The run-up to Christmas has to be one of my favourite times of the year. Ever since I can remember, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything to do with this holiday from decorating our tree to picking out the most tacky Christmas jumper. To me Christmas is more than just receiving and buying gifts, it’s a time to reconnect with family and friends. I usually spend the whole month surrounded by my close family and friends and I LOVE it. Living in Dubai, I don’t get to see my extended family very often; each winter I head back to London and the best part of my trip is spending time with everyone and getting into the festive mood.
This winter I want to help you with your festivities and give you a guide to hosting the perfect friends/family Christmas gathering. So get cozy and enjoy this guide!
When the first week of December rolls around, my favourite thing to do is start decorating. There’s something about fairy lights and glittery baubles that just make you feel happy, right? I love planning out and decorating our tree, filling the house with small festive knick-knacks, and lighting a Christmas candle! (you can see my Christmas tree from last year in this post)
I look forward to listening to Christmas music all year round (in fact I may have started listening to it in October this year – oops!) Making the perfect Christmas playlist is super important for me and blasting these tunes through the house on a speaker makes me feel extra festive. Here are some of my suggestions for songs:
- All I Want for Christmas is You
- Last Christmas
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- Sleigh Ride
- Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
- Feliz Navidad
- Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
- Christmas Lights
- Driving Home for Christmas
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- Underneath the Tree
- White Christmas
- Santa’s Coming for Us
- You Make It Feel Like Christmas
- Do They Know It’s Christmas
- Mary’s Boy Child
- Mistletoe and Wine
- What Christmas Means to Me
- Rockin’ Robin
- Run Rudolph Run
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Have a gingerbread house competition
This was honestly one of the most fun things we did; divide everyone into teams and get competitive! I’m no baking-engineer so I brought ready-made gingerbread kits from the supermarket which came with all the decorations we needed. Have your Christmas playlist on in the background and get creative! You can post a poll on Instagram to decide who wins and see what everyone else thinks! It was such an entertaining activity – I highly recommend it!
Bake a festive cookie
To me, there’s nothing that screams Christmas more than the smell and taste of freshly baked gingerbread. Before everyone came over, I made a batch of gingerbread that we could munch on while we assembled our own houses.
Christmas calls for bottomless mugs of rich hot chocolate. I don’t like the powdered hot chocolate much, I think that melting dark chocolate and mixing it with milk makes a much more delicious drink. Top it with some cream, marshmallows, and chocolate shavings and you have your guests a 5-star hot chocolate!
Watch a Christmas Movie
Winter would not be complete without watching a Christmas movie or two. My all-time favourite one is The Holiday it’s just so good! I need to try some different Christmas movies this year, please leave your recommendations in the comments!
Organize a Gift Exchange
My friends and I decided to do a secret Santa this year and to create stereotypical ‘starter packs’ for each other – it was so funny to see what everyone got for each other. You can find loads of secret Santa generators online who will email each person a name. So simple and so fun!
There’s nothing cozier than sitting around a table filled with candles and delicious food while it’s dark outside. My friends and I finished off the evening with a winter-y meal (not a traditional Christmas dinner because we’re saving that for the 25th) and enjoyed laughing and talking together. What a way to end the evening!
I had so much fun planning and hosting a festive Christmas gathering and sharing these photos and tips with you! Let me know in the comments if there’s anything else you would recommend for a Christmas gathering!
See you next week,