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Hosting a Christmas party

(17 Posts)
AlwaysNeverOnTime Wed 02-Nov-16 13:30:26

I'm planning on hosting a Christmas party between Christmas and new year. My parents and brothers will be staying nearby and DHs family all live locally. I'll also be inviting local friends and neighbours, so potentially quite a few people. I was thinking of having it as a 'drop in' from late afternoon to late evening rather than set 'party' hours iykwim?

Food wise, I'm thinking of a buffet. Slow cooker pork, breads, salads ect plus snacky stuff like crisps, tin of quality street.

Will provide some mulled wine and soft drinks, but ask everyone to bring a bottle? Does that sound okay?

Should I do something special for DCs coming over? We have a 3 and 5 year old, but most people invited will have DC too. A film in the bedroom maybe?

I have never done anything like this before and im worried that the house will be too small but I've been wanting to have a Christmas party for years!

Have I missed anything?

Buttercupsandaisies Wed 02-Nov-16 14:20:00

Sounds fab! Be careful how many tho as even with drop in, people will likely stay all evening so you'd have to cater for that!

Food wise I think go mostly with hot dishes as it's cheaper than a buffet, tho your buffet could be things to go with the hot food iyswim!

I'd get some fun party games for the kids - pass the bomb/pud, pie face, wet head maybe! Do you have a wii? I also print pub style quizzes off online for the kids do to themselves. Plenty of mixes but yes to everyone bringing a bottle. Don't forget extra glasses!

Buttercupsandaisies Wed 02-Nov-16 14:21:12

I think you'll defo have to provide a fair bit of alcohol inc beers and wine - people wil bring a bottle but unlikely to bring enough to last the evening. There's nothing worse than running out of drink!

AlwaysNeverOnTime Wed 02-Nov-16 14:36:00

Some good points, thank you.

No we don't have a Wii unfortunately but I will definitely get some games for the kids. Maybe some crafty stuff for them to do. I'm glad you mentioned the extra glasses!

Yes I see what you mean buttercups. Do you think few bottles of white, few bottles of red, few bottles of prosecco, vodka and big pack of beers would be enough to start? Can you tell I've never done this before? grin

RebelandaStunner Wed 02-Nov-16 14:38:04

We have a big family party. Everyone brings a bottle and a dessert. I make the buffet as easy as possible so cheeses, meats, nibbles, different breads, salad bowl and I say hot food will be served at X o'clock. Drinks are self service.
For DC's we have the Wii/Xbox set up, music, Jenga, a few giant crackers.
When they were younger we also did pass the parcel, balloon games, charades etc.

AlwaysNeverOnTime Wed 02-Nov-16 17:53:50

Sounds like the sort of thing I want to do. Very informal and relaxed. Definitely need to think of some things for the kids. They are mainly around 4/5 years old but a few younger and older too.

GrubbyWindows Wed 02-Nov-16 18:06:58

We do this in our tiny flat, I love it!
I provide no activities at all for the kids, they just get on with it and play with each other.
Pre kids we used to start with 6 bottles of mulling wine, and 4 of prosecco, and guests brought the rest. Since kids we end up with more booze than we started with but run out of the soft drinks- everyone brings a bottle, but nowadays nobody drinks a whole bottle anymore. And nobody brings soft drinks!

I do a buffet - 2 mince pies per confirmed guest, two or so types of Xmas biscuits, a panettone, a wedge of Stilton, a few bowls of nuts, a bowl of hummus and veg, a fruit bowl of tangerines. Basically I go not-very-mad in Lidl! The guests bring tons more, we usually end up with loads of spare food.
We get 40-60 people each year. The highlight of my Xmas!

AlwaysNeverOnTime Thu 03-Nov-16 08:10:31

Grubby, that sounds fantastic! Can I come this year? grin my house is tiny but we do have a downstairs toilet so going to try and keep adults downstairs but kids can go into the DCs bedroom if they want.

AlwaysNeverOnTime Fri 04-Nov-16 18:01:05

Bump smile

FireflyGirl Sat 05-Nov-16 08:12:44

Always I'd go with gadgets.

Do any of your guests have a Wii you could borrow?

For food, do you have a slow cooker? I agree hot food is the way to go. A chilli or curry in the slow cooker will save you oven space.

Aftershock15 Sat 05-Nov-16 09:15:13

At 4/5 I think you are optimistic if you think the children will manage to supervise themselves - especially with crafts and quiz games. We used to go to party a bit like this and generally it was the 6 and up who would go upstairs and watch a movie alone - the younger ones used to prefer to be nearer parents. I'm not saying the party won't be a great fun, just don't expect to be adults downstairs and kids in bedrooms.

AlwaysNeverOnTime Thu 10-Nov-16 18:34:21

My DD is 5 and will happily do crafts by herself. I don't think I'll leave them to do that on their own anyway as there is potential for a huge mess!

mrsm43s Thu 10-Nov-16 19:18:30

I do a massive Christmas party each year.

Tiny house, but 50+ guests. It's chaotic, but great fun.

Food: Buffet. Cold meats, cheeseboard, quiche, crisps, whole salmon, crudites and dip, Christmas Cake, gingerbread house, jacket pots,sausage rolls, mince pies, breadsticks, olives, antipasti, sweets, selection of puds - just any and everything. I always have a selection of frozen "party food" in the freezer in case we run low, but we always over cater, and end up eating leftovers til New Year!

I get in a selection of wines and beers, but people bring along a bottle too.

Father Christmas visits for the children. But mainly they entertain themselves, or rather the older children entertain them. Last year the girls set up a beauty salon in DDs room, and the boys had a big Nerf war outside (influenced by DD and DS's presents! I do expect parents to look out for their own children though - their responsibility to keep an eye on what they are up to.

I find that the older people and those with babies/v young toddlers tend to arrive first, eat and chat, and leave early. Most people with children stay til 8/9pm, but there'll be a hardcore group of drinkers til the early hours smile

It's hard work, but great fun

JustCallMeKate Thu 10-Nov-16 20:15:20

We have a Christmas party on 27th December every year. This year I'm doing a buffet of:-

Chilli sausage rolls
Smoked salmon toasts
Brie, apple and onion tart
Cauliflower cakes with yoghurt dip
Pigs in puff pastry blankets
Christmas pies (meat)
Herb and hazelnut pie
Feta filo pies
Various rice salads
Green salads
Selection of cold meats
Cheeseboard with various crackers
Selection of breads\ rolls
Sherry trifle
Oreo cheesecake
Vegan cherry cheesecake

For drinks we normally have:-
A selection of non alcoholic cordials/soft drinks

Guests always turn up with food/drinks which means another party on 28th to finish it all off 😊

AlwaysNeverOnTime Fri 11-Nov-16 07:25:40

Thank you I love hearing about everyones parties. It makes me excited smile Nd reminds me of things I've forgotten

AlwaysNeverOnTime Sun 04-Dec-16 07:43:23

Do you think using plastic glasses is okay?

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sun 04-Dec-16 08:11:29

Fun! grin

Plastic glasses are fine, as long as they're not so cheap that they fall to pieces at the least pressure, or are very narrow-based.

IIRC if you buy some drinks from Waitrose they do free glass-hire.

If you are short on space, don't to have all the food out at the same time. Hold back some of the stuff that doesn't require masses of prep, or that can be heated up slowly in the oven, to put out later.

Don't do all the food-putting out during the party yourself! Delegate. No-one minds, IME.

Have somewhere for coats - a bed works well.

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