If you’re planning a dinner party this Christmas with family and friends, use our checklist to stay on top of your party planning.
It’s not just Father Christmas who needs a list – for party hosts and hostesses, this Christmas party checklist is a gift from us to you!
As caterers, venue managers and event planners, we’re committed to making your party duties as easy as possible. With this list, you’ll be party planner extraordinaire in just 15 steps!
Tick them off as you go for an organised and stress-free Christmas party this year.
For a little more help, scroll past the checklist to find further ideas to make your party ‘pop’…
3 weeks before
Food is always first on our list – can you blame us?!
As for professional help, we offer a Chef at Home service for at-home dinner parties, where we prepare, cook, and serve the food. We even do the washing up afterwards!
Important decisions can include settling on the serving style, the menu and the decor, so you’ve got plenty of time to prepare.
- Choose your food & drink
- Get any professional help you might need
- Settle on important decisions
2 weeks before
If you want any entertainment – à la Come Dine with Me – you can decide now, and work it into the evening.
For the boring admin stuff, work out how much you need to cook, then write up a list of all the pans, trays, cookware and kitchen utensils you have ready to use.
- Start your festive playlist
- Count your cookware and crockery
1 week before
Use this time for a dry run. If you’re planning on serving tricky starters you’ve only sort of successfully made before, here’s your chance to get them perfect!
Plus, if any of the cooking just won’t work, you’ve got a week to re-think the dish and let your guests know.
As for the laughs, WalesOnline have a handy list of cheesy cracker jokes – here’s our favourite:
What is Santa’s favourite pizza?
One that’s deep-pan, crisp and even!
- Clean the house
- Buy your ingredients / drinks / decor
- Practise any fiddly bits
- Polish your Christmas cracker jokes
1 day before
The day of the party will be incredibly busy – we guarantee that new tasks will pop up throughout the day!
If you decorate and cook the night before, you can give yourself breathing room the next day and one less thing to do.
A good idea is to gather your cleaning supplies in a near place, in case of spills or dropped food.
- Set the stage & decorate
- Get your cleaning supplies sorted
- Cook or chill dishes overnight
The day of the party
Lay the table with napkins, plates, cutlery, glasses etc – don’t forget a jug of water and condiments!
Finally, the Christmas party checklist is at an end…
Once you’re ready, festive, and fabulous, it’s time to enjoy your Christmas party!
- Charge your phone for photos
- Final setup
- …and enjoy!
Food & drink
Deciding on your food & drink ahead of time gives room for any dietary requests or food changes, just in case.
Do you want something Chrismassy, classic, or traditionally Welsh? Or would you like to go further afield, with a grand Greek buffet for something more memorable? Take a look through our menus for inspiration…
Don’t forget, your drinks are also important. You can go for a selection of wines & beers, or shake things up with a bespoke festive cocktail.
If the thought of a full Christmas party checklist is making you feel queasier than a 70mph sleigh ride, why not release the reins of stress to us?
You get your time back to sit and relax without darting in and out of the kitchen, and get waited on by professional chefs. It’s like Christmas come early!
Don’t fancy playing host in your own home? Cardiff – and South Wales in general, of course – has so many stunning venues perfect for private dining or intimate dinner parties.
But if you’re hosting at home and need festive decor, it’s a good idea visualise how you want your party to look.
For those of us who like to make a big impression – and that’s definitely us! – we’ve put together some of our favourite Christmas decor ideas.
Buying & cleaning
Figure out the key guest areas – dining room, living room, bathrooms, kitchen, garden, perhaps? – then scrub them top to bottom, elf-style!
Remember to hide any sensitive items, like medicines or private correspondence.
1 week before your party, you can buy your drinks and begin buying your food – taking care with expiration dates, of course.
You can also get your decor and tableware like cloths, runners, napkin holders etc.
Last minute tasks
You’ll probably want photos and videos, so juice up that phone before your guests start demanding Wi-Fi and chargers.
Speaking of internet, it may be a good idea to jot down your Wi-Fi code on a piece of paper for your guests to use themselves – although we love an old fashioned party, where the phones are put away and guests chat.
And no doubt your home will smell delicious from all the cooking, but a festive candle dotted around the place is always lovely.
Once you’re all set up, it’s time to pour yourself a glass of fizz – you’ve earned it – and start the festivities!
Did you find our Christmas party checklist useful? Can you think of any other essential steps? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to join our events and parties around Cardiff this December?
Like this Christmas party checklist? Try some of our other posts!
- Festive recipe: Turkey & pheasant roulade
- 12 Christmas recipes to impress your family and friends
- 10 top tips: how to present food like a professional chef
- Recipe of the month: decadent chocolate brownie
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