Here’s to festive fun!
‘Tis the season to eat cheese, drink wine and stay cosy! Every year I try and get my besties together for a Christmas evening in, we usually do a Secret Santa and all bring a little something to eat, then let the prosecco flow!
We have a lot of gatherings around our place no matter what the season, just because I love getting everyone together. I know not everyone loves hosting but I truly do. Admittedly, I am a bit extra with it all, but I think my friends love that they can pop round for an evening in and just relax while I sort drinks and put on party playlists.
When it comes to hosting, I really think it’s all in the details – especially at this time of year when you want the right balance of cosy but memorable! Here’s a few tips for making sure you’re always the Monica of the group…
Stock Up On Supplies
Hosting can get expensive if you’re trying to do it alone, so I usually entrust my friends with a few essentials to make it less hassle for me. For example, crisps and dips to one person, sweet treats to another. All my friends are keen to help so it always makes it a whole lot easier for me.
Charcuterie is always the perfect idea for parties; load up on cheese, crackers, pickles, fruit, nuts, hummus, dips and crisps! It’s also a great way to finally make use of all those marble serving boards you no doubt have in every corner of your kitchen.
Don’t forget the other essentials like napkins, plates, glasses/paper cups, garnish, loo roll and ice – everyone always forgets ice! I have a checklist that I run through each time to make sure my party about to be poppin’.
Make It Potluck
If time is of the essence, potluck parties are where it’s at! You get everyone to bring a dish – anything from side dishes to mains and desserts (maybe let them know a category first so you don’t end up with endless pasta salads) and you’re all set.
This is especially ideal if your friends have approx. 87 dietary requirements between them, like mine do.
Drinks, Drinks, Drinks
Drinks can be tricky because it’s easy to spend a fortune; I usually tell my friends I’ll sort the food if they want to bring the booze – then I just add a few different options for mixer, some fresh fruit etc. for garnish (more on that here!) and whatever alcohol I have on my bar cart and we’re set!
I always make sure I have a good selection of the Belvoir cordials and drinks because they cover all bases – those who aren’t drinking have something tasty to tuck in to, and you can also mix them in to gin and vodka-based drinks, and even prosecco too. Easy peasy!
Our nights in tend to get a liiiiittle bit wild, so I usually stash a couple of £6 bottles of prosecco for later so we’re not tempted by the good stuff… like the time we drank a bottle of vintage champagne Jordan had bought me for our wedding anniversary. On a random weeknight.
Pick A Playlist
Well, well, well. If it ain’t my area of expertise. My friends and I seemingly only listen to music from 2003-2007 so I have a backlog of pop punk playlists saved, but if your music tastes are a little more varied then it’s wise to get cracking with a proper playlist!
Spotify has a million and one on the go already, so I usually save them to come back to as the evening progresses – that is, until we’re all shouting requests over each other and changing the track mid-song. Ahh I love my friends.
Some Light Entertainment
We’re usually ‘put a film on and then talk over the whole thing, before moving the furniture back to create a dancefloor’ kind of people, but I do love a cosy relaxed night in too!
I recommend watching The Holiday and Love Actually back to back if you want to get in to the Christmas spirit, you can’t go wrong with either. After that, if you’re a few bottles of secco in and create an impromptu nightclub, at least you know you had good intentions.
Don’t forget decorations!
I don’t usually decorate before a party really, but Christmas is the exception – get the tree up, the Christmas lights on, a few festive scented candles burning… the aim is to make it as cosy and inviting as possible!
I usually go a bit wild with party pieces like napkins and paper plates, most of which I buy from Meri Meri because their selection is adorable!
A night in with your favourite people, lots of nibbles and drinks plus a Christmas film is always going to be perfect if you ask me! Hopefully these tips will upgrade your next party without much effort – it’s such a fun, affordable way to get everyone together.
Are you a fan of hosting? Would you like to see more posts like this from me?