Why does everyone save up their party quotas and blow them in December? It makes much more sense to stagger parties throughout the year, rather than hit us full in the face with 10 parties in a week. Alas, the world doesn’t work that way; December is saturation party time and there’s nothing you can do about it. Except, of course, throw your own extremely excellent party because, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Get a date sorted
Obviously you need to know when people are free because, hell, guests are pretty vital to your party plans. You have two options here – the more organised among you can opt for a Doodle but if you cba with all that, a classic Whatsapp group will do the trick. Nail down a date and you can start on the fun stuff.
You have to feed your guests
It's easy to forget this part when you've been subsisting on mulled wine and pastry for the past few weeks, but a good host feeds their guests.
If you get a strong start on the food, once it's pudding time most people won't know where they are, let alone what they're eating. Pretend to be a together human being and make some fancy but kinda easy canapes like these. A Christmas dinner main course is in order and we've worked out how to do it for under £10 (seriously) but, if you’re feeling a vegan version, our recipes for meat-and-dairy-free Thanksgiving dishes work just as well as a Christmas feast.
You'll need drinks
Drinks may require pre-party investigation because if Emma drank vodka one time and ended the night crying into a pan of pasta and pesto, then you might want to pick a different tipple.
Making a big punch batch is the easiest option, you just need to make sure you've got something to put it in, even if it's just a clean bucket because you can't for the life of you remember where you crystal punch bowl is (it never existed). This dead easy Holiday Sangria is a winner or budget vodka, Sainsbury’s Mango and Passionfruit Sparkling water and a squeeze of lime is essentially a cocktail. Right?
If you’re a little classier (kudos) find a three-ingredient 'cocktail' recipe that’ll impress all your mates, put it in a red cup (so festive), add a straw and job done.
While adults are hosting dinner parties with meat matched to their merlot, remember we’re just trying to get maximum taste, with minimum spend.
And some tunes
This is the only playlist you’ll need.
Pick a dress code
Christmas jumpers are of course the obvious choice. But who wants to be obvious? Assign everyone a Nativity character and enforce a strict no-costume-no-entry policy.
Deck the halls and all that
Decorations, decorations and more decorations. We're talking tinsel, baubles, wreaths, whatever. They don't need to be expensive; in fact, it's better if they're bulk bought from you local pound store because nothing says festive like an explosion of gaudy, cheap Christmas decorations.
Oh and a tree. You need a tree. Don’t even think you don’t need a tree because a Christmas party is not a Christmas party without a tree. It’s just a party. This one from Argos is a bargain.
It's not so much a game but Secret Santa is a no-brainer. Keep it under a tenner – you’re not made of money – and make an effort: get your person a mug and you’re the only mug around here. If you're really stuck (are you sure these people are your friends?) we’ve found nine non-shirt ideas that are under £9, so you’ll even have money left over.
The other games don't necessarily have to be Christmas-themed, you're already dressed as a wise man which is enough, so spend the rest of your evening playing your favourite drinking games. Other more seasonal options include picking a word (like 'snow') and drinking everytime it's in a song, or putting a Santa hat on the corner of your muted TV and drinking everytime someone 'wears' it (this is particularly funny). The options are endless so go wild.
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Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.