Christmas is comforting in a way that no other season is, partly because of its atmosphere! We light spiced candles, wrap ourselves in the softest plaid throws, and indulge in sweet and savory food. Use lighting, sound, and scents to transport your friends and family to a world far from reality—a place where they feel at peace…a place where anything is possible. Create the perfect atmosphere for your Christmas party with…
LIGHTING: Make it soft, sweet, and interesting.
If you can, avoid turning on overhead lights. Mood lighting is vital to any event. Look for opportunities to use candles, both battery-operated and real. Set tealights in mason jars or lanterns around the house. Turn on a few table lamps or floor lamps. Bring outdoor Christmas lights, inside! String them over doorways, along the mantel, around the edge of your table, and up the banister.
MUSIC: Curate a lovable playlists of classic Christmas songs.
Picking songs that appeal to all tastes is the key to a magical combination here. (Yes, we know how hard that can be!) Involve your guests by having them add songs to the playlist throughout the evening, or asking them ahead of time to make their own playlist. Each person will feel so special when it’s their turn to share the holiday music that speaks to their heart!
FURNITURE: Arrange it to facilitate movement and conversation.
Rearrange your everyday furniture to make it more party-friendly. Place furniture in small groups to create a sense of intimacy and keep guests from having to yell and lean across empty space or a coffee table. And unless we’re in a playroom, downplay the TV. Ignore the TV and arrange furniture for conversation.
SCENTS: Light candles with rich, spicy scents.
You don’t want to overpower the food if you’re also hosting a big meal, but if you’re hosting a dessert party or get-together with small finger foods, go candle crazy! Warm vanilla, café mocha, burgundy, and cinnamon candles are all within the season scent-wise.
K-Tip: Want a fire-free way to make your house smell like Christmas and cookies? Put two caps full of vanilla extract in an oven-safe coffee cup. Place the coffee cup in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within 20 minutes the whole house will smell heavenly!
HELLO & GOODBYE: Say them with sincerity!
Greet your guests with joy and make their arrival effortless and easy; take their coat and purse right away, or direct them on where to put their personal items. Make their exit just as smooth. Get their coat and purse for them, thank them for coming, and offer a time when you might see each other again. The goal is to make them feel appreciated and soon-to-be missed!
When you’re setting up for a Christmas get-together, what is something you simply must have? A vanilla candle? Mulled spices simmering on the stove? Elvis’s Classic Christmas? Let us know in a comment below! And if you’re looking for more entertaining ideas, be sure to check out all of our tips and tricks here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.