous – as you’d like, and you could even leave a space for dietary requirements, if you don’t know them already. That way you’ll avoid any awkward upsets at the Christmas dinner table!
Decide on the venue
Assuming you’ll want to host the jamboree at your own humble abode, there’ll be plenty of decorating and food prep to lose yourself in. But if you’re short on space you might want to reconsider the venue, and instead decide to host the supper at whichever friend has the biggest space. There’s nothing fun about squeezing 10 people around an intimate table for two.
Or, if you really want to push the boat out, club together to hire a private venue space, and even a private chef to prepare the lavish feast. The Dining Abode, The Platter Project, and The Blonde Butler come high up on our list of dinner party spreads.
Decide on your décor
Whether you want to go tacky and garish – think multi-coloured tinsel and flashing plastic Santas – or understated and chic, hosting Friendmas means you have free reign on the décor scheme. Tacky will guarantee a few giggles, particularly if you have Wham's Last Christmas playing in background, but if you want to make it classy and sophisticated, invest in as many candles as you can find, that way your lighting will be soft and ambient.
Festoon your table with scatterings of confetti and festive foliage, add individual place settings with photographs or adorable little gifts for a personal touch, and of course make sure your Christmas tree is decked out in suitably festive attire. If you really want to get your guests in the festive spirit, make sure you have Christmas classics playing in the background – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey!
Choose the menu
If you want to prepare the whole shebang yourself, you’ll certainly have your work cut out – just be sure to write yourself a schedule. We can almost guarantee that you won’t stick to it, but having some kind of order – no matter how chaotic it becomes – will help you get back on track when you’re just about ready to scream. To make life easier, assign different jobs to your friends so they can lessen the burden for you. It’s fun to know you’ve all chipped in anyway.
If you’re the host, it makes sense to prepare the larger dishes in your oven, but smaller side dishes are easy to transport so it’s worth asking your friends if they’re happy to get on board. Cocktails, drinks and desserts are perfect pass-the-buck dishes, that way you might even have time for a mulled wine and mince pie before your guests arrive.
Enforce a dress code
Christmas jumpers, elf outfits, Santa suits and sparkly sequins – Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry, in a hideous Christmas jumper and flimsy paper hat. Make fancy dress mandatory, so your dinner table will look like an invite to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
Choose a secret Santa
There’s no point forking out on gifts for every single person, instead, choose a budget and pick a name from a hat. It’s actually pretty amusing delving into the delights of what you can buy for under a tenner. Our advice on the present front? Humour wins every time.
Get the games on the go
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an obligatory games round, but instead of standard charades and Monopoly, make game time part of your festive plan. Pass the parcel and musical chairs are always a winner when paired with a few glasses of Prosecco, or if you’re feeling particularly creative, you can host your own Christmas pub quiz. Trivia goes down a storm at a festive get-together, especially when you’re the quiz master!
Other games worth a gander include: guess that tune; karaoke; the name game; and charades. Or, if you want a game guaranteed to make the group laugh, go with Pictionary or Cards Against Humanity – riotously funny after a few festive tipples.
Go for gimmicky extras
Put a fancy-dress box together filled with ridiculous props – think masks, hats, wigs and capes – then scatter disposable cameras around the room so that people can snap away throughout the night. It’s so much more fun not knowing what the picture is going to turn out like, especially when props are thrown into the mix! Plus, waiting to have the pics developed means you’ll have something to look forward to once the night is over.