Scenario One:

The jig is up. You’ve done your darndest to avoid throwing a holiday dinner party for years. But there are no more excuses to be made — it’s your turn, and there’s nothing to be done about it. It’s time to bite the bullet, invite the in-laws, and host the best holiday dinner party your family has ever seen. 

Scenario Two: 

You love throwing parties; you do everything you can to make sure you are the lucky hostess/host for this year’s holiday proceedings. But that’s just it! You’ve hosted so many times, it’s hard to come up with fresh ideas. And whether your extended family cares or not is none of your concern — original, captivating dinner parties are non-negotiable when they are at your house.


Regardless of which camp you fall into, you’ve come to the right place for Christmas and holiday dinner party ideas here at Alchemy Catering, the top Austin catering company around! Even if neither one of those scenarios describes what you are looking for to a tee, don’t fret! We are confident you’ll find today’s blog both practically useful and imagination-inducing! 

Tips For Hosting The Perfect Holiday Dinner Party

So take one, none, or all of these ideas and try them on for size for your party, but don’t be afraid to make them your own either! Let’s dive in. 

Make A Budget

For a holiday dinner party, or even a holiday party that doesn’t involve dinner for that matter, we highly recommend you start with a budget in mind. If you don’t, your imagination might get the better of your wallet. One option is to track your budget as you go in order to make sure that things aren’t getting out of hand. Another choice is to set a predetermined budget from the outset, before you’ve done a smidgen of shopping. 

Of course, we’d probably recommend the latter option while you brainstorm what you want the party to look like. You’ll want to factor in the number of guests in attendance along with other main considerations: appetizers, main dishes, desserts, beverages, themes, and decorations. Once you have the primary categories outlined (it doesn’t need to all come together in the planning stage), you can start to get a vision for what is possible. 

If you want to spend a decent chunk of change on decorations, tablecloths, and the like, don’t be shy about asking your guests to bring a dish to share. Even if you aren’t planning on going all-out on the decor, it’s completely acceptable to ask your close friends and family members to contribute by making (or buying, as tragic as it would be) something to share. 

Conversely, if this dinner party isn’t of the intimate, familial variety, you should probably go ahead and plan on handling all purchases and dishes on your own. 

Choose A Theme

If you are thinking to yourself, “Wait, I thought the holiday was the theme,” we understand, but you are still mistaken!

You see, irrespective of if you are hosting five or 50 people, there are subtleties to consider when thinking about themes and decor. You need to set a tone that is appropriate for your guests, so it’s crucial to start thinking about who will be at your event and what they might want to see? 

For instance, will children be present? Perhaps it’s worth having a gingerbread house decorating station (the adults will secretly love it too). Will your guestlist enjoy libations of the alcoholic variety? 

Think about what everyone has in common and then decide on your theme from there!


If your party is somewhat formal, invite your guests three weeks before the date of the party by sending paper invitations, giving them a week or so to RSVP. If your party is less formal, shooting them a text or giving your prospective guests a phone call is completely acceptable. It’s also recommended to ask them to RSVP no later than a week before the party. 

Allergies & Dietary Restrictions

Whether or not your dinner party is going to be formal, take it from the word of an Austin catering company: don’t fail to ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions or food allergies you should be aware of. Perhaps one or several of them are plant-based, vegan, kosher, allergic to peanuts, or one of the dozens of other possibilities. It’s worthwhile for obvious reasons, among which are safety and the general enjoyment of the evening. Do your due diligence as the evening’s coordinator!

Cook Beforehand Or Hire An Austin Caterer

The final tip we’d like to provide in today’s blog is two-pronged: either cook beforehand or hire a catering company to handle a lot of the details for you. Why the either/or proposition? Because the answer is the same no matter which you choose — on the night of the party, you need to be present with your guests. If you are stressed and absent because you have to check the temperature of your pot roast once every other minute, you won’t be able to enjoy the evening as well as you should. In turn, your guests will notice as well. 

The more time you can mingle with your guests, the better. Whether you are trying to network or spend some quality time with your extended family, it’s vital to be in the moment as best you can. 

For our part at Alchemy Catering, we are experienced in providing Austin catering for special events and parties, providing fresh, authentic, and unique menu items for a wide variety of events. 

About Our Austin Catering Company

We are Austin caterers that truly cater to your needs. It’s not just lip service; we take the time to listen to our prospective customers and clients to understand what their goals are in terms of feel, cuisine, menu, presentation, and budget. We offer a wide range of catering styles from buffet, family style, and plated to drop off and customized options. 

Whether you are interested in private event & party catering, wedding catering, or corporate event catering, we are able to work within the confines of practically any budget. We work intimately with our clients to make sure that all ideas, needs, and requests are met. 

Rest assured we will discuss topics such as: reason for celebration, date and time, service style, guest demographics, budget, allergies, and culinary preferences, without forgetting any memories or special moments that could be useful to help craft the menu and theme. 

We love what we do at Alchemy Catering, so give us a call so we can hear from you and make your next catered event in Austin a memorable one!