How to plan a last-minute Christmas party

If Santa can deliver all of his presents in one night, then you can plan this party in a week.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PHOTOS: Ingimage

Christmas is less than 10 days away, and you’ve been “arrowed” to plan a party for your friends and colleagues. Sound impossible? Don’t worry – if there’s one time of the year that’s ripe for miracles, it’s Christmas. Here’s how to pull it off at the last second:

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: RECRUITING HELP AT THE LAST MINUTE
SOLUTION: Resort to bribery

It’s mid-December and you have less than a week left to plan everything. You’re going to need some help. But your friends aren’t willing to step in at the last minute. So what are you options? One, you could guilt-trip them into helping by invoking the “spirit of Christmas”. Two, you could guilt-trip them even harder by gently threatening to cancel the party since no one is free to help. Or three, you could promise them all mulled wine, first dibs on the gift exchange, and your couch, if things get out of hand.

In all seriousness, though, you shouldn’t feel “paiseh” about asking for help. It’s the holidays. Most people would be willing to contribute something, even if it’s as simple as spending half an hour to help you decorate the tree.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: EVERYONE HATES YOUR PARTY IDEAS
SOLUTION: It’s your party, so buck up, call the shots, and shut down the haters

If there’s one thing you SHOULDN’T do for an office party, it’s start a massive email chain asking everyone what they would like to do. Not only will the replies spam everyone’s inboxes, but you’ll never be able to arrive at a consensus. Some people will say you should eat in town, others will say that town is crowded and you should stick with the office. Some people will ask for ham and turkey, others will complain that turkey is dry and you should order chicken instead.

There’s no way you can please anybody, and asking the entire office for input will just cause drama when some people start to feel that you’d ignored their input. So don’t give them a choice. Decide on what to do with your planning team, and then email everyone telling them the venue and activity.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: COORDINATING A LAST-MINUTE GIFT EXCHANGE
SOLUTION: Do a cast-off Christmas gift exchange

It’s not fair to make party guests shop for a Christmas gift when they’re already so busy, and when stores are so packed. So this year, go for a sillier, more memorable game. Ask everyone to bring an unused, yet somewhat useless item from home (for instance, AV cables, an empty picture frame, or an iPhone 4 case). Then play the usual “take a number” or “steal the present” game and watch your guests gaze bemusedly upon the pointless items they have inherited.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: NO ONE HAS TIME TO BUY DECORATIONS
SOLUTION: Decorate each other

What, no one has time to pop buy Daiso to pick up some tinsel? Well, then they’ll have to suffer the consequences by playing this ridiculous game: Split the group into teams of about four or five and ask each team to designate one person as the snowman. Then have them compete to wrap that person with toilet paper, scarves, Santa, hats, and construction paper. Ta-Da! No further holiday décor needed.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO BUY FOOD
SOLUTION: Turn it into a cooking or baking party

If you have the benefit of a large oven at home, throw a Christmas cookie party. To save a bit of time, you could pre-mix some of the dough beforehand and provide cookie cutters, frosting, coloured sugar, and sprinkles for your guests. Make sure you have a Christmas playlist or a movie on hand to provide some entertainment while waiting for the cookies to bake. At the end of the night, give your guests some festive wrappers, gift tags, or boxes for storing their creations.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: YOUR FRIENDS THINK CHRISTMAS GAMES ARE LAME
SOLUTION: Have a gift-wrapping party

Are you friends with a bunch of Grinches who roll their eyes at icebreaker games? Then go full-on pragmatic by declaring the evening a Christmas gift-wrapping party. After all, everyone leaves their wrapping for the last minute. Ask your friends and colleagues to provide wrapping paper, scissors, tape, boxes, and ribbons and get crackin’ – it’ll feel a lot less like a chore when you have some company

.If you want to make gift wrapping even more exciting, you could even set aside a few gifts for a race. Set up stations with gifts and gift wrapping supplies and split everyone into teams. Have them compete to see who can wrap the most presents in 10 minutes, with extra points for the team with the prettiest wrapping.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: YOUR FRIENDS DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER
SOLUTION: Play Christmas versions of the usual icebreakers (two truths and a lie, charades…)

If you really can’t get away from doing an ice breaker, then put a spin on the ol’ “two truths and a lie” game by making it Christmas-themed. Ask your friends to think of their three worst presents, with one of them being false, and take turns guessing which one is the lie. Or you could fall back on the regular standby – Charades – by making everyone act out Christmas carols.You can also do this silly take on Christmas caroling: Once your guests have had a few drinks, make everyone pair off and give each pair a random Christmas song. Make sure you pick the most action-packed songs, like “Santa Baby”, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, or “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. Ask each pair to decide who will be the singer, and who will be the dancer. Then each pair will perform their little song and dance in front of the group. Prizes go to the most dramatic duo.

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE
11 Mar 2015

HOW TO PLAN A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE LAST MINUTE

PROBLEM: THERE ARE NO AVAILABLE VENUES
SOLUTION: Do Christmas Carol KTV

Your house is too small, the office is too lame, and all the restaurants are booked. When all else fails, to KTV-ing, and sing only Christmas songs. What, don’t tell us you’ve never wanted to see your boss gallivanting to “All I Want For Christmas Is You”.

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