Christmas is just around the corner and everyone’s hosting a little get-together of their own. A Christmas party is a good idea until it spirals into a logistical nightmare.
But don’t fret, because at the end of the day, it’s not exactly about how amazing the turkey tastes or how instagram-able the decorations are. It’s pointless to have planned for an amazing execution when no one is comfortable enough at your party to enjoy it.
Parties are all about the people, regardless of it being family, a friend or a stranger. Never forget to put your guests at the heart of your party!
Here are some gestures that you can practice this Christmas in the spirit of Omotenashi* to make your guests feel right at home!
A typical invitation includes the date, time and menu but nothing screams disaster like getting lost or not knowing what to wear to a party. Take that extra step and consolidate all your thoughtful information into an e-invitation. The invitation should also be indicative of the attire, it’s also nice if you manage to include specific directions for those on the various modes of transport. The point is to get them to feel well-prepared even before they even set foot into your party.
P.S. Sending it them directly rather than via a group chat will make them feel a lot more special.
If you’re ordering catering, you can even send the menu to some of the attendees and ask for their feedback. Being part of the decision-making will give them a sense of inclusiveness towards the party.
Pro tip: Never let your guests go hungry! Always have some easy-to-make snacks on standby in anticipation of people that go for second or third rounds and for the people who arrive late.
3. Gift Exchange
If you are planning on incorporating a gift exchange or Secret Santa, do have some standby gifts so that those who have forgotten about it can also participate in the activity.
A brightly-lit room makes people self-conscious. To make your party venue cozy, dim the lights. You should have some upbeat music playing in the background to set the mood and act as a filler for the silence – in case nobody feels like talking.
5. Greet Them
Personally welcome everyone who enters your party . Be warm! – enough to be helpful but not enough to overwhelm them. Give them a quick tour of where the food, drinks and amenities are so that they can make themselves at home.
6. Breaking the Ice
Give everyone at the party a sticker with their name on it. Go by something that you would normally call them instead of their formal birth name. e.g. write Liz instead of Elizabeth. After that, propose to play a simple ice breaker like People Bingo.
If you’ve been to Japan, or visited any of our spas, you would know that placing shoes facing out is pretty common in the Japanese culture. It is done with the wearer of the shoes in mind – so that they can just slip their shoes and go. It’s a subtle step that often goes unnoticed, but nonetheless, very Omotenashi*.
8. Enjoy Yourself
Keep in mind that everyone who came to your party appreciates that you are making it happen. Remember to have a drink, eat, laugh and enjoy yourself! The last thing anyone wants to see is a flustered party host.
With that, we hope that all of you can have a wonderful holiday ahead!
* Japan is largely known for their overwhelming hospitality. This spirit of Japanese Hospitality is best known as Omotenashi. It is the art of putting thought into unexpected hospitable gestures, to create that memorable “wow” moment.