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Holiday Party Themes

Megan Mostyn-Brown
Holiday Party Themes
One way to guarantee a good-time-had-by-all during the holidays is to give your get-together a theme beyond simply sharing good cheer. Try one of these ideas for a party they’ll remember fondly in the New Year.
Cookie Party

Who doesn’t love holiday cookies? This theme party requires each guest to contribute their best batch—enough to eat at the party, and for your guests to take home with them. Encourage homemade, but don’t judge if a neighbor brings over Pizelles from the Italian bakery down the block.  When guests leave, they’ll have a selection of different types of cookies to enjoy for the rest of the year.

Snow Party

Invite the neighbors and their kids to enjoy an afternoon of sledding. Then strike up a little healthy competition between families with a snowman-building contest. End the day warming up indoors with hot cocoa and apple cider donuts.

Gingerbread House Party

This is a great afternoon party idea for families with small children. Make things easy on little ones (and their parents) by purchasing premade gingerbread houses. Set out bowls of frosting and different candies for decoration (tiny marshmallows, peppermints, gum drops, licorice). Chances are the kids will eat more candy than they put on their house, so balance out the sugar high by offering up warm apple cider and healthy nibbles like carrot sticks, apple slices and pita with hummus.

Indoor Carols

Get those pipes warmed up, it’s caroling time! Break out the songbook and gather friends and family to join in on holiday favorites like “White Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman”. Have a few adults who are gun shy about grabbing the mic? Throw a little mulled wine into the mix and maybe they’ll find their courage to harmonize.

Gift Wrapping Party

An evening wrapping presents alone is a recipe for dullsville. So gather a few other neighborhood parents to share in the duty. This is a great way to trade bows, paper and gift tags, as well as get tips on how to make your present look like it was wrapped by a professional. Keep the troops nourished with hot toddys and peppermint twist cheesecake.

Ugly Sweater Party

This party is exactly what it sounds like: a gathering where guests wear the ugliest holiday sweater they can find. Spice things up by making it a competition, complete with prizes. May the worst sweater win!

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Gather a group of six to ten for a little friendly gift-giving competition. The rules are simple: each guest provides a wrapped gift (usually something under $25) and places it in the center of the table. Numbers are drawn and the person who pulled number one gets to choose their gift and unwrap it. Each subsequent player either gets to choose a gift from the table or “steal” a gift from someone who went before them. The person the gift was “stolen” from can choose a new gift or “steal” a gift from someone else (though they can’t “steal” back the gift that was taken from them). The game is done when everyone has a gift.

Tree Trimming Party

Holidays away from home can feel a little lonely. Nix the blues by gathering other “orphans” (aka friends without local family) to help trim your tree. Offer up store bought ornaments or get DIY and provide paper, glitter, beads and string so everyone can make their own.

Snowflake Party

Looking for a no-stress soiree you can do on a tight budget? Invite friends and neighbors over to cut out snowflakes and then hang them around your house. Make it a potluck and ask them to come with a pair of scissors, so all you have to provide is the paper and string. Bonus: You get a pretty winter wonderland for as much as it costs to purchase a few reams of paper.

Have a holiday party theme you’d like to share? Go to Above & Beyond and tell us all about it!

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