Christmas parties can be tons of fun! Whether it’s getting together and reminiscing with friends or exchanging kooky gifts, it all makes for merriment during the holiday season. One of the biggest trends for 2012 Christmas parties is creating an elegant, budget friendly soiree in your home. Here are some tips on creating a stylish affair that will have all your guests amazed with your party planning skills!

Christmas Party Invitations

The invitation and the way you choose to deliver it is the very first impression your guests will have of your party, so an electronic invite is out if you’re trying to create an elegant affair. If you want to make a good impression but don’t want to break the bank on invites, there’s an abundance of pre-packaged options that you can create at home using your printer. However, if you’re ready to spare no expense for your fancy fête, hire a professional invitation specialist such as Pink Poppy Ink to create trendy letterpress or boxed invitations.


Christmas Party Outdoor Décor

Trust us. The large plastic Santa might have been popular at one time, but his glory days have ended! If you’re trying to create an upscale feel, elegant outdoor decorations should greet your guests. The biggest trend these days is a “less is more” approach! Start with a modest amount of white lights framing your roofline — go ahead and skip the icicle variety. Add tasteful greenery, such as a boxwood wreath or fir needle garland. Then, fill planters with rosemary bushes or fresh poinsettias and top them off with oversized red bows.


Christmas Party Interior Decorations

The same rule of “less is more” still applies to indoor decorating for your party, too. Give your Christmas tree a sophisticated 2012 makeover — no tinsel or colored lights this year. Decide on a color palette, limiting it to one or two colors. Use white lights and one or two of the same ornaments to repeat throughout the tree. Choose coordinating schemes for your mantel and tablescape and be sure to keep the rest of the decorations to a minimum. We have a number of Christmas party decoration ideas on our Holidays: Christmas Party Ideas + Winter Party Ideas board on Pinterest to help inspire you with specific colors and designs.


Christmas Party Menu & Bar

Depending on the size of your party and your budget, it’s still perfectly on trend to do either a sit down dinner or heavy hors d’oeuvres served buffet style. Another trend that’s similar to the buffet is to serve food via food stations. You can have anything you please, from soups, salad, potato bar, ethnic cuisine, coffee and espresso bar and DIY dessert bar! Regardless of how and what you serve, the food should be high quality, substantial, and served on proper plates, never plastic. The ideal scenario is to offer a full bar stocked with top shelf liquors and plenty of mixers. Even if you just offer one type each of scotch, rum and vodka, most of your guests should be happy. Also, be sure to have a selection of beer and wine and some non-alcoholic options for the designated drivers. For an added touch, offer a seasonal signature cocktail, such as rum-spiked eggnog. If your budget allows, it is highly recommend that you get a caterer so that you can leave the work to someone else and enjoy being the hostess!


Christmas Party Accommodations

One of the newest trends is for hosts to hire a valet company so no one has to worry about parking far away and trudging through the ice and snow. Sure, you could have the teenager next door do it for a little pocket cash, but remember, they won’t be insured if something happens to one of the cars in their care. Locally, we recommend Elite Management Services for professional valet. Another excellent option is to offer on-site childcare either upstairs or in the basement, so the adults can enjoy a fun-filled night without having to book a sitter! If you’re expecting a lot of guests, be sure to hire an appropriate number of childcare providers. This may also increase attendance to your party because everyone loves an adult-only evening in which no one has to pop for a sitter! Locally, we recommend Your Event Sitters for onsite event-based childcare services.


Christmas Party Favors

What elegant Christmas party would be complete without a favor for your guests to take home to remember the incredible evening? The most on trend favor is one that will actually be used! For this reason, food is always a great choice. You may select a special kind of cookie or candy wrapped up in a little to-go portion for your guests to take home and enjoy later. If you’re trying to find something unique and local, we might recommend gourmet popcorn favor bags by Just Pop In!

Or, choose something more permanent, such as a tree ornament. Every year your guests can hang it on their tree and remember your fabulous Christmas party.

Share your Christmas party tips and photos with us on Facebook or Twitter! For more inspiration, check out our Christmas Party board onPinterest.