10 Tips for a Stress-Free Outdoor Christmas Party
The festive season is named as such for good reason – it’s the best time to get together with the ones you hold dear and have fun with new friends you’ve met throughout the year. It’s also the prime time of summer, when outdoor parties are definitely in season. If you’re considering hosting your very own Christmas party, read our tips to make sure it’s the best party ever.
Get the invites out early
For many people, the December calendar is filled early with festive celebrations, whether they’re with family, friends or colleagues. To ensure that a space in the calendar is left clear for your event, send your party invitations out early so your guests will consider you first.
During the colder months it’s easy to forget how harsh the Australian sun can be. A backyard Christmas party means being able to enjoy the heat of summer, but you’re going to need some shade to relax without turning a rosy shade of lobster red. For those living in inner-city Sydney, it’s unlikely that your home will have generous shaded areas, so extending a few beach umbrellas or hiring a marquee for the day will be deeply appreciated by your skin the next day.
The holiday season is the best time – and for some, the only time – to crack open a cold one and put your feet up for the day. If you’re keeping your party intimate then an esky loaded with ice and drinks is the classic and most convenient option. For bigger bashes, consider making some real estate for a wet bar, which you can operate yourself. Though, if you want to make the most of your party time, it may be worth hiring a service to keep all of your guests happy and hydrated.
It should go without saying that festive decorations are an integral part of creating the vibe of the party. Ensure you’ve got all the Christmas classics – tinsel, bon bons and candy canes – but give the right side of your brain a workout and think of something that sets your backyard setting apart from the rest. Australiana-themed tree decorations, festive table settings or a wreath are all simple and effective decorations to make if you decide to have a pre-party DIY day.
Dance it off
An integral aspect of the party process is the music and dancing. Christmas carols and jingles are an obvious inclusion into the party playlist, but if you’re planning a ripper of an event, dance-friendly tunes will also be required. Incorporating a designated dancefloor is a great way to set your party apart from the rest, and also avoids reckless movers and shakers from accidentally toppling over the food tables.
Sure, it’s a great bonding moment to stand around the barbecue with beer in hand, but when your party involves not only family but friends, neighbours, work colleagues and children, the workload of working the food stand can sometimes be too much. With larger get-togethers it may be worth bringing in the professionals to provide a catering service to ensure your party goes off without a hitch without you even needing to lift a finger.
While eating, drinking or catching your breath after a dance marathon, it’s good to sit down and catch up with your guests. This requires having an adequate number of seats to sit down on. Once you’ve received RSVPs from your guests and have a rough number of people attending, you’ll be able to consider how many chairs, benches or lounges to purchase or hire for the event.
Keep the kids entertained
It definitely comes as no surprise that kids require massive amounts of stimulation in day-to-day life. Put them in a situation where they’re around other kids and their energy doubles or triples, and boredom will lead to potentially cutting your guests time at your event short. Get the young ones into the Christmas spirit by organising games for them to play – old classics like pass-the-parcel and stuck-in-the-mud are surefire hits. If space and budget allows, a trampoline or rented jumping castle are safe and exciting ways for kids to have fun and target their energy.
Prepare for dusk
More often than not, a good gathering will lead from the afternoon well into the night. Don’t leave your guests scrambling around in the dark – prepare for low light before they arrive by arranging various light sources before people arrive. Fairy lights and themed candles make for an ambient, relaxed setting. You may also consider installing solar lights to save electricity, or the popular trend of flameless candles for safe and worry-free lighting.
Keep the bugs at bay
Mosquitoes thrive during summer – keep them from feasting on your guests skin by placing citronella candles or coils in various places around the garden. Just remember to make sure they’re placed far from little fingers!