Christmas party essentials & the best gear to keep the party going
Figuring out how to throw the best Christmas or New Years Eve party can sometimes feel like a daunting task. There’s so much to organise, from the food, to where everyone is going to sit to the playlist that will keep everyone entertained rather than falling asleep on the couch. Once the food and most importantly, the beverages have been consumed it’s up to you to keep the night powering on! So where do you start? You need some Christmas party essentials.
Don’t panic. We’ve got some great ideas to help you throw a great Christmas or New Years Eve party. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need. Emergency chairs and Baileys not included…
Get the karaoke going!
Let’s face it, Karaoke seems like a bad idea at the start of a party, but by the end of the night you’ve had to literally drag people away from it as the urge to sing ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ catches on like wildfire. It’s a great party starter that can mean the difference between people leaving early or staying long after the quality street has been rolled out. One great option can be found in the form of the ultra compact, ultra-powerful Easy Karaoke XD2 Partybox with Bluetooth. This all in one portable DJ system and karaoke machine is perfect for getting the party going when that food slumber starts to call. Use Bluetooth to pair your device to the system with ease, and enjoy 100 watts of power out of the 2.1 speaker system. The microphone and guitar input means you can sing or play along to your favourite tracks and the built in disco lighting synchronises with what your music to really light up the party. A great little addition that will definitely help you throw a great party. It’s also a great gift idea too. The Easy Karaoke XD100BK Wireless Sound System is also a good option, providing added connectivity and control over your sound.
You’re also going to need some microphones. We’d recommend the Essentials M3 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone for a start. It’s a budget friendly option that is completely reliable, sturdy and also includes an XLR to 1/4-inch jack cable so you can connect it straight to your karaoke machine easily. Although it’s low cost, it’s made for life on the road, and can totally withstand Aunty Sandra’s rendition of ‘New York, New York’ every day of the week.
A Practice Amp
If you’re a guitarist or bass player and you have guitars lying around your house or apartment, chances are someone is going to want to have a jam or at least play with your gear at the party. However, plugging your guitar into an AC30 or 2×12 amplifier at home is not always a great way to keep the neighbours happy – trust me on this one. So if you want to jam with your friends or even allow people to play with your guitars, you need a smaller guitar amp, one that can provide enough sound, is portable, and sturdy enough to last years of use. The Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 10 V2 Guitar Combo Amplifier is a great option due to its small size, host of great effects and the fact that it’s a 2 x 5 watt guitar combo amplifier capable of recording straight into your DAW, so those ‘jams’ are easily recorded in case something starts sounding like it could be your next hit.
If you want a little more power, but want to keep it budget friendly, the Marshall MG15 Guitar Combo Amp is also a great option. The 15watts of power makes sure you’ve got enough guts to play at all volumes and the Emulated MP3 /Line in ensures you’ve got an extra speaker for your mp3/CD player, which brings me to my next point…
A decent sound system
Music is pretty much the key to any good party, whether it’s the office Christmas party, the neighbourhood get together or the family gathering, so it makes sense that you get a good system! If Karaoke is a no-go, then you still need music. And good quality sound at that! For the larger parties, we would definitely recommend the Alesis Transactive Wireless Portable Active PA Speaker System. This is an all in one active PA system which is perfect for touring musicians, DJ’s and those who need a great music system for parties. It can stream music via Bluetooth or you can connect it up to almost any audio source whether it be a microphone, guitar, keyboard, computer, drum machine, CD or MP3 player. It can be mains or battery powered and will even allow you to charge your devices from it.
If you need a smaller, option for the more modest parties, we’d highly recommend the Roland JC-01 Jazz Chorus Bluetooth Audio Speaker. Modelled on the extremely popular Jazz Chorus amplifiers from Roland, this thing not only sounds great but it looks cool too! The pair of 2 inch speakers produce a bold, high definition output that offers a surprisingly rich and powerful sound from such a small unit. It can fit in the palm of your hand, slip into your backpack easily and can play music via Bluetooth or the audio input. It’s also mains or battery powered making it a convenient little speaker and a Christmas party essential that can travel with you everywhere.
If the party atmosphere starts to dip a little, it’s amazing how much difference a change in music, and lighting will make, bringing your Christmas or New Years party back from the depths in an instant. A full lighting rig and DJ system is going to cost a fortune right? Wrong. With the Numark Party Mix 2-Channel DJ Controller, you can start mixing up your music and pull off an impressive light show at the same time. This is a great introductory product for the budding DJ who wants to learn how to mix tracks as it comes supplied with all the DJ software you need to get started, meaning you can mix two tracks into each other as soon as you’re up and running. The readily accessible pads offer a host of effects and the loop functions are really fun to play with. The LED lights sync to the music you’re playing when you activate them too, providing a great light show for your party. Well worth a look if you want total control over what’s being played at your party. Definitely one of our favourite Christmas party essentials.
For those of us who don’t like too much noise
Not keen on Christmas Carols? Finding the party a little bit loud? Sick to death of listening to that close talker in the office shout your ear off over the music? Well, we’ve got the perfect remedy for you. The Alpine Musicsafe pro ear plugs, have been designed to reduce the risk of noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus without reducing the quality of what you’re hearing. The Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs reduce the harsh frequencies to a comfortable level whilst preserving the full audio spectrum, so you can still hear everything that’s going on, just without damaging your hearing. Perfect for those who enjoy playing in bands, going to parties, or those who suffer from tinnitus. They’re reusable, come with a handy carry case and the pack is supplied with a range of sound attenuators so you can choose how much to filter out, or stop your Uncle Frank from destroying your hearing. It’s also a great Secret Santa idea and great Christmas gift for musicians too!
View a complete range of musical instruments and great gift ideas over at the Dawsons website.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.