Tips to kick-start your Christmas party planning

Filipinos here and abroad plan their holidays as soon as the BER months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER) come, spreading virtual Christmas greetings and memes and blasting Jose Mari Chan’s iconic carols.

There’s a certain magic in the air, and suddenly, everyone’s in a festive mood and already making plans for nochebuena, annual family, and barkada (peers/friends) reunions, and Christmas parties.

Yes, you read that right. Christmas is such a big deal for us Pinoys that planning actually commences as early as three months before the big day! Schedules are cleared and aligned, places are booked, programs are made, and gifts and décor are bought as early as this month. By the time November and December roll around, you’d already be hard-pressed to make reservations for the best restaurants, buffets, and event spaces. No exaggerations.

So to help you start off your own preps, we created this list of fun Christmas party ideas to make this your most memorable Christmas yet.

Make it a themed party

Having everyone come in costume or at least a particular color makes all the difference between a meh and a wow! party. For some reason, everyone’s just a lot more pumped up when they’ve prepared a special look for the occasion! You can find tons of themes online but here are a few ideas: a hat party, a glitter-and-sparkle themed party

Set up a DIY photo booth area

Now, don’t let all that party outfit go to waste. Prepare a photo booth to take those group and solo snaps. On a budget? Go the DIY route by setting up a camera on a tripod and several curtains (or even blankets) to serve as backdrop for the “studio,” and gathering props like oversized sunglasses, Santa hats, toy crowns, and tiaras, feather boas, and a lot more!

Have a movie or game nook for the kids (and kids at heart)

If you have kids and teens in your group, try setting up a corner where they can watch holiday movies like Home Alone or How the Grinch Stole Christmas or play games like Super Mario Kart? It’s definitely a more fun way for them to get to know and bond with relatives around their age than just having them sit in the “kids’ table.”

Make it a karaoke night

If there’s one thing Filipinos love to do and are good at, it’s singing. And to us, any occasion is a perfect time to bring out the karaoke machine! So why not bring one to your party and encourage everyone to belt out their favorite Christmas tunes after the program has ended?

Set up a sumptuous buffet table with everyone’s favorite food

Make sure everyone enjoys the feast by building a menu with everyone’s favorite dishes in it. Lola’s paella, tita’sleche flan, or mom’s fruit salad? Check!

Do a mini talent show

Give everyone the chance to show off their talents through a mini talent show! You can do the usual song-and-dance numbers, sure, but how about upping the stakes by asking everyone to do something a little different? Like a short comedy skit, a performance of a classical piece with the violin or piano, or beatboxing? Don’t forget to prepare nice prizes for the winners!

Hold the party somewhere you haven’t been to

If you’re looking to tweak certain traditions this year, how about considering holding your reunions and parties somewhere new? Like in an out-of-town Airbnb rental, or a garden café tucked in a quiet location nearby. But as we said, start looking and make reservations soon before everyone else beats you to it!

That’s it! We hope this list has you excited for all that party planning. Don’t forget to enlist the help of your friends and loved ones to ensure an event that everyone would never forget. –