November 30, 2012

Holiday Party Ideas

Do you enjoy entertaining at the holidays? This time of year is usually very hectic, so why not slow down and spend some time with those you care about. After all, it is the time of year to let those around you know how much you appreciate them. So I thought I would share some holiday party ideas with you.

Cookie Exchange

A cookie exchange is a great way to get your favorite gal pals together. Plus, you get some great treats to share with your family and don't have to bake all of the different varieties yourself. Sounds like a win win, right?

I hosted one of these a few years back (should do another one) and it was great fun! Each participant brought a different baked good to share with the group. Everyone baked 4-5 dozen of the treat of their choice. All goodies were displayed on a table, leaving out a dozen of each to enjoy over the afternoon, of course. Each participant should bring an empty container with them to fill with the variety of goodies. Everyone goes around the table filling their container with the different goodies. You can figure the math out before the exchange so everyone knows how much to take of each kind, or everyone can go around taking one of each until all the goodies are spoken for. I also had everyone bring a copy of her recipe to share with those that wanted it and had recipe cards on hand so they could copy it down.

I found some great, free printables for recipe cards, invitations, voting ballots, and awards over at How to Nest for Less, if you are considering hosting a cookie exchange. As the host, you can offer a small door prize for the best cookie!

Decorating for this type of gathering is easy and fun. If you have already decorated your home for the holidays, that is probably all you really need. You can, however, add a few little touches, such as this adorable wreath made with cookie cutters from Serendipity Refined...

holiday party ideas

You can even scatter around cookie cutters on the table where you display all the goodies, and then each participant can take one home at the end of the party.

Wine Tasting

A wine tasting is another great way to get a group together to enjoy the holidays. You can get approximately 4-6 glasses of wine per bottle, so you will need to figure out how many bottles are needed depending on how many people you are planning to host.

You will also want to decide how many different types of wine you will offer for tasting. Offer a nice mix of whites and reds, dry and sweet. Snacks go splendidly with wines...strawberries, raspberries, red grapes, even apples. Also, crackers and cheeses go well with the wines. So consider having some on hand to enjoy with the wine.

If you are yourself a wine connoisseur, you won't have any trouble organizing and hosting this, but if not, check into one of your local establishments to see if this is something they offer. This can be educational as well as fun!

To decorate for this type of party, use wine corks as card holders to identify the different types of wines and snacks being offered.

holiday party ideas
Use empty wine bottles for a gorgeous centerpiece like the ones here from Cleverly Inspired.

holiday party ideas

Most importantly, just have fun!

Dinner Party

Everyone loves to eat, at least everyone I know does, so how about hosting a dinner party? Dinner parties can be done two ways. Either you provide all that is to be eaten, which can be costly, or you can ask your guests to bring an item. You could provide the main part of the meal, they could provide some or all of the sides and/or dessert.

This type of party is pretty straight forward. Eat, drink and be merry! Be sure to check with your guests regarding any food allergies. =)

As far as decorating, again, if you decorate your home for the holidays, this should be adequate. You can do up a fun centerpiece for the table or decorate the backs of the dining chairs.

holiday party ideas
holiday party ideas

holiday party ideas
Source: Shelterness
holiday party ideas
Source: DIY Network

Ugly Sweater Party

On the more casual side, how about hosting an ugly Christmas sweater party? This can be fun for everyone to come up with the ugliest sweater, prompting participants to even make an ugly sweater. Now, you can give as much leeway here as you like. Maybe you will allow vests, sweatshirts, etc. The rules are up to you.

Have cards for everyone to cast an anonymous vote for the "best" sweater and have a prize, like a gift card to go towards purchasing a non-ugly sweater. ;)  You can also award the "worst" sweater with a gag gift.

Have plenty of snacks and refreshments for everyone to enjoy while mingling and just having a good time. Play some Christmas carols as background music to enhance the mood.

holiday party ideas
Source: Babble

Tree Trimming

Lastly, have you considered hosting a tree trimming party? I think this would be so much fun. Put up your tree and be sure it is well lit, but do not decorate it until the party.

Guests can bring an ornament to put on the tree. They should place their name and the year on it so you will always remember when and who you received it from. Be sure to give your guests an ornament to take home to place on their own tree to remember you by as a party favor. Another option, is you and your guests can make ornaments during the party to place on the tree. They can make one to take home as well. Have plenty of space and supplies for everyone.

A fun idea for the homemade ornament would be to purchase small picture frames and take pictures of everyone when they arrive. Everyone can decorate their frames to personalize them. If you can, print the pictures at home, otherwise, add the pictures later. You could have a small tree just for these ornaments.

This could become an annual event. Think of how fun it would be to see everyone's ornaments from year to year and spend time reminiscing about Christmases past.

holiday party ideas

If you are considering hosting a party for the holidays, I hope these ideas have helped. And if not this year, maybe next year! Have you hosted a party like any of these before?

It can be difficult to not get so stressed out this time of year, so be sure to take a little time for yourself and your loved ones. Happy Holidays and have a great weekend!
Thank you for stopping by! Please come again!

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