Ten Ways to host your party like a badass jinglebell

Yes there’s COVID and end of the year-festivities will be much smaller than in previous years. Still most people celebrating Christmas will have some sort of Christmas dinner. You might feel bummed that you can’t celebrate with a large group of people but some people secretly cheer knowing that they won’t have to pull off a large dinner for too many people. Here are 10 insights for you how to host a party like a badass jinglebell. Whether it’s a small one or not.


1. always invite strangers.

Yes, social anxiety is a thing but stepping over the fear and actually connecting with someone new and listening to new perspectives can be one of the greatest joys in life.

2. Do something that makes no sense.

For some musty reason, most people behave perfectly according to the apparently all-agreed-on-rules of Christmas dinners. Which, in essence, don’t really make a lot of sense in the first place.  Why not start with dessert, eat under the table or wrapped in blankets on the rooftop while chanting Christmas carols to passers-by?

3. Don’t overcomplicate things.

For some reason Christmas dinners are synonymous for nervous breakdowns related to perfect dishes, Michelin star level service and impeccable styling. If that’s your wet dream: go for it!

If it’s not, don’t sweat. Just chill and do what makes you feel excited. If it excites you to roast sausages in the fireplace, just do it. If it excites you to eat at mc Donalds in a santa suit while spelling ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ in French fries: Do it!

But, do it well, do it when you are genuinely excited. Do it all the way.

4. Portion size – hunger – saturation

The largest part of the world lives in the mode of over-saturation. As a host, you might want to spoil your guests which is a natural tendency but as we are already stuffed, adding more stuff to the stuffness creates a morbid stuffocation. As a host, think about how to balance portions just as a composer makes a musical piece. The pauzes are part of the music. Flavour is more expressive when it is eaten from desire and desire is created by craving which is created by lack or hunger. 

5. Choose to eat meat if you have a good reason for it. Don’t eat mindless meat.

Jonathan Safran Foer dedicated a fair part of his book ‘Eating Animals’ to: what do we eat at Christmas dinner when we are vegetarians? If you imagine how scarce food used to be, eating a large chunk of meat at a festive occasion makes sense. Choosing meat just because you don’t really now what else to do, not as a conscious choice, makes you loose points on the badass-host-scale. 

6. Skip the cliche’s but do keep the essence.

Wow! Christmas is so incredibly full of cliches that one might start to think it is about decoration, trees, presents and food. Through all of that it’s sometimes hard to keep your eye on the essence.

You can rigorously mess around with decoration, food, presents and reindeers. Whatever you do, just keep the essence in mind. If you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, focus on the part of human connection, spending time and attention together. Presence over presents. The true and rare luxuries of our time. 

7. Give guests the wrong names

If you host a larger party where many people don’t know each other, name cards or corsages with names can be very useful. But wouldn’t it be nice to be called ‘Carol’ or ‘Henry’ for a night while your actual name is Suzan? A Dinner party is actually a performance or a small social experiment. What can you do to change people’s experience on a psychological level?

Fuck we have FOOD! How incredible is that!?

Marije Vogelzang

8. Create a ritual in a world of meaningless consumption

As Christmas is obviously a Christian feast with some pagan influences, the traditional rituals are derived from a religious framework. As most people still celebrate Christmas but do not believe in a traditional God anymore, the celebration tends to erode into an empty gathering of consumption. Rituals are ways for humans to connect to their higher spiritual values and help to make sense of life. As a host this is your chance to create and implement new rituals and to give a contemporary shape and depth to what we celebrate.

9. Involve guests

Oh my, sometimes dinners can become incredibly boring! Involving guests to actively participate in the making of the dinner, the serving of the dinner or the entertainment during the dinner can bring some action and energy and might even make the life of the host quite a bit more easy.

10. Don’t take things too serious and don’t take anything personal.

There are many days in the year but when winter comes (in the northern hemisphere) it seems as if time only evolves around the days of Christmas and stress levels rise together with the accumulation of Christmas songs on the radio. WTF?! Who cares if things are perfect? Who cares if your neighbour was pissed off because you forgot to give her a gift while you did give her one last year? Instead of feeling frustrated about things that you would like to change just look around and see and appreciate all the wonderful things you do have. (Fuck we have FOOD! How incredible is that!?) If something unexpected happens (your dog ate the Christmas pudding you’ve been slaving on for weeks or your child vomited on grandma’s luxury purse) Just smile and say: What a beautiful story! 

Because that’s what people will remember of your party.

They might like the food and the setting but they will remember the emotion and the story. 

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