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20 tips for throwing the best party this season

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An exhaustive list by Saloni Parikh, founder Capota.co, on everything you need to make your evening a smashing success

Food, mistletoe, cake, gifts, and of course, Santa! What’s not to love about Christmas parties? If you are prone to stressing out in the lead up to these get-togethers, these holiday entertaining tips will ensure smooth sailing:

1.    Decide on a colour palette before you shop for your Christmas decor. Red and green is your safest bet.

2.    Gold is an integral part of the magic of this season. You can use gold candles, glasses, plates, napkins and paper décor.

3.    Skip the flowers and work with leaves instead. Simple palm leaves or fern in transparent vases with some jute twine will give your
       decor a rustic feel.

4.    Aromatic candles in fragrances such as cinnamon, pine and berries are just ideal for the season.

5.    What is prettier than a Christmas tree with twinkling fairy lights? You can deck your tree with ribbons, ornaments, message cards -
       there’s no single style of decorating it.

6.    Deck the halls with some paper decor. Add some extra sparkle with hanging paper decorations like silver foil stars and globes.

7.    Who wants to wash the dishes after the party? No one. A smart way to entertain is to address the aftermath in advance. Use
       disposable tableware for easy clean-up. Use statement making pieces like Santa-shaped plates and reindeer-shaped cups along with 
       paper napkins with festive patterns to bring the Christmas spirit to the dining table.

8.    You can dress up your tables with simple centrepieces such as pinecones in a trough or a wreath with a stout candle in the centre.

9.    Mix real glassware and ceramic pieces like trays, platters, and ice buckets with disposable plates to cut down on the cleaning while
       keeping the look elevated.

10.    Mix and match homemade food with store bought or take away items to ensure you are not stressing too much in the lead up to
         the party.

11.    Cheeseboards are a great option. You can use different kinds of crackers and exotic fruit preserves to make it more interesting.

12.    Hot chocolate is the perfect drink for winters. Serve them in thematic (reindeer) cups. This is sure to be a hit with kids and adults

13.    Make a s’mores snack mix by mixing some marshmallows, chocolate chips and cereal. It’s a perfect snack to munch on and goes well
         with the hot chocolate too.

14.    Plan a group activity for the kids such as making Christmas cards, or elaborate ones like decorating cookies and gingerbread

15.    A self-service bar is a great idea. Make batches of cocktails in advance that guests can just pour over ice. This way the drink tastes
         as you intended, and guests aren’t required to play bartender.

16.    Make fun ice cubes with cranberries, pomegranate seeds and rosemary for special cocktails.

17.    A good Christmas playlist will keep the party going and will add to that holiday cheer. So be sure to make a Christmas playlist in
        advance. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” by Andy Williams, “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande “Last Christmas” by Wham! 
        are definite crowd pleasers.

18.    You can create your own version of Christmas-themed Pictionary or Taboo to play as the drinks get passed around.

19.    Have some favours for the guests to take away as a reminder of the wonderful time everyone had. You can have crackers for the
         kids filled with stickers. For the adults you can have hot cocoa jars with handwritten notes.

20.    Plan a Secret Santa. You can let the guests know about it when you send them the invite. Have a large basket for guests to put
         their presents in as soon as they arrive. You can enjoy the gift exchange later in the evening.

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