Skip to Content

15 Tips To Host A Christmas Party

Are you entertaining this Christmas? Here are 15 Christmas Party Ideas that will help you plan your party without all the stress.

Entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful, and several options exist for hosting a holiday get-together.

We love to entertain, and since moving to The Ponds, we have hosted a Christmas Party annually, except in 2020. Each year, it gets easier to plan and prepare, so today, I’m sharing 15 tips to help you plan your Christmas Entertaining.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure details here.)

Christmas Party Ideas

First, there are so many options for hosting a Christmas party. Here are a few ideas.

  • Christmas Dinner
  • Christmas Brunch or Breakfast
  • Pot-Luck Dinner
  • Social Christmas Party or Holiday Drop-in

Here are some helpful tips about each party type to help you determine which you’d prefer to host.

Christmas Dinner Party Ideas

A Dinner Party can be formal or casual, depending on your preference. I have a small home with limited table space, so most of my dinner parties are small or casual.

Charcuterie Board filled with salami rosettes, fruit and cheese.
Salami Rosettes – Easy Video Instructions

Formal Dinner Party

If you are hosting a formal Christmas dinner party, you may need to consider the table setting. If you plan a sit-down meal, you will need seating and place settings for all guests.

Depending on the number of guests, you can set up one large table or several smaller tables.

The adorable reindeer collection by Casafina inspired this reindeer-inspired table setting from last year’s small Supper Club Dinner Party.

5 Creative Christmas Table Decoration Ideas
The Table Riser and the Patchwork Tablecloth are both DIY Projects.

This brunch table was set for our immediate family with Bico Ceramics Toile de Jouy Winter Wonderland dishes. The table runner and cutlery napkin holders are last year’s DIY project.

Christmas Breakfast Table set with red and white DIY table runner and cutlery pocket napkins
DIY Table Runner & DIY Cutlery Napkins

Casual Dinner Party

However, you can host a casual dinner party where guests serve themselves buffet-style.

With limited space, your guests can fill their plates and find a sofa or comfy chair to enjoy their meal and chat with guests.

Blueberry, pecan, pancake bread pudding with blueberries on reindeer plates.

Dinner Party Tips

When planning your table settings, don’t feel you have to buy matching dishes and silverware. It’s okay to use a mixture, even on a formal table. Using a variety of patterns makes the table more interesting and unique.

I also love using vintage dishes, candlesticks, and other thrifted tableware to create a unique table setting.

Menu for Christmas Dinner Example

Here is one example of a Christmas Dinner Menu that includes the recipes.

When planning your menu, remember to keep it simple and prepare ahead of time.

Pot-Luck Dinner

I love hosting pot-luck dinners. It’s so easy because you are only responsible for the main dish and decorating your home. This is similar to our Supper Club Dinner Parties, which are held regularly, and the host rotates each month.

It’s a casual and fun way to entertain. Most people prefer to bring a dish, so why stress out by doing all the work?

Here are some tips to prepare for a pot-luck dinner party.

  • Decide on your guest list.
  • Determine what your party theme will be.
  • Decide on the main dish.
  • Assign each guest with a dish to bring. Example – Appetizers, Side Dishes, Dessert, etc.
  • Enjoy your party

Appetizer Menu for Christmas Party
Beef Tenderloin Crostini Recipe

Christmas Brunch

We have a tradition of hosting a small Christmas Brunch for our immediate family on Christmas morning.

I like to serve dishes that can be prepared ahead of the event so that I can enjoy my family prior to brunch.

Here is a yummy pasty dish and my favorite Blueberry Pancake Casserole. It’s prepared a day in advance, and you pop it in the oven the next morning for brunch.

Christmas Breakfast Party

A great tradition is to host a Christmas Eve Breakfast for friends. I’ve personally never hosted but have attended several Christmas Breakfast Parties. It’s a casual and fun way to entertain during the holidays.

You can serve breakfast casseroles, fruit, and cocktails to your guests.

Beef tenderloin crostini for Christmas Dinner Parties.
Beef Tenderloin Crostini

Cocktails for Christmas Brunch or Breakfast

The options for Christmas Cocktails are endless, but a good Bloody Mary or Mimosa is always a great choice for Brunch.

Bloody Mary's for Christmas Brunch or Christmas Breakfast

Mimosas are so easy to serve if you have a larger crowd. You can set up a mimosa bar for guests to serve themselves and create one of these delicious mimosa recipes.

Set up a mimosa bar for guests to serve themselves.

Social Christmas Party or Drop-in

Our annual Christmas Party is a Social Drop-in and my favorite party of the year.

I don’t mind all the preparation because I don’t try to make everything on the menu.

I order some items and prepare as much ahead of time as possible. I’m sharing all my tips for planning our Christmas Party under Steps to Keep You Organized.

We usually served Brad’s Cured Cold Smoked Salmon, a crowd favorite. The best part is that it can be made several weeks before the party.

