Anyone who steps foot in a store in December is probably already close to their limit when it comes to listening to Christmas music. So if you’re planning to feature holiday tunes at your shindig, you may want to think beyond the mall tunes. “You do need music as background noise to keep the party going,” Kennedy advises, “so find whatever suits your style.” If a chill vibe is what you’re after, look for Christmas music that’s been remixed in a lounge-y fashion — it’s a twist on the usual that is highly party-appropriate. Or try country or classical or modern kitsch…whatever enhances the atmosphere you want your soiree to have. Of course, if you’re partial to the traditional sounds of the season, find the old standards (think Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby) that never go out of style.
If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, turn the DJ duties over to your guests — all of them. “Ask all of your guests to give you their three favorite songs when they RSVP for the party,” suggests Kemble. Once you’ve got the master list compiled, create a custom party CD with all your friends’ favorite tunes. Burn extra copies of the CD and create a custom cover, then give the copies to your guests as a favor that they can enjoy over and over.