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Hosting a Christmas/New Year party?

Feeling festive this year? Planning a great Christmas or New Year's bash? Don't let the frustrations and chaos of organising it get you down.

A successful party will be remembered for years to come, here are a few pointers from the Flexicover Team:

Plan ahead
Whatever the size of your party, planning ahead is a must to avoid last minute panics and inevitable Christmas queues! List all the things you need to do and buy and stay on top!

Invites and guest list
Mark your calendar by sending your invites as early as possible. Ask as many people as you can comfortably accommodate without being overcrowded. Remember to have a RSVP on the invites as well as your address, times and dress code. Be careful if you are using a social media platform to invite people as things can get out of hand if too many people show up!

Have a selection of drinks
Remember to cater for your designated drivers as well as the drinkers. Serve a variety of drinks, especially soft drinks if you are inviting children! Christmas spiced mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails) are a great way to get the party started! Mulled wine with a dash of brandy and fresh orange slices should get everyone in the spirit, in more ways than one.

Keep the menu simple and festive
With the jolly season only around once a year, keep the menu festive but simple. We have a tendency to over-indulge during these festivities so a simple menu of finger foods, snacks and buffet-style canapés will go down a treat – serving them on teaspoons is a stylish and novel way to make sure your carpet stays clean! Choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. Desserts are always party favourites so ensure you have lots of them!

Have a theme
A themed party may not be everyone's cup of eggnog but they really can add that little bit of extra sparkle! Whether it's a Christmas theme, a masquerade party, the swinging Sixties, a movie theme or a New Year's party it's sure to add more excitement to the event. If you go for fancy-dress, consider handing out a prize for the best costume!

Consider having some games and amusements to keep everyone happy! If you can, provide a Playstation or Wii for the kids in a separate room. Play party CDs to get everyone in the mood and clear some space for a dance floor! Hire a magician, comedian or even a caricaturist - it's sure to keep your guests entertained!

Relax your guests – make sure the space looks the part and create an exciting environment. Use simple decorations to turn your home into a festive wonderland. Choose a colour, style, design or theme you love - simple festive flower arrangements and candles can be very effective. Or, if you're having a theme, create a look that complements it. Get the kids to help make some decorations by painting chilli peppers with gold and silver paint, so they can join in the fun too!

Party gifts
Last but not least - if you want to run that extra mile, share our secret - most guests love a gift! Send them home with a little something, maybe a bag of spiced gingerbread or a tree decoration as a ‘thanks for coming' gesture.

Once you've said your goodbyes and have cleaned up, put your feet up and think of where you will be going for your next holiday, away from it all!

Wherever you go and whatever you do, ensure you are fully covered with a reputable travel insurer. Purchasing your policy as early as possible after booking your trip can be invaluable as this will protect you in the unlikely event that you have to cancel.

We at Flexicover Direct, specialist travel insurance providers, are committed to providing the highest level of service to ensure you and your family have the protection you need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, anywhere in the world. Our policies include cancellation, baggage and a host of other covers.

If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!