Throwing a great Christmas party is part of fun of every holiday season. You can bring friends and family together to celebrate life and the relationships you hold dear. Nice Christmas parties are always the talk of the town months after they happen, so the pressure’s on to get it right. Have fun while you plan and keep things festive for a wonderful event. There are some basic components of a fantastic party every host should follow.

You’ve got to nail the food, drinks if you and your guests drink, and a soundtrack for the affair. A lot of the best parties will have some sort of game or activity that helps guest get to know each other or to mix up the flow. As a host, it’s important to connect people who you think will hit if off and help overcome the age-old challenge of getting people to break out of their shells a bit. One of the best things you can do to help people mix and mingle is make them feel festive.

Setting up your Christmas party with the right décor can change people’s tune the second they walk through the door. It’ll have them singing along to Jingle Bells and going back for more eggnog with a smile on their face the whole party. Here are seven easy tips on how you can get your house Christmas party ready.

Be Smart About Christmas Decorations

The host’s personality has a lot to do with how many Christmas decorations will work. If you’re fun-loving, a bit goofy and really into the holiday, then go nuts. Christmas is one of those rare holidays where it’s hard to do too much. People find over-decorating endearing. You may want to avoid any of those voice-activated reindeer, though. If you’re going for a chicer aesthetic, then keep things relatively minimal. You’ll want a great tree, of course, and some other decorations scattered around the house. However, you may not want it to be overdone. If you’re going for something more muted, just make sure decorations are placed strategically where people will notice them.

Be Conscious of the Party’s Flow

Before your house is overcome with guests, think about how the party is likely to play out. Plan for if people generally hang out in the kitchen, and then later on in the evening end up around the fireplace. It will make where you put appetizers easier and will also help you recognize where you’ll need to create more space. Following basic Feng Shui principles can help with party planning. Feng Shui is big on open spaces and natural light. It’s believed to help people feel more positive energy inside. Positive energy is every Christmas party host’s ultimate goal, so make sure furniture is positioned so people can move freely between rooms. Open the curtains to bring in outside light. If you’ve got beautiful mirrors in the house, put them around where guests will gather. Keep in mind, though, that one Feng Shui tip is to avoid mirrors facing any doors.

Set the Mood Outside

Get people feeling in the holiday spirit before they even set foot inside. It takes some work, but houselights are one of the best Christmas decorations. They make your house glow and feel so inviting. Put a simple, elegant wreath on your door. Minimalist wreaths have been in style for years and look so stylish that you can leave it up for weeks after Christmas has passed by. They’ve really become a symbol of the time of year and not just the holiday. People will be humming Christmas tunes before they even hit the doorbell.

Set Up a Festive Hot Chocolate Bar

A lot of party planners recommend handing guests a drink as you take their coats. It sets them at ease as they get the lay of the land. If you’ve got a buffet table or island, deck it out with Christmas colors and set up a hot chocolate bar on top with marshmallows, peppermint, cookies and other holiday treats. If it’s an adult party, then stick some grown up beverages on there as well. If you have some extra time in all the chaos of party planning, decorate some Christmas tree sugar cookies or class gingerbread treats.

Poinsettias are on Point

Poinsettias are synonymous with the holiday season, so make sure you’ve got them around your place. Station a couple of them outside the door or in the entryway. Space them out around your house so wherever people look they can spot their beautiful red flowers that spell Christmas. Poinsettias can be purchased during the holidays for relatively little and add a lot to a great Christmas party. If you can, pick up other plants while you’re at the store. Any natural accents you put in your house will make guests feel more at ease.

The Dining Room

If you’re serving dinner, you can really stun Christmas party guests with a white theme. White table cloths, candles, flowers, mixed the natural green of Christmas trees and other plants around the room will look fantastic. It will be such a change from the other Christmas décor that it will take people’s breath away when they walk into the room. It almost gives the room the feel of freshly-fallen snow. The white will also focus attention on the food that you slaved over for hours. Make sure you put some thought into a nice centrepiece that oozes holiday spirit. A time-tested Christmas centerpiece always incorporates the outdoors with touches of holiday cheer. Think about mixing in cinnamon sticks with pine leaves and other greenery.

Keep the Living Room Light

The living room is supposed to be the most welcoming area of your home. It will probably be where people end up lounging after dinner over drinks. Keep things festive by getting some nutcrackers, candles, Santa-themed dishes and other fun items to set around the room. Adjust the light in the room depending on the time of day. If it’s still light out when people are over, then keep things bright to lighten the mood. You can turn things down when the sun sets, and drinks are being poured. The lower lights will help people relax and make things more intimate.

Throwing the perfect party isn’t easy. Anyone who’s thrown a Christmas party knows the stress and hours of preparation involved. By following these seven tips, you can make you house warm and inviting, and your party will be a hit. Preparations don’t have to be expensive or complicated. A few strategic changes will go a long way. Simple steps can make a big difference and make your Christmas party one to remember.

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