Planning A Party The Santa Way

Christmas is a wonderful time of sharing, giving and of course, parties! Learn how to plan your own Christmas party the easy way and have loads of fun mingling with your guests – even with children in tow, says Vivien Goh!

Is this your first Christmas with your child? Turn it into a great Christmas affair with these easy steps: When, Who, Where, What and How?

1. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions - The Date

Dates that are too close to Christmas is a no-no, as people are usually either travelling, going to other Christmas parties or doing their last minute shopping etc. Plan for an early date, as the whole of December is there for the taking! Weekdays can surprisingly be better for dinner parties, while Sundays are good for lunch or tea. Saturdays can be trying, as many parents have to bring their children to enrichment classes or some might have to work. Plan your date early so your guests can RSVP earlier.

2. Who’s Invited?

Decide if you want to have a family gathering or one with your friends and their families. Or perhaps, even one with both your friends and family. Create a guest list with the following columns, so that you can plan your food and entertainment better.

1. Name
2. Contact
3. Email
4. Coming with Spouse?
5. Number of Children
6. Names and Ages
7. Special Diets (No eggs, no milk, no meat, etc.)

This table helps to organise your thoughts and if you need to call or email your guests, it would be a whole lot easier.

3. Where Oh Where?

Venue is important, especially if you are inviting more than 30 people. Ensure that your venue has enough parking spaces and is accessible by public transportation. If it is at your house, ensure that you have enough seats or floor cushions if you are expecting your guests to sit on the floor. If you are booking entertainment, getting a venue with enough space for the children to watch the show comfortably is a must. If you are holding the party in a restaurant, do check if they have an event room or are able to allow you to book up sections of the place in advance. If you are holding it in a party space, ensure that they do not charge extra for your own caterers and entertainers or if you extend beyond the stipulated time. Also check if there are any other hidden charges for clean-up, etc. You don’t want a nasty surprise at the end of your fantastic Christmas party!

4. Party, Party, Party!

What kind of party are you thinking of having? A wine and cheese dinner or a play date tea party? Do you want the kids to be entertained while the adults are socialising? Do remember if you are planning a gift exchange to stipulate price range to avoid disappointed guests.

5. How, Howl, Wow!

After you have your date, time, location, venue and guest list, it is time to send out the invites! You can use the traditional invitation card or even better, use an e-RSVP service like http://www.myinvites.com to manage your guest list. This service allows you to send out pre-designed cards with your own information, and they even include a map of the venue. Do remember to preview the card before sending as the address needs to be typed in full in order for the map the show the right location. Try to send out your invites at least four weeks before the party and follow-up with a phone call reminder one week before. The RSVP date should, at the very latest, be two weeks before the party so that you can call caterers and let them know the number of people coming. If you are not thinking of using a caterer, Jason’s or Cold Storage usually has good Christmas roasts, honey baked ham and all the usual festive Christmas goodies! Now that you’ve gone through all the simple five steps, it’s time to plan your own Christmas Party! Christmas is the best time to catch up with your friends, so make your party really special! Merry Christmas and make merry!