Go for something unexpected on the entertainment front. "We've booked drunken waiters," says Wendy Clark at party planner Fizzz, "and waitresses in gold Santa costumes would add a bit of sparkle!" Or how about stilt-walking human Christmas trees to hand out presents?
Think fun and games to make a party memorable. Dr Party's Nay suggests complimentary nail-painting, or encouraging your guests' creativity by providing graffiti pillars and felt tip pens. "For a fancy dress party, have a dressing-up-box at the entrance," she says, "including wigs, feather boas and fairy wings for the inevitable lightweights."
Decorations are a must – the key to a good party lies in the details. Party styling works best in multiples, whether it's candles, lights, Christmas angels or balloons. "It's better to decorate a space with 100 identical items, than to use a mish-mash of 100 different things," says Nay.
Decent nosh and a hearty booze-up are essential for every Christmas bash. If you served champagne last year, serve cocktails this year. If begging and borrowing still haven't given you enough of a budget, Nay suggests DIY canapés and paper cups filled with microwave soup. Nothing but the best for your staff – after all, it is Christmas.