With 32 days until the big day (aka the day you can eat all the roast and biscuits and it doesn't count) you may be faced with the task of hosting a little get together with loved ones, or even just sprucing up the table to feel a bit more festive, but throwing a party doesn't need to be stressful (wish someone had told me that) and as long as you cover the basics, you're guaranteed a party hit!
I find having a variety of drinks available means everyone is catered for depending on their mood - water as a standard, a spiced mulled concoction for something festive, or some mixers to go with lemonade, alcohol or juice - we mixed up Fentimans Ginger Beer and Muddled Lime with Cranberry for something a little spicy, and drank Rose Lemonade post-roast carb coma! If you have room after, a hot chocolate certainly won't go amiss...
There's fancy table decorations, and then there's super festive table decorations! I wanted it to look like something straight out of Country Living mixed with a bit of fun detailing, so picked up a huge range of Meri Meri products from Homesense* - there were 'Holly Jolly' paper plates and matching napkins and paper cups which we used for starters, and then each guest had a red glitter party hat to wear during dinner (although they twanged our chins a little, preventing optimum roast potato consumption) and illustrated photo props to use in selfies and Boomerangs - there was mistletoe and moustaches, a Santa beard and hat, an elf hat and reindeer antlers, all very cute! And what's a dinner party without place names? The Meri Meri ones were so cute and also perfect for flatlays after (always reuse a prop) and added a nice touch, allowing everyone to sit and mix with people they don't see as often.
It helps also having a neutral tablecloth and general theme against louder props and details; keeping things cool-toned, we opted for an off-lilac/grey with silver mats and coasters, with pewter candle holders which really made everything sparkle whilst not detracting from the pops of red. Keep the base minimal and work up from there and you'll have a table that wows (even without the food).
Ah yes, the party bags; they'll be coming in a separate post soon ;) but how cute is the nutcracker design? Again, these are Meri Meri (I've become a huge fangirl now) were filled up nicely with treats for guests - it's a small addition, but even if they take home party favours or leftovers in their box, it's nice to thank guests for coming. I probably should've filled the boxes with leftover mince pies but I'm greedy so ;)
It's not just the table that can be spruced up, adding lights or garlands can invoke a festive feeling too; we strung fairy lights around the curtains for additional light against table candles, and added a 'Merry Christmas' from Homesense last year to one window whilst draping the other with disco balls, again to add light and atmosphere to the room.
I'm planning a separate post again on food, especially as our dinner party had to cater for everyone from meat to vegan to gluten free (plus cooking for 6 when you're used to 2 is an experience, so many timings) but it's great that everyone of each diet variety could enjoy dinner to the full. I know what it's like when someone goes the extra mile to make sure your food is accommodated for, so even if it's gluten free Yorkshire puds, a bit of chicken for a meat eater, or vegan nut roast, it's always appreciated and makes everyone feel included at the table - especially with a roast!
And to top it all off? A kicking playlist of Christmas songs, plus a variety of puddings to pick at over a few board games to finish the evening - who knew Cards Against Humanity could bring together so many people? Maybe stick to Pictionary with the grandparents.
If I could, I'd recreate this every week as it's a fabulous way to get friends together who you don't see all the time collectively, and if that means more roast dinner for me, then I for one won't be complaining ;)
Items from Homesense were purchased with a gifted voucher, however all love of festive decor is my own!
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.
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