10 Holiday Hosting Tips For Filipinos For a Memorable Christmas Or New Year Celebration

Holiday hosting tips for Filipinos

Everyone’s excited that the holidays are just around the corner. But if you’re hosting a Christmas party or a New Year dinner for your family or friend group, you might be feeling the pressure to get everything just right.

To help you make your festivities a breeze, here are holiday hosting tips catered to Filipinos to ensure a Christmas party or New Year celebration that every guest will enjoy.

1. Determine the guest list

Image credit: Hannah Olinger via Unsplash

Knowing who and how many guests you’re having determines many things about your holiday dinner – from the type and amount of food to the vibe of the party. So before anything else, know who you’re preparing the party for.

While a family event gives you a rough headcount, a dinner party for friends has more variables. Are they bringing their partners? Kids? Which of your circle of friends are you hosting a party for?

This can influence not only the amount of food but also the presence of alcohol and the activities you’ll have on deck for the celebration.

Of course, don’t forget to tell your guests to come, or for a more formal touch, send out invitations.

2. Choose a theme for your holiday dinner party

Image credit: Nicole Michalou via Pexels

OYour holiday dinner theme doesn’t have to be rigid, or fancy for that matter. It’s more about getting a sense of what you’re aiming for, so your plans stay on track.

Decide whether you want to do a potluck or serve a certain cuisine. If you want to spend quality time with friends or family, consider having them over earlier to cook together.

You can also stick with a typical Pinoy Christmas party where you serve traditional Filipino noche buena foods. Then, sprinkle a few foreign dishes you know will be a hit with your guests.

3. Decide whether to cook or get catering

Image credit: @lamesato via Instagram

Cooking for a lot of people can be exhausting and time-consuming, especially if you’re flying solo or working with a small team. There’s certainly no shame in getting catering so you can enjoy the Christmas party or New Year celebration alongside everyone else.

But if you want a personal touch for your holiday dinner, you can do a mix of both. Cook your specialty dishes and order the others.

If you can, stock in your holiday food orders well in advance, especially for in-demand dishes such as cochinillo. Most food spots get swamped and booked up during the festive season.

4. Stock up on snacks and drinks

Image credit: Casey Chae via Unsplash

In addition to your dinner lineup, having snacks for guests to munch on is a nice touch. These can be as simple as store-bought chips and cookies to something fancy like charcuterie.

Plan your drinks ahead as well. Consider your guests’ preferences – whether it’s juice, soda, or alcohol. If you’re serving cocktails, it’s considerate to also have mocktails available for friends and family who can’t drink.

5. Buy extra indoor slippers for your guests

Image credit: @freshbnbsingapore via Instagram

In line with Filipino cultural norms, some guests may be uncomfortable with bringing their shoes inside your home. But you might not want them walking barefoot around your house either.

To avoid this, you can get disposable guest slippers similar to those found in hotels. These slippers come in various colors, allowing your guests to easily identify their pair, even if they step outside briefly.

6. Have a rough idea of the program

Image credit: Nicole Michalou via Pexels

Your Christmas party or New Year celebration program doesn’t have to be extensive and rigid. But it helps to have an idea of the flow of the party – what time you’re serving food, opening gifts, and doing games and entertainment.

This ensures there are no dull moments and makes the event memorable for everyone. Additionally, it reduces stress for you as the host.

7. Prepare some entertainment

Video credit: @kingmerylle via TikTok

Your choice of entertainment will vary depending on the guests you’re hosting.

If you’re celebrating with family and lots of kids, consider playing traditional Filipino games to make the event fun and unforgettable. For a more laid-back atmosphere, have a few exciting board games on hand.

For an even more laid-back holiday entertainment activity for adults, you can watch a holiday movie while enjoying snacks and sipping wine.

8. Decide whether you want to exchange gifts

Image credit: Eugene Zhyvchik via Unsplash

This Christmas season, your holiday hosting tips wont be complete without gifts. Ask your guests if they’re up for exchanging gifts. You can establish some guidelines, whether it’s regarding the budget or a specific theme.

Alternatively, consider organizing a white elephant gift exchange, where each person brings a wrapped gift of similar value, and participants take turns selecting a random gift.

9. Deck the halls

Image credit: Element5 Digital via Pexels

If you don’t think your home is decked for the holidays enough, hosting a dinner is a great excuse to throw in a couple more festive decor.

In particular, add extra decorations to the spaces where you’ll be entertaining your guests, whether it’s the dining room or your yard.

If you’re short on time to shop for decor, look into online Christmas decor shops for a convenient shopping experience.

10. Bust out your ceramic dishes and silverware

Image credit: Jasmin Schreiber via Unsplash

If you live in a typical Filipino home, ceramic dishes and good silverware are usually reserved for special occasions. When hosting your Christmas or New Year celebration, bust them out and give them a clean before the dinner preparations kick in.

However, using fancy dinnerware isn’t always ideal. For a casual barbecue or a large family gathering, you can also go for paper plates and wooden cutlery to save yourself from doing a ton of dishes at the end of the night.

Holiday hosting tips for a seamless Christmas party or New Year celebration

We Filipinos are all about the end of year holidays. There are numerous ways to celebrate Christmas and New Year. But whatever you choose, these holiday tips can help make your Christmas party or New Year celebration seamless and memorable.

Make your Christmas celebration even more Pinoy by incorporating these Filipino Christmas traditions. For more Christmas dinner ideas, check out our list of traditional Filipino Christmas foods.

Cover image adapted from: Nicole Michalou via Pexels, @lamesato via Instagram, Eugene Zhyvchik via Unsplash


Kim Shelly Tan

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