How To Be a Great Holiday Host at Your Christmas Party

Unconventional Love Cocktail at TIFF Pop Up Lounge at Omni King Edward Hotel
Unconventional Love Cocktail at TIFF Pop Up Lounge at Omni King Edward Hotel

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s not too early to start planning your holiday party. Many people receive so many invitations to holiday gatherings that you’ll want to have your invitation sent via email or mail in mid-November. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your party runs smoothly and that you are fulfilling your duties as a host. If you want your party to be a success, please read our tips on how to be a great holiday host.

Christmas Tree Dec 2017
Decorate a corner of your room for photo ops.

Specify Who Is Invited on the Invitation

Specify on your invitation whether the invitation is for the guest alone or whether a guest is allowed to bring a plus one. You need to know the exact number of your guests (as close as possible, anyway) in order to have sufficient food and drinks on hand. You don’t want to find out as your party is just beginning that your friend Paige has brought her friend Kristen who has brought her friend Jason who has brought his friend Dylan. You also may not want people that you don’t know in your home since you don’t know their backgrounds, whether they are trustworthy and whether they will do drugs at your party. Since you don’t know where they’re headed after your party, their activities could lead to them having to hire a drug possession lawyer .

Personalize the Menu

The main event of most holiday parties is the food. When you have your guests over for a Christmas party, they will expect appetizers or dinner and, it is not enough for it to be delicious. You have to be prepared for the wide range of dietary preferences and restrictions that your guests might have.

However, there is a very simple solution to this. When sending out invitations, ask your guests whether they have dietary restrictions or preferences such as vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, gluten-free, or Keto (low carb). This initial step will help you plan the menu. You should try to include at least two appetizers or dishes for each dietary preference so that all of your guests can enjoy the food at your holiday party. These Curried Cauliflower Chickpea, Sweet Potato, Spinach Tacos  can be made vegan or vegetarian and are a great appetizer to serve at holiday parties.

Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Sweet Potato and Spinach Tacos
Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Sweet Potato and Spinach Tacos make a great vegetarian appetizer for your holiday party.

Defuse Uncomfortable Situations

Christmas can be a sensitive time for people; some people are stressed about having to lspend a lot of money while others are wondering how they will get everything done by Christmas Day. So you may find that your guests could be slightly on edge. As a host, it’s a good idea to monitor the mood of your guests at all times and at the first sign of tension, make sure you lighten the mood by suggesting your guests play party games such as charades or Mafia, have your guests read the parts of A Christmas Carol or sharing some funny anecdotes about Christmases past.

Add a Surprise Element to Your Holiday Party

Adding a surprise element to your holiday party will have your guests talking about it afterwards. I remember one Christmas party where the hostess placed a wrapped gift on each guest’s dinner plate. The gifts were not expensive (mine was a lipstick case with mirror, probably from the Dollar Store, nevertheless I loved it). Other surprise ideas could be decorating a corner of your living room with a mini Christmas tree, candles and pine and cedar boughs for festive photos, asking each guest to bring a used book to be placed in a Santa sack for a mystery book exchange or having one of your guests perform a festive song on the guitar or piano.

Unconventional Love Cocktail at TIFF Pop Up Lounge at Omni King Edward Hotel
Pay attention to how much your guests are drinking at your holiday party.

Avoid potentially dangerous situations

One thing that you can count on when hosting a holiday party is there will be at least one guest who decides to drink too much. As a host, it is very important that you pay attention to how much your guests are drinking, especially if they are driving. You don’t want your guests to incur impaired driving charges and/or injure or kill someone on the road. There are some cases where you may even be liable. To prevent any tragic circumstances from occurring, ensure that your drinking guests have a designated driver to drive them home or that they will be arranging to get home via a taxi or Uber. Other tips include not allowing your guests to serve themselves; stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party ends and asking your inebriated guests to leave their car keys with you.

Music sets the mood for the entire event

The soundtrack to your holiday party is extremely important. The first thing you need to do is have a diverse playlist of holiday music such as the classics from Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and David Bowie; holiday music CDs from your favourite pop artists such as Michael Buble’s Christmas, Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas, Idina Menzel’s Holiday Wishes, Mary J. Blige’s A Mary Christmas, Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped In Red, Josh Groban’s Noël, Faith Hill’s Joy To The World, Sarah McLachlan’s Wonderland; and everyone’s favorite, the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas. You should have some non-holiday music on hand to spin later on in the evening when people get tired of hearing holiday music.

These tips will should help make your holiday party run smoothly and be one that your guests remember for years to come. With a bit of preparation, your holiday party should be a resounding success. Let us know in the comments section if you have anything to add to how to be a great host at your holiday party.



  1. These are great tips. Although I don’t usually host parties in my home, these tips would be a big help if I do decide to have one this year.

  2. So true that the music really does do a lot to set the scene early. These tips are really great for having a party that is remembered for all the right reasons!

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