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‘Tis the season for homemade mimosas, cheesy classic Christmas tunes, exchanging Secret Santa gifts and making the best Instagram Stories. There’s no better time to gather family and friends around to celebrate the best season of the year!

Whether you’re already a pro at throwing the Christmas party everyone will remember or new to this tradition, here are a few essential tips for holiday entertaining.

1. Choose your guests carefully

You don’t need to have every single colleague, friend or family member on the guest list – it’s okay to be a little selfish and choose to surround yourself with the people who mean most and who make you feel good (and are also loads of fun!). Don’t feel under pressure to invite everyone.

2. Give enough notice

The end of the year can be an extremely busy period, with Christmas parties, festivals, concerts, weddings and family engagements, so if you want your favourites to be present at your holiday do, give them enough notice to clear their schedules.

3. Pick tried-and-tested menu options

The day of your holiday party might not be the best time to try and channel your inner professional chef. While it’s great to mix it up and try new things, a lot of the time, your signature meals and snacks will do just fine (or even wow the crowd) and you’ll save yourself loads of time, energy and stress.

4. Don’t cook at all?

You can have a holiday party potluck instead of slaving away at the stove all day. A relaxed, happy host is the best kind there is. BONUS: Everyone will get to try a variety of awesome food!

5. Pick a theme

It doesn’t have to be a complicated one; you could simply indicate that guests should wear a touch of festive colours (red/green/gold) or make it a masquerade party. Take the fun up a notch by making it a Christmas carol karaoke night or even a pyjama party!

6. Think about interactivity

Chances are that not all your guests will know each other, so what are you going to do to break the ice? Fun, interactive games like charades, Twister and Heads Up, or a well-known Christmas movie are always a great idea. The right music also goes a long way to really set the tone and make people feel comfortable.

7. Create your own signature cocktail

You’ll find loads of recipes online to help with this. Make it your own by making a few tweaks; you can even leave out the alcohol completely (if you and/or your guests prefer) and create delicious mocktails!

8. Get your home ready

Are you hosting at home? Light a few candles, bake a tray of cookies (even if it’s only so the smell can fill up the house, he he!), provide adequate, comfortable seating and get the festive tunes going to create the perfect ambience for a good night.

9. Be comfortable

Whether you’re hosting in your home, at a friend’s house or even a rented space, look your best but dress comfortably. This isn’t the time to break in a new pair of heels or struggle to breathe in tight clothing – it’s time to let loose and enjoy your Christmas break!

10. Give a little gift bag

Because WHO doesn’t love to enjoy a fantastic party and go home with goodies?! You can fill little gift bags with chocolate, marshmallows, souvenirs, beauty and wellness supplies – anything! Let your creativity (and thoughtfulness) show.

Merry Christmas!