Christmas is a monumental occasion for bringing together family and friends. It's a chance to catch up with co-workers, extended family and out-of-town friends all under one roof. If you've taken on the feat of hosting a large dinner party for Christmas dinner, you're likely to need a little help planning for the masses. Consider these festive ideas to execute a soirée that keeps on giving.
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Often, one of the main decisions to be made in hosting a party of any type is where you're going to seat everyone. Decide where everyone will go and if you need to spread the dining area among several rooms, such as putting the kids in the recreational room or hosting the entire dinner on your back lawn. Do a little inventory of your space and determine if you'll need to hire a company to rent extra tables and chairs. If you're going all out, staging the party in the backyard with a professional tenting company can be done even in winter months by bringing in industrial sized heaters, fire pits and lamps.
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Once the guest list is set and you know where everyone will be seated, consider your menu options and style to prepare a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy. Decide whether or not you'll do all the cooking, expense the cost of hiring a professional caterer or if you'll ask everyone to bring a covered dish. Consider the number of people at your dinner party if you plan on a potluck dinner. You'd hate for Aunt Mary's famous macaroni and cheese to run out because she only prepared enough for five instead of 50. Choose to maintain a traditional Christmas meal, such as turkey and stuffing with rolls, or if you want to go outside the box with a medley such as your co-worker's favourite lasagne or best friend's twice-baked corn casserole. Consider your guest's restrictions to add to your menu such as low-calorie alternatives, no sugar or salt or even a vegetarian option.
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After everyone's shovelled down their favourite dishes and are making room for dessert, consider what entertainment options you'll incorporate. Play music in the background for a little joyful white noise. You can open gifts following dinner or let the different groups break up to play games like charades, board games or watch the big games on TV. Plan for a little bit of interactivity following your meal so your guests are occupied.
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Roll out a plethora of dessert options following dinner to include an array of pies, cookies, cakes and other delectable treats your guests will rave about. Include some traditional favourites, like apple and sweet potato pies, but add new things like your five-nut brownies and chocolate crepes. Serve coffee and tea with desserts and hot cocoa for the kids. Enjoy dessert while chatting about holiday memories or reminiscing about good times to wrap up a great dinner party.
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End your evening by surprising each of your guests with a small gift to send them well wishes on their way out. A small gift to thank your guests for attending is customary dinner party etiquette and should be no different for your Christmas celebration. Gifts can be simple like holiday towels or a stocking stuffed with goodies. For a personalised gift with flair, honour each guest with a hand-painted ornament with their name on it.