Planning a Formal Christmas Party

Christmas Party

Planning a sophisticated gala with impressive dining and extraordinary entertainment fills an expansive checklist on a timeline that can create stress and challenges. The holidays are just around the corner, and we are sharing tips from professional planners to help create an unforgettable Christmas party without the stress.

Logistics and Location

Impressive celebrations take place at impressive venues. Not every Christmas party belongs in an office space. The venue is the most important element of the entire event. All the decisions you make about your venue will set the tone for all the details to follow. Elegant and sophisticated events demand luxurious ballrooms with impressive dining. Envision oversized chandeliers, tables set with fine linens and formal chinaware, lush floral arrangements and extravagant décor to create your Christmas theme. Planners recommend an all-inclusive venue with an in-house restaurant that bundles the décor and services to truly take advantage of savings, designs and a professional level of services. This is one of the largest money-saving tips. Location is among the important elements to consider. The venue should be accessible to guests, have adequate parking, valet service, and be located in close proximity to hotel accommodations.

Christmas Party

Christmas Party Theme

Décor and designers are intrinsic to conveying a Christmas party theme within a space. Planning a theme and designing the theme are very different. One is fun and effortless, while the other is labor-intensive and stressful. This is where a venue with an upscale restaurant in-house, professional designers and elegant décor can combine to bring the color scheme, theme, extraordinary food experience and all the elements of your gala to life. Whether winter wonderland, costume Christmas party or mascaraed ball, creating the vision requires attention to the details. Planning with a restaurant that is part of an elegant ballroom venue with a design studio, in-house designers and planners can be key to creating the Christmas party theme without the stress.

Catering a Gala

The dining experience is one of the most memorable elements of a celebration. Your guests’ experience with food is created by the style of service and unique flavors a customizable menu delivers to the table. The food is not only part of the experience, but it should create it. It is important to consider that certain smells and colors will affect the way food is perceived, and different types of foods are experienced differently in different seasons and atmospheres. The catering should excite all of the senses with visual presentation, flavor, texture, scent, and sound. The environment surrounding the food is part of setting the tone for it all.

Beyond the dish on the table, the delivery of the cuisine is important. If you want to create an elegant Old World vibe, Service à la Russe brings waiters to the tables to serve each dish sequentially from platters. Service à la Française brings waiters to the table to serve the entire meal at once. Banquet French service serves plated meals from platters. Table side service involves portable table side food prep, such as tossing salads or flaming a steak. Family-style service brings the cuisine to the center of the table on platters for guests to serve themselves. Formal events bring guests together to dine with a sit-down dinner style. The atmosphere will be created by the service style. If you desire the elegant and upscale vibe, plated meals and full-service catering would be appropriate. Food stations can create an interactive food experience throughout the space. We do not all envision full-service catering. Sometimes, a buffet-styled event is in the plan. This is the perfect option to mix and match a variety of foods and beverages. Envision the Christmas party you want to create and the experience you want your guests to have with food.

Christmas Party

Cocktails and the Bar

A Christmas party would not be a Christmas party without the cocktails and the bar. An impressive bar service will give your guests a floor to mix and mingle while hors d'oeuvres are butler passed and delectable cocktails are served. The bar and service are part of creating that element within the space. Hosting your event at a venue with a bar, bartenders and white glove service can create that added level of sophistication you might be seeking for your Christmas party. Planners recommend choosing a venue with a bar and in-house bartender services. The celebration would not be complete without traditional desserts. Having a candy bar and dessert table at your event will provide another opportunity to add to the theme with festive candy wrappers, Christmas cookies and cakes.


Nothing will set the tone like the entertainment. A Christmas party usually has the traditional Christmas music, but do not be afraid to create a playlist with modern music that everyone will enjoy. The most common form of entertainment is a DJ, but if the budget allows, you might consider the energy of a live band. If you want a soft and elegant tone, you might have a grand piano and stringed quartet or the jazz flair of a saxophone. Regardless of whether you hire a DJ or live band, make sure you have a master of ceremonies to announce and lead all the special events and games.

Christmas Party Games and Events

Every Christmas party has a program of main events and games. You might have special announcements and special speeches, but you will probably have a Secret Santa gift exchange. Other common games include a holiday cookie decorating contest and trivia. Karaoke and a photobooth are added elements of fun. Create a timeline where the games and events flow.

Christmas Party Invitations

An informal office email might be adequate for an informal office Christmas party; however, if you seek to create a formal ball, this level of elegance demands a formal invitation. You will have so many decisions to make about texture and finish. It is easy to understand when something is referenced as handmade or natural materials, but you might not identify the materials as cotton, rag or hemp. Familiarize yourself with a deckle edge, corrugated or folded stock, industrial chipboard or newsprint, matte, opaque, mylar, parchment, rice paper, linen, jacquard and vellum. Think about your font. Do you envision letterpress, thermography, engraving or embossing? Are you considering the handwritten art of a calligrapher or printed calligraphy? The elegantly designed invitation should include the location, time, theme, planned activities, dress code and any other important information. If you want your guests in costume, make sure to include those details. As soon as you have the details planned, you should send out the invitations.

Catering Christmas Party

5 Senses Restaurant and Catering

5 Senses Restaurant and Catering is an upscale restaurant set within an exquisite three story mansion, Crystal Ballroom at Sunset Harbor. The combination of luxury restaurant and sophisticated venue delivers extraordinary service and fine dining to every celebration. The passion for creating spectacular events ensures excellence in every aspect of the experience. Meet with catering event specialists to create the unique dining experience you want to deliver to your Christmas party. Build your table of flavor-infused cuisine and the service that will see the execution through. Bring imagination to the catering and design professionals at 5 Senses Restaurant and Catering, and walk the red carpet to an unforgettable Christmas party.

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