Cured Cold Smoked Salmon served on slate tray for Christmas Party

Table Arrangements for Party

Before I began, we planned our home with entertainment in mind. Our previous home had a large foyer, dining room, and living room; however, everyone was in the kitchen and breakfast area at every gathering.

Therefore, when planning our forever home, we decided to make the kitchen and dining area all one big room. So the living room, kitchen, and dining are all open to each other and allows guest to stay in the kitchen if they prefer.

Although it’s a big room, I still like to spread the food around it.

Dining Table & Centerpiece

The dining table has most of the main dishes, and I like to use risers and plate racks to elevate the food so everything isn’t at the same level.

In addition, I like to keep the centerpiece simple. Instead of a large centerpiece, I use a festive tablecloth, holiday serving pieces, and greenery to make the table festive.

Be sure to have plenty of serving pieces.

Several of these items I’ve had for many years, and I’m always looking at Thrift Stores to add to my supplies.

Set table with risers to keep food at different levels for party entertaining.

Desserts and additional appetizers are served on the kitchen island to keep the guests from hovering over the dining table.

Beverage Stations

Another Christmas Party idea is to plan for beverage stations spread around the house. I have 3 beverage stations.

Wine is at the repurposed card catalog wine bar, and plenty of wine glasses are at the ready.

Repurposed Card Catalog is now the wine bar in the Industrial style farmhouse.

Beer and water are on the screened porch to allow guests to slip out and grab a beverage.

Finally, the mixed drinks and setups are served at the bar located in the loft, which encourages movement during the party.

Repurposed Hospital Carts and Nesting Box serve as a bar in the loft of the industrial style farmhouse.

I have mini snacks scattered at each station to encourage guests to linger in the different areas of the house.

How To Plan A Christmas Party – Steps To Keep You Organized

Once you decide on your party theme, you need to get organized. Whether you are planning a small or large gathering, organization and record-keeping are a must.

Guest List

First, make your guest list.

I have a notebook in which I record all my entertaining events. I document who was invited and who attended each party. This helps me to plan for the next event.

I made a notation when the invitation was sent and then the response.

I like to send a handwritten invitation for my annual Christmas party instead of email or electronic invitations. It feels more personal, and the Christmas party is my gift to my guests, so I don’t send formal Christmas cards.

I used “Sophie Silent Night” cards for this year’s party.

Notebook to keep record of Christmas party menu, recipes and guest list. Invitations mailed to guests.

Christmas Party Ideas: Menu & Recipes

Once I have the invitations in the mail, I begin searching for recipes and gathering ideas for the party.

One of my best Christmas Party Ideas is to begin jotting down next year’s party ideas in the notebook. I will add recipes and party ideas throughout the year as I find them.

In addition, I have a menu page with a list of each item served at the party. I also take photos to remember how I set the tables.

After the party, I noted items to serve again. This helps me plan from year to year so that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel each year.

Notebook to keep record of Christmas party menu, recipes and guest list.

Prepare Ahead

Once I have my menu decided, I determine what I need to order and put a note on my calendar so I don’t forget. LOL

Then, make a grocery list and prepare as many dishes ahead of time as possible. This will allow you to be more relaxed on the day of your party.

Also, don’t wait until the last minute to clean and decorate. If possible, I prefer to have everything in place two days before the event.

Enjoy your party!


Check out these recommended resources for hosting your own party.

Check out these other great holiday ideas!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that these tips have been helpful.

Pin It To Remember It

Did you find some great ideas you’d like to save for future reference? Hover over the images you’d like to save and pin to your favorite Pinterest Boards when you see the PIN button.

Plan Christmas Party Menu and guest list notebook
15 Tips for Planning a Christmas Party - Wine Bar Set Up with repurposed card catalog bar.

kimberly snyder

Monday 21st of November 2022

So many wonderful tips and ideas! I loved reading this post! Thanks for sharing all of your ideas with us! It was wonderful hopping with you !


Monday 21st of November 2022

Kimberly, I really appreciate you.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 19th of November 2022

I have actually been trying to come up with party ideas for Christmas so this post is great timing. Thanks for the great tips, Rachel.


Sunday 20th of November 2022

Kim, I'm so glad you found this helpful.

Kim Hume

Thursday 17th of November 2022

Rachel, what a wonderful post! You have so many great ideas for entertaining! I love the idea of keeping a specific notebook for all of your holiday party details. I'm sure your guests look forward to your Christmas party every year! It sounds like a fabulous event!


Sunday 20th of November 2022

KIm WE love hosting and I appreciate your comments.

Wendy McMonigle

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Your tips and suggestions are wonderful Rachel. I must say you lost me at the blueberry bread pudding, LOL I just went down the rabbit hole. I know what I am making for Christmas morning. Pinned it.


Sunday 20th of November 2022

Wendy, It really is delicious. Enjoy.


Wednesday 16th of November 2022

You have convinced me that I need to entertain more! So many great ideas for types of parties and great ideas for creatively hosting! Thanks for a great post and a great blog hop! ~Missy


Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Oh i'm so glad. Thanks.