Not looking forward to hosting “just another Christmas party”
this year? Do you and your friends or neighbors tend to duplicate parties by
inviting the same guests? Have I got a solution for you! Consider hosting a
Christmas tree tour. What is a Christmas tree tour? Well, it’s kind of like a
progressive dinner only without all the prep. Intrigued? Here’s what you do…
First, recruit some coconspirators. You’ll need to have at
least three and really no more than six separate hosts willing to join in on
the fun. They’ll need to commit to hosting the entire set of guests for a
cocktail-style party for at least 45 minutes but no more than two hours. Homes
should also be within a reasonable distance from one another and should have
ample parking. Don’t just grab anyone willing to take the job! Have some prerequisites!
Each host should be bursting with holiday cheer and ready to share the
merriment with all who grace their doorstep. Scrooge’s need not apply!
Once you’ve partnered up with some joyful hosts, you’ll need
to collaborate on a guest list. An event like this is a great opportunity for
inviting new friends into the mix. If you are inviting guests that the other hosts
may not know, no worries! This is the perfect time of the year to add new
friends to the holiday Christmas card mailing list! Just be sure to point out
any key information, like food or pet allergies for instance, so that the other
hosts can plan accordingly. You will also need to decide whether or not
children will be invited. The decision needs to be unanimous for continuity in
the evening’s events. Once the guest list is set, work together on choosing an
invitation and decide how they will be distributed. NOTE: Invitations should
include addresses and phone numbers for each house in the order they will be
After inviting others to join in your merriment, you’ll need
to strategize the evening’s events. Decide whose house the festivities will
begin at. This home should be easy to find. I recommend hosting the first
portion of the evening if you are the one coming up with the idea. The first
host will be responsible for welcoming everyone as a group and then explaining
how the evening will transpire. Maps and addresses should be handed out as
party guests leave for the next location. All hosts will need to decide on an
approximate time limit for each home. Obviously guests will be hosted longer at
the first home and the last home. I recommend an additional 15 minutes to allow
guests to arrive at their leisure and mingle before moving on to the next home.
Similarly, the last host of the evening will need to understand that guests
should feel comfortable to leave the evening’s festivities at their leisure. When
deciding the order of whose homes will be visited next, be sure to communicate
the understanding that the hosts will need to plan enough time to properly
receive their guests for their leg of the tour. For instance, the host for the
second home should leave the first home at least 10-15 minutes before all other
guests and so on.
When planning the details of the evening, you’ll need to
decide whether or not to make this a competition. Such details will need to be
explained when addressing the guests in the first home. If you do decide to
make this a competition, make the prize silly instead of serious. Allow time at
the last home for guests to vote and for prizes to be awarded.
Once all of the details are taken care of, allow hosts to
decide on their own theme. Some homes may want to host a modern cocktail party
while others may opt for Christmas caroling by the piano. Drink and menu plans should
be decided on by each individual host. I recommend that hosts be encouraged to
plan their individual receptions in a way that reflects the tree in their home.
Now that all of the planning complete, it’s time to
celebrate this Christmas season with friends and neighbors in a whole new way!