One of the most awesome things about the holiday season is that it’s also party season; and the perfect opportunity to get your friends together to show off your beautiful apartment and share some holiday hospitality with the people in your life. Giving your party a special theme is a great way to add to the fun and to express your own personal sense of style. Here are four of our favorite holiday party themes!
The Ugly Sweater Party is a fun, seasonal favorite. Invite your friends to show up to the party in the ugliest holiday sweater ever and promise first, second and third-place prizes for the most hideous three—we like to shop thrift stores for gaudy or silly holiday knickknacks that will serve as the winners’ “trophies.” One of our favorite ways to vote is to give each guest 1, 2, and 3-point stickers to stick to their favorite three candidates; then add up everybody’s score in the end. Have extra stickers on hand in case you need to declare an “Ugly Off” to break a tie. Serve ugly cookies, make up your own ugly punch recipe and decorate the whole place with ugly holiday decorations to add to the fun! Variations on the Ugly Sweater theme include Ugly Tie and the Ugly Holiday Pajama party.
The Cookie Swap is a fantastic way to get your goodies on. Each guest is responsible for bringing as many of their favorite holiday cookies or other baked treats as there are guests along with emailing you the recipe before the party. Guests exchange goodies and walk away at the end of the night with an assortment of everyone’s contributions. You compile the recipes into a party cookbook and either give each guest a copy on arrival as a special party favor or email them a digital file. One great variation on the Cookie Swap theme is to make it an Appetizer Swap—and crowdsource the food for the party!
Baby It’s Cold Outside, and that’s why your Hot Cocoa and Eggnog Bar is going to be such a huge hit! Keep the hot chocolate and eggnog warm in crock pots and lay out all the fixings for guests to embellish their own drinks …marshmallows, flavored syrups, spices, plain and flavored alcoholic beverages, candy canes and cocktail straws for stirring, whipped cream, sprinkles, etc. Keep a container of eggnog on ice for guests who prefer theirs cold. Stock the table with an assortment of fun mugs and glasses for guests to choose from; or use disposable hot and cold cups.
Get Your Holiday Game On with holiday party themed games played “Minute to Win It” style. Our favorites are:
- Christmas Kiss, where contestants place a round plastic Christmas ornament between their lips at the starting line, then do a relay walk with the ornament between them and drop them into a basket at the finish line. The first team to walk all their ornaments from the starting line to the finishing basket wins! If you’re worried about getting kissy mouth germs all over the ornaments, have the team members hold the ornament between each other’s index fingers instead of their lips.
- Cane Capture, where two contestants at a time are given a bowl or bucket of opened candy canes and tasked with hooking as many of them into a chain as they can within a one-minute period. The contestant who hooks the most wins!
- Jingle Box, (played like Minute to Win It’s “Junk in the Trunk” game) where two contestants have to shake as many jingle bells as they can out of a tissue box taped to their backside. The one who shake out the most bells within a minute wins!
- Teams of two each take turns tossing marshmallows through a wreath held in front of a bucket. The player who gets the most marshmallows into the bucket in one minute wins. Teams can also take turns tossing mini-marshmallows into their partner’s mouth or throwing marshmallows into the air and catching them in their own mouths.
- Have a “snowball fight” by sorting guests into two teams and dividing the room in half. Start each team with an equal number of balled-up paper “snowballs” to fight with. At the end of the fight period, the team with the fewest number of snowballs on their side of the room wins.
Happy Partying to all, and to all a good night!