How to have a Seasonally Appropriate Christmas Celebration.

July 12, 2013

I had this brilliant idea before we had even moved to New Zealand. When we got there, and were in the throes of a depressing winter… with no holiday season, no new year to celebrate, not even a measly president’s birthday offering a 3 day weekend… I had a plan. A brilliant plan. A mid-winter Christmas, in June! I’d been planning this since like, October. Isn’t that an amazing idea of unparalleled creativity?

Apparently not. At first I just met one other person with the idea. Then I learnt of a couple of expats who had done it last year. Fair enough. Then I found out it’s done all of the time. By everyone. By Kiwis, who find a warm, tropical Christmas to be normal, but just have one in the middle of winter too because why not? I have three sets of friends who have mentioned having a mid-winter Christmas. My gym is having one. If you hadn’t already figured it out by my constantly sarcastic and rhetoric writing style, I’m apparently not that creative after all.

Regardless, a girlfriend and I decided to throw a Seasonally Appropriate Christmas Celebration. It was a bit involved, but we pulled it off.

7 Steps to having a Sweet Christmas Party

#1: Good Food
My friend was very organized and apparently all of our friends are truly exceptional cooks. Not only did we have a nice wide variety of Christmasy foods (not 4 different kinds of green beans like my usual party…), but everything was seriously delicious.

Even enough for seconds!

#2: Liberal Libations
When we planned the party, we realized we were bringing together 3 or 4 separate groups of friends to one table. What can you do to make sure a bunch of strangers have a good time? Add wine!

Well, we can tell Scott at least had his!

#3: Christmas Music
No matter how much ham and mulled wine there is, it’s not Christmas until the tunes are on. Granted, about 89% of people would argue with me on this, but at my party there will be Christmas music.

#4: Have a real Christmas Tree
Having a friend illegally permanently borrow the perfect tree for your Christmas party wouldn’t be the ideal way to get a Christmas tree. But do what you need to do for the sake of the holiday. Where would the handmade Christmas decorations go?!?!

#5: Christmas Decoration
Bring a handmade Christmas decoration to put on the tree! Scott and I made snowman and snowflake ornaments out of cut-outs from bike magazines. They were true pieces of art, and I meant to bring them home after the party.

#6: Gift Exchange
Our rules were as follows: Bring a wrapped gift that does not exceed $20 (but should have been worth roughly that… ahem, looking at you, person who brought the $0.99 puzzle!).
-The gifts will be numbered, so in our case 1 through 16.
– Everyone draws a number.
– Person #1 opens gift #1.
– Person #2 can then assess gift #2 while it is still wrapped (lift, shake, smell) and decide if they want to steal gift #1 which they know what it is and may covet, or if they want to take their chances with gift #2.
– Person #3 will then do the same with gift #3, either take the chance of opening it, or steal gift #1 or #2 (which have now been unwrapped) from it’s owner.
– If you had a gift that gets “stolen”, you then get to open the rejected gift and it is now yours.
– A gift can only be “stolen” once.
After several explanation attempts to a few drunk people, the gift exchange went perfectly.

Who doesn’t need a Princess Makeup Kit?
Or a chef kit?
Or a child’s Spiderman costume and leopard print undies??!??!!

#7: Ugly Christmas Sweaters
I admit, this is one of my least favorite Christmas traditions. But I observed that it is a tradition and I followed the rules. Except in New Zealand, it’s an ugly Christmas jersey, and apparently it doesn’t actually have to be the least bit Christmas themed. Just an ugly sweater of any kind will do. Good to know for next year.

The least ugly sweaters Ive ever seen at Christmas! Scott’s behind the camera…

So there it is. 7 steps to a successful Christmas Party, in whatever season you see fit to celebrate. Ours turned out to be a whole lot of fun, even if it was less original than a toga party at a frat house. I think we’ll even do it again next year.

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