It's probably the biggest, the messiest, and the most trouble of any themed party, but it's usually the most memorable. Plan a Christmas party that makes peace on earth engagingly raucous.
Step 1: Plan Plan the kind of Christmas party you want to throw: formal or informal, pals or family, with or without kids. Based on the mix, your budget, and the age of the guests, come up with creative ideas that will keep people interacting while they relax.
Step 2: Send invitations Send personalized invitations, announcing the theme and purpose, and list the date and time. Have fun with it and sign each one "Santa."
TIP: Save money and trouble by raiding the local dollar store for festive flatware, tablecloths, cups, and plates. Find unusual items and dress up your home on the cheap.
Step 3: Decorate Decorate the house with bright lights and mistletoe; add old-fashioned popcorn strings. Accompany this with special scented candles that might trigger fond memories.
Step 4: Prepare food Bake gingerbread, shortbread, pumpkin pie, and other aromatic and memory-laden foods for your guests. Lay out finger snacks, cheeses, sweetbreads, cookies, and cakes for nibbling with egg nog.
Step 5: Play music Play Christmas music and hand out song sheets for a sing-along if you want to get real sentimental. If you serve your guests spiced egg nog, you may get a few to go caroling around the neighborhood.
Step 6: Plan games Stage Christmas games, like Pictionary Carols or Pin the Nose on Rudolph. Have a gag gift exchange to get everyone involved.
Step 7: Tell stories Tell stories by the fireplace if you have one, especially if the guests have a common past to share.
Step 8: Film Film the party if no one minds, for posterity and perhaps evidence. This is a sacred time to give thanks for one another and to share memories. And of course, to eat until you explode.
FACT: It is believed that Saint Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus, was born sometime around 280 C.E. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey.