So you want to have an awesome holiday party sometime between now and New Years Eve, but you're feeling a little stuck, right? Well, sit back, get comfortable and read through my fool proof ideas for fun. Then start inviting people you know you want to eat, drink and be merry with while it's cold outside.
1. Holiday Libations & Nibbles
Have a signature drink that pairs with your party theme to keep the festivities fun & delicious. When you throw a party during the holiday season it’s likely you may still be finishing up in the kitchen when guests arrive so get the socializing started right away by serving your guests a seasonal cocktail. Every holiday party does not have to be a sit down occasion. My favorite is to have friends come over a little later than dinnertime by making it a “Drinks & Desserts” fête. It’s less fuss and muss in the kitchen. Besides the finger foods and, of course, the treats, I offer small ramekins filled with seasoned nuts whether sweet or savory. This kind of party is a chance to indulge in delicious confections and serve up two-three signature cocktails so your guests have choices. Check a few of my favorite seasonal cocktails below:
1 part Pinnacle® Pumpkin Pie Vodka
1 part DeKuyper® Crème De Cocoa Dark Liqueur
1 part Half and Half
1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
2 parts Champagne
2. Deck the Halls
a. Choose a color theme for your décor. Don’t feel required to go with stereotypical green and red. You can stretch through holidays if you choose two to three colors and make it look festive like white, silver and gold.
b. You can also create conversation at the table multiple ways with décor by doing a DIY message on plates or creating a placemat with silly questions for your guests to answer.
3. Holiday Party Trends
a. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Holiday parties usually mean you have to come up with several dressy outfits. Instead, get your guests to get crafty and design their own ugly holiday sweater. The party will lead to lots of laughs and DIY inquiries. Have guests vote on their favorite ugly sweater and the winner goes home with a basket of all the ingredients to make your seasonal cocktail. If this just isn’t your thing, then go with the holiday sock party and have everyone wear silly holiday socks that guests can buy or create.
Reindeer and Santa Socks, $14 Joy the Store
Multi-Pack of Christmas Socks, $4 Macy's
Hot SoX Dog and Cat Christmas Socks, $6 Bare Necessities
Elf Striped Socks, $5.70 ASOS
b. Holiday Cookie Swap: Ask friends to bake two-dozen of their favorite cookies to bring to the party. Create decorative boxes or get some holiday tins to offer your friends to store their new goodies to bring home.
c. Have a Tree-Trimming! Set up your evergreen (real or fake!) with lights and garland, and let each guest know that they can bring an ornament to hang on your tree. And don’t be greedy, send your guests home with an ornament as a gift as well.
Make these DIY ornaments (project #7243) and other projects with the Cricut Explore, Cricut.com
d. Christmas Caroling: This is awesome! Everyone knows the songs and music, now just get your friends together for the fun. Have friends come earlier for this party since you shouldn’t be knocking on neighborhood doors past 8:30 out of respect. Print out the lyrics for several classic holiday songs. And while you get ready to bundle up against the cold offer your friends some hot chocolate or carry a thermos of hot chocolate or cider while you walk the neighborhood. Now head out, ring a doorbell and step back from your neighbor’s front door and start singing. Plan on visiting several homes around your neighborhood. Or just walk as a group along the sidewalk in your neighborhood and sing. After an hour or more of singing head back to your place for food, drinks and games with the group.
4. