4 Dec 2015

How to throw a 'stress free' Christmas party in style

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The moment we enter December, the winter cold kicks in, the sun sets (really) early and Christmas celebrations are bound to be at the forefront of our minds.

Traditional lights and decorations enhanced by Christmas carols playing in the background remind us at every corner that indeed that time of the year has arrived.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, chances are some of us will feel a tad overwhelmed by all the activities that lie ahead: sending Christmas cards, finding the perfect gifts for everyone, organising travel logistics and attending multiple social Christmas drinks and gatherings…all of this of course whilst attempting to keep up with normal life!

This post is dedicated to those (kind souls) who have committed to hosting a party in the midst of the usual Christmas frenzy.

Let’s face it: no matter how casual the party, it will require a certain level of thought, time, energy and ideally, some organisational skills.

Expectations are usually high in the sense that a Christmas party has to look and feel like one: a lovely warm setting with a ‘Christmassy’ atmosphere is without a doubt the starting point to consider.

First of all, one should not underestimate the power of dimmed lighting. The goal is to create a cosy ambience, and adding fairy lights and candles to the décor will certainly set the tone. These precious allies can turn an ordinary room into Christmas fantasy land in no time.

Assuming you already have a Christmas tree, this is the perfect occasion to make it stand out. Traditionally featuring (but not limited to) dark green, gold and red colours, make it your mission to decorate it in your own personal style. Real pine trees diffuse a lovely natural scent which will also add to the magic of the atmosphere.

The only downside with real trees is the pins that will keep dropping until it’s time to take it down (traditionally on the evening of 5th January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking).

The music will also be of great importance throughout the evening. Depending on the crowd, you can create an exciting playlist ahead of time so you do not need to worry about it on the evening.

The primary goal of a good party is for guests to get together in a festive environment, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. As the evening evolves and the drinks flow, you might want to include more upbeat tunes for those who brought their dancing shoes!

Turkey & Meats_0

Now that we have established the setting, as the host you need to ensure that your guests have plenty to eat and drink. Even if your invitation only states ‘drinks’, some food will also need to be served.

Well…what if we told you that we have found the perfect solution to your food and drink requirements? At Debrett’s we have always loved Waitrose’s approach to grocery shopping and product selection. And we were thrilled to discover they had developed a special range dedicated to any party needs: “Entertaining Food made to order”.

From freshly prepared canapés, sandwiches, rolls and wraps to seasonal meats (including turkey), this range is the perfect catering solution for your Christmas party at a reasonable price tag, plus you can concentrate on the hosting whilst Waitrose takes care of the food!

Party Food
Alternatively, if you enjoy cooking yourself, you can ‘pick your own’ 10 favourite ingredients or products at 20% off in store or online.

For a wonderful selection of drinks, including champagne, wines and spirits, look no further than Waitrose Cellar.

Opt for timeless, classic and elegant drinks, with a couple of classic cocktails to add a sense of occasion. For instance, we love a classic ‘Manhattan’ - here is our favourite recipe:


  • 40 ml/ 1.5fl oz rye whiskey
  • 20ml/ 0.7fl oz Italian vermouth
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Stir a mixing glass and then strain into a v-shaped cocktail glass. Garnish with the maraschino cherry. Serve immediately.

Discover Waitrose Entertaining food ‘made to order’, Waitrose ‘pick your own’ at www.waitrose.com and Waitrose Cellar at www.waitrosecellar.com. For more information about Christmas traditions, entertaining and etiquette, check Debrett’s Guide to Entertaining Etiquette.


Ines da Silva, fashion professional, style and image adviser exclusively at Debrett's.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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