The holiday season can be truly hectic. It seems that when this time of the year arrives, the days become shorter and one minute seems like a second. You start panicking, thinking that you’re living in cloud cuckoo land and that you’ll never manage to throw the perfect Christmas Day party you envisioned. The first thing you need is to sit and breathe. Meditate a little if you need to. Everything is fine, as they say in The Good Place. Perhaps you can even sit down and watch an episode, it’s hilarious.
The point is – there will be time for everything. Just follow our steps and you’ll get everything done with time to spare.
Think of a theme
Having a theme makes all the other decisions much easier to make. Depending on who you are hosting (family or friends), decide the style of the day. Do you want to have a sit-down lunch party? A daytime party with finger food? Perhaps a costume party would be a little too much – people are probably recuperating from the Christmas Eve parties, so you don’t want to put them through that. However, a dress code is always nice, so you can, for instance, put a festive dress-code in place that will require everyone to wear something sparkly or at least in Christmas-y colours and patterns – gold, silver, red, blue, green, plaid, reindeers and snowflakes. It will give the whole day a nice and festive touch.
Early bird saves the day
If you are organising a Christmas party, the first thing we need to take care of are the invites. Divide and conquer – one task at a time. First decide who you want to invite to this party, make the final headcount, and then choose your invites. There are tons of gorgeous ones available both online and in print, so just go with your initial gut feeling. You can follow the dress code you came up with and have simple silver invites with little glittery snowflakes and golden letters. Send them with some spare time so people will be prepared.
Scout for recipes
Don’t think of what you’re cooking two days before Christmas Day. It’s too much pressure and you risk making the wrong choice. Start browsing for recipes right now, so you can plan your all-encompassing grocery shopping list on time. Don’t experiment with meals you’ve never made before – that’s a disaster in the making. Cook what you cook best, as people will be coming to this lunch completely famished.
You can check out our 3-course vegan Christmas dinner for inspo and recipes.
The art of gift giving
In the spirit of mindful living, try to give everyone gifts that they will actually enjoy, that speak to their personality or style. Some people love stylish Christmas gifts, such as sleek and elegant wallets, cufflinks and gorgeous handbags. Others have more home-made tastes and will expect something unique and from the heart. Then there are those who will want something practical, like a power bank, so just take a moment to think of the people you’re inviting and then start purchasing the gifts one at a time. You have plenty of days till Christmas, so if you start now, you’ll be done in time and stress-free. Now, if you guys are all on a limited budget, you can always suggest playing Secret Santa, and that way, everyone receives something great, you aren’t responsible for all the gifts, and nobody breaks the bank. Plus, there is the element of surprise, which is always super exciting. Or, check out our ethical gift guide here.
Every evening before you go to sleep, try to think of the perfect songs you can put on your playlist on that wonderful Christmas Day. Not all of them have to be Christmas songs – you can include current hits or everyone’s favourite timeless songs, as long as they are festive. If you choose five songs each night, by the time the day arrives, you will have the perfect and again, frill-free made playlist.
The Christmas tree will probably be decorated at least ten days before Christmas, so you don’t even have to worry about that. However, save some of the festive decorations for the day. You can use these to amp up the atmosphere in the dining room. Perhaps while you’re shopping for groceries you can purchase a stunning Christmas centrepiece or individual flowers, some ribbons and tablecloths to design the centrepiece and the entire décor yourself.
The crucial element
Christmas Day for you will be filled with finishing off your delicious meals and desserts. So you won’t have the time to deal with setting that perfect table. This is why the most stress-free and productive thing you can do is set it the evening or day before and just leave it be. Pick out your finest china and utensils, wine glasses and centrepieces, set it all up as if the guests are arriving in ten minutes, and then just forget about the table. The next day, when it’s all about cooking, this set table will be like your own Christmas gift as all you’ll have to do to finalize the look is put the food on it.