It’s never too late to plan a Christmas party. Our Christmas Party Checklist can be used to get your planning off on the right foot. Use this list if you’re starting late and want to get caught up, or if you’ve been planning and just need a checklist to make sure you’ve got it all covered. Of course, you can use this checklist to plan your party the right way. Stay organized this Christmas, reduce stress, and throw a Christmas Party that rocks with this checklist!
Christmas Party Checklist
System Requirements: Microsoft Excel® 2007 or later
User Agreement: Read it Here
It takes a lot of effort to put together a good Christmas party throwdown. Being deliberate with your efforts and knowing what you want to get out of the party will help make it all (including the $$$ spent) worth it.
About the Christmas Party Checklist
The checklist comes in Excel, so it’s easy to edit and make modifications. We’ve made it attractive by giving it some Christmas spirit. The design makes it a great Printable as well.
In Excel, click on the Red Boxes and a dropdown arrow will appear giving you the option of an “o” which is an empty box or an “x” which is a checked box. As a printable, you can just check the boxes. The YES / NO cells also have dropdown options that can be used when in Excel. Or, when printed, just circle the option that applies. There is a notes box in the lower right hand corner to keep track of key information, things you need to remember or use it to put in some additional to-do’s that maybe we didn’t include in our list.
We’ve found the best way to utilize this checklist is to modify it in Excel to fit your needs, and then print it out and mark it up as you go. Place it somewhere you can quickly reference and keep it at the front of your mind.
Tip: Use the space after the YES / NO section to keep contact information and/or cost information with any service provider you’re going to use. Putting the contact information here will make it easy to follow-up with service providers quickly.
Christmas Party Planning Ideas
Select a Date
Really there are two options here: Before Christmas Party or After Christmas Party. Generally, people like to have their parties before Christmas Day. But there can be some benefits to doing it after Christmas. Either way, you can make it work. Talk to friends and family that you want to attend in order to get a feel for everyone’s schedule. Make the party interesting, and people will be sure to make it.
Below are some Pro’s and Con’s of each.
Before Christmas Day
After Christmas Day
- Most popular time
- People have Christmas on the mind.
- Schedules are full with parties, activities and travel
- Can’t be last minute
- Schedule flexibility
- Save money with Christmas sales
- Upcoming New Year’s
- The Christmas feel might have passed
Pick a Christmas Theme
Probably the most popular (possibly the most overused) Christmas theme is the Ugly Sweater Christmas theme. It’s reliable because most people will participate and allows some of us to pull from the depths of our closet. Just be careful, some of your potential guests could have multiple Ugly Sweater Christmas themed parties this year. Maybe take a twist on it and get creative. Here’s a list of 50 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas to get you started.
Here are a few other ideas that might be worth considering for your Christmas Theme:
- Christmas Movie Theme – have one or two movies playing during the party. This type of theme is easily converted into a drinking game. Select a movie and take a shot when a particular phrase is mentioned (Merry Christmas or Christmas Spirit).
- White Elephant Gift Exchange – get the rules on Wikipedia
- Giving Spirit Party – get in the spirit and organize something impactful with your party. Maybe have guests bring some type of food for a local food bank, bring a wrapped new toy for children at a shelter or in a hospital. If you have a group of friends that are well off financially, put together some auctions and have the proceeds go to a good cause. You can get creative here.
- Costume Christmas Party – the theme here probably needs to be specific on the invitations. It could be Christmas movie characters, fun costumes or whatever works in your group of friends. Consider if this is going to be an adults only party (possible sexy costumes) or if kids will be attending.
- Masquerade Ball – not quite to the level of the full costume party, probably the sophisticated costume party version. Be sure to let your guests know, and have a few extra masks for anyone who shows up without one of their own.
- White Christmas – the all white party. This one is bound to have someone going home with stains, especially if wine is on the menu, but it’s a great way to have everyone participate without feeling awkward.
- Punchbowl Party – everything is served in punchbowls. Great if you’re doing a buffet style menu and if you’re interested in trying out some DIY recipes. Print out cards for people to rate each option as well as cards with each recipe. Here’s a list of Christmas Punch Recipes.
Guest List – make your guest list early and check the accuracy of the contact information. We created a Christmas Card List that could easily be modified to be used as your Christmas party tracker. One key point to consider when preparing your guest list are children. Let people know if kids are invited or not.
Invite Information – here is a list of key information that should probably be included on your invites. Also, consider sending electronic invitations. The electronic method will making tracking RSVP’s easy and make it so your guests can quickly locate the party information.
- Event name ([Your Last Name] Christmas Party – or something like that)
- Date of party
- Start time and end time (end time is optional)
- Contact info
- Theme – be sure to give enough information here so people aren’t left guessing
- If no theme give dress code
- Kids Friendly / Adults Only
- RSVP date
- Food & drink info – what can guests expect to be served
Budget – consider what you want to spend on this party. Costs can add up quickly and could impact how much of the party preparation you take on vs. outsource.
Games & Activities – keep kids engaged and out of trouble with some well thought out games or activities. Here are a few games to consider. Also, having a space that is reserved for kids can make the evening go much more smoothly for all.
Memories – give your guests the gift of memories by including a picture area. You can have props available or create an interesting / festive backdrop. Supply a camera or just let guests use their phones. Either way, this is a simple and cost effective way to let your guests have a memory to look back on.