Updated: Sep 15
The Christmas season is a very special time for recounting fond memories and making new ones. We all look forward to the gift-giving, the mouth-watering menu on Christmas and New Years day and, of course, the quality time spent with family and friends at get-togethers.
Thinking of ways to make this year’s celebration better than the last? How about adding a new twist to the tradition this year by taking it outside? You’re probably wondering:
“How would I decorate?”
“Where would I even host outdoors?”
“I don’t have a huge backyard.”
and most importantly,
“What about MOSQUITOES?!”
Those are all valid concerns when choosing to entertain outdoors, so I’m here to give you the solutions to these problems.
Trust me, the holidays will feel even more magical as you celebrate under the stars, and feel the cool Caribbean breeze as you create unforgettable memories. Let me walk you through the process of sprucing up your outdoor area for holiday entertainment to make sure you get the best out of this experience:
Comfort comes first
One of your number one concerns as a host is making sure all your guests are happy and comfortable. How do you do this? By making sure that there are enough seats, that the seats are comfortable, and that your guests aren’t too hot. It is important to prevent any accidents or mishaps with your guests and furniture. The simplest ways of adding comfort to your space are adding some extra cushions and throw blankets or getting that broken chair arm or that wobbly leg looked at. While we’re at it, let’s not kid ourselves; Jamaica is hot, especially in the mornings. If your family get-together is to start while the sun is still out, a shade sail or an outdoor fan are perfect solutions to the island heat. I promise that making these little changes will make your guests more comfortable in your space and set the tone for great conversation and memory-making.
Choose your ideal area for entertaining
The best spot for entertaining would be one with enough space and seating for guests. Choosing a spot that has its own amenities like an outdoor kitchen or bar, or that has easy access to the indoors is beneficial for everyone involved. This way you can easily set up, dine, bring out extra food or supplies, etc. A bonus would be a spot that also has a great view of the city or the water. Look at this deck. It's attached to the house, has ample seating and space and a killer view of Kingston. You can use your patio, terrace, balcony or gazebo in the same way. Don’t have one? Don’t worry! You can consider renting a tent and getting furniture suitable for the outdoors to create the same effect. Whatever you choose, the main aim is to make entertaining easier by setting up in an area that maximizes space and access to amenities.
Have with the decorations, but don't go overboard
Of course, it wouldn't be a holiday party without Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, tinsel, garlands, ornaments or Poinsettias. While these are holiday decoration staples, you can also use outdoor pieces in different ways to upgrade your outdoor space. For example, the potting table can be repurposed as a drink or dessert stand. Concrete, clay or plastic pots, after washing, of course, can be used as wine buckets. You can also use red, green or even white fabric to define specific sections for entertainmet. Fabric is also ideal for dressing up plain chairs and tables. Holiday-themed table linens can also add that special detail that'll certainly impress your guests. These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are endless. What is important is that you don't use every holiday decor idea you like. Choose the ones that best suit your space to avoid having too much going on visually.
Keep Mosquitoes off the Guest List
Nothing can spoil your Christmas party faster than guests being attacked by mosquitoes. To prevent that disaster you can consider mosquito repellents that are less obvious and suitable for outdoor areas. Citronella candles are a great choice. Not only do they smell great, but they can be dressed up with fabric, coloured glass containers or tissue paper to fit your festive theme. There are also mosquito-killing lanterns that look like normal outdoor lights and can easily blend into your outdoor decor. Lastly, there are long-range sprays that are practically a godsend. These sprays are eco-friendly and prevent mosquitoes and other insects from breeding. They're perfect for larger outdoor spaces and can be sprayed right before the event without a nasty odour. How awesome is that? Keeping unwanted guests out will allow you to focus on what's important this Christmas: spending quality time with your loved ones.
The holidays are supposed to be spent having fun with those who matter most to us, not worrying about Christmas party decorations. These tips, as well as our tips on how to create the perfect outdoor space, will give you a better picture of what to do. You'll spend less time worrying about what tablecloth to use and more time creating new memories with friends and family.
Have you read our latest blog on the health benefits of spending time outdoors? If you have an extra 3 minutes, give it a read to get started on your healthy living journey.