The holiday parties of 2018 are coming to a close – which just means that it’s time to start preparing for next year’s holiday parties.
Picking good music is half the battle of hosting, so let’s talk about how to create a memorable playlist. Here’s my holiday party playlist from this year:
<iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/jameslwalpole/playlist/4dwxDZ8IVQK9I61iRJda2n” width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true” allow=”encrypted-media”></iframe>
Like what you’ve heard? Here are seven steps you can take to make your own great playlist:
1. Get local – in my case, a barn party was the occasion. So you’ll find a good deal of country music, western swing, Celtic music, and bluegrass on this playlist. It’s all music that evokes the country.
2. Get dancey – If you can’t move to the music, or use it as a way to meet the opposite sex, you’re doing it wrong. Try to include plenty of danceable tracks. This can mean swing/big band music (many Christmas favorites are great for common swing dancing) or just club dancing music.
3. Get varied – Build a playlist with enough variety for true music-philes and enough quality to make people become music-philes. Bring together all the greats of holiday music, from NSYNC and Stevie Wonder to Ella Fitzgerald and Chuck Berry.
4. Get vintage – The holidays are a time people like to remember old memories and old things. So throw in some tracks from decades and genres past. My little holiday playlist this year had a great deal of swing and rockabilly and traditional songs to turn back the clock.
5. Get unique – Find songs that don’t normally feature on holiday music radio (the same old songs can get annoying after a bit). Share that French folk Christmas song, or that deep cut on James Brown’s Christmas album. This will keep your listeners on their toes and show them this isn’t just another Christmas album.
6. Find test subjects – My holiday party playlist got plenty of practice around the house in advance of my holiday party. This gave me an opportunity to get a feel for the music and the order shuffling and see whether people liked the tracks.
7. Put it in the right setting – Your music is only as good as the people, the place, the decorations, and the food and drink that come with it. Get all those other details right and your music will be a smash.