Prepare a family Christmas party

Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian.

Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian.

In some non-Christian countries, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration (e.g. in Hong Kong); in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday.

So you want to celebrate Christmas by having a family Christmas party. Having a Christmas party is a great way to meet new people and spend time with friends and family.

Whether your family is close or gets together once a year, a family Christmas party can be both enjoyable and stressful.

First of all set a date for your party. Booking early is essential and let your family know that you’ll be attending to ensure that there is a seat at the dinner table.

Decide whether or not to bring a guest. Examples to consider include the size of the gathering, how serious your relationship is with your significant other, or how many small children will be at the party.

Send out invitations to your distant relatives and a few friends. If you prefer, invite people over the telephone of by email.

Be clear that it’s RSVP only, so you can gauge how many people to expect. Or if you prefer to meet new people tell everybody to bring a friend or two.

Plan your menu several days in advance. This applies to formal sit down meals, or a mere relaxed buffet. Write a shopping list and stick to it.

Prepare as much as you can the day before the party, avoiding any last minute panics. Keep things simple and easy - the last thing you will want to be doing is slaving away in the kitchen while your guests are having a good time.

Prepare the party area. Make sure the area you are planning to hold your party is relatively clean and tidy. Remove any items that you are worried might get broken or in the way, and remember to put out plenty of chairs.

Make the family party simple: Plan a party around pizza, homemade snacks, chilli, hearty salad, or make-your-own sandwiches. By focusing on a food theme, you won’t be tempted to add just one more thing.

Set up your Christmas tree: Whether it is artificial or natural set it up before your guests arrive. Have Christmas carols playing in the background because it is essential in setting the Christmas mood.

Have a few CDs ready but do not play them too loudly, people will want to be able to talk.

Determine ahead of time if gifts are being exchanged. When the party includes a large extended family, some people may feel obligated to bring a gift for every aunt, uncle and cousin while others may be budgeting for a surprise from Santa.

Prepare yourself for inevitable topics of conversation. Give yourself talking points when a distant relative asks, “How is school going?” or “Are you dating anyone?”

Thinking about our answers in advance lets you share as much as you feel comfortable without being tongue tied.

Give kids something to do. If you have kids, let them invite friends over. It will keep them busy so you can have fun with your friends.

Finally enjoy your meal with your family, make fun of each other, and make it a memorable moment. Otherwise, have a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.