The ONE simple change that makes hosting Christmas parties a breeze

It’s especially good if you’re a bit of an introvert...

Tis' the season to throw a party. And as any good host/hostess knows preparation is the key to throwing a successful soirée that doesn't leave you feeling stressed out.

Tempting trees: How to make an ombre Christmas tree – give your old artificial spruce a new look

This is exactly what has been revealed by a new survey conducted by mattress and bed retailer Mattress Online.

dining table with balloons

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Examining which coping strategies introverts used to get the party started without feeling overwhelmed, they found that earmarking adequate time to prepare a guest list featured high up on the list.

Another important consideration for introvert hosts identified by the research was the size of the guest list. 64 per cent of those questioned said they wouldn't feel comfortable playing hosting to more than nine guests, while 20 per cent set their limit at three guests.

And when it comes to the duration of the festivities 20 per cent would pack guests off after a maximum three hours of food and fun.

christmas party with glasses

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Brown)

Among the biggest concerns expressed by introvert party hosts was the fear of 'small talk' around the table (30.5 per cent), people overstaying their welcome (31.6 per cent) and guests staying too long in the morning (26 per cent).

To counteract these issues introvert hosts may want to consider the following tips:

Take charge of the conversation

To ensure conversation doesn't dry up invite guests over an hour or so before dinner is served, giving them a chance to get know each other before they take up their seats at the table. Having a few ice breakers games to hand will also help different groups of friends feel more relaxed in each other's company.

Set time boundaries

On your invite make it clear to guests the start and finish time for your party. Follow dinner with coffee in a separate room to make it clear that the party is winding down. Tactfully offer to book taxis for anyone who needs one if they aren't getting the hint.

Make a plan for the morning

After breakfast the morning after suggest a drive/walk into town, depending on what mode of transport guests used to get to your home. Leave proceedings there so you can return home to peace and quiet.

Sleep solutions: Guest bed ideas – five clever ways to sleep visitors this Christmas

What's your top tip for hosting a stress-free Christmas party?