Looking for ways to heat up your winter? Throwing a Midwinter Christmas party is a great way to get all your friends and family together and recapture the magic of the silly season.
Remember the good old days of the Midwinter Christmas disco when you were at primary school? Midwinter Christmas parties may have gone out of style over the last five years or so, but this year they’re back with avengeance.
Thinking about throwing your own Midwinter Christmas soirée but not sure where to start? Check out our top tips to heating up your July with a taste of the silly season.
What is Midwinter Christmas?
A uniquely New Zealand tradition, Midwinter Christmas is the chance for Kiwis to celebrate Christmas-themed social events with a real wintery theme. Generally celebrated during the coldest month of July, Midwinter Christmas is a great chance to get together with friends and family and warm up with a little holiday cheer.
Besides, Christmas offers the perfect excuse to eat too much, overindulge on bubbles and eggnog and give and receive pressies, so why should it only happen once a year? If you’re thinking about bringing Midwinter Christmas festivities back to your home, throwing a themed party doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive.
Plan, plan plan
You don’t think planning is necessary? Even Santa plans his giant Christmas party for the elves every year (or so we hear), so if you want your Midwinter Christmas party go off without a hitch – and with as little stress as possible – doing a little pre-party planning can mean the difference between delight and disaster.
You don’t have to schedule every last thing with military precision, but at least knowing who’s bringing what and giving your guests an idea of the date a couple of weeks ahead of time will get the ball rolling.
Obviously the first thing you should decide on is the where and when, so choose whether to host your Midwinter Christmas shindig at your place, someone else’s, or even at a restaurant or function venue. Most of the time Midwinter Christmas events are held around July 25 – because that is exactly six months between annual Christmases – but you can really hold your event whenever you like. Just give yourself enough time to plan your Christmas function and let your guests know in advance if you want a good turn out.
Guess the theme
The good thing about Midwinter Christmas parties is that your theme is already decided for you. Christmas is a great theme for a party because it’s merry, it means loads of food and drink, and you’ll already have all the decorations you’ll need.
Dig out the Christmas tree from December if you have an artificial tree, or borrow someone else’s, and load it up with decorations in a prominent spot. If you feel like really going over the top decorate all the entertainment areas, and try and find someone willing to don a Santa suit for a couple of hours.
You can plan Christmas games to keep your guests entertained, and you might even want to arrange a Secret Santa and have all your guests bring a $5 gift to pop under the tree.
By invitation only
Every good party has a VIP list, so make sure all your guests feel like very important people for your Midwinter Christmas event by sending them unique invitations.
Sending a text or a boring email isn’t going to cut the mustard if you want your Midwinter Christmas party to be really memorable, so be sure to send out thoughtful and creative invitations to capture your guests’ interest and imaginations. You could create something cool with clip art or even old Christmas photographs on your computer, or if you have a bunch of old Christmas cards filed away from years gone by, recycle them and create new Midwinter Christmas card invites by cutting off the front half of the card and writing on the back like a postcard.
There are also some great e-vites available for free online, so if cyber inviting is more your style, personalise a free e-vite template and send it out via email or your Facebook invitation tool.
Eat, drink, and be merry
Obviously Christmas is all about eating and drinking, and Midwinter Christmas is no different. Hosting a Christmas-themed party during this time of year gives you the opportunity to really tuck into some delicious, steaming comfort-Christmasy foods that would otherwise be too hot to indulge in during a typical Kiwi-style barbeque Christmas. If you’re on a budget and you’re a whizz in the kitchen, ask all your guests to donate a few dollars to go towards the food, or if you want to cut down your workload have everyone bring a plate of their favourite hot winter foods. You can even hand out a special Christmas recipe to each guest for them to prepare before the event.
The beauty of having your Midwinter Christmas party at a restaurant or function venue is that all the food and drink will be prepared by someone else – and you don’t have to worry about the washing-up! Some venues even decorate for Midwinter Christmas in July which can add to the festiveness of your event.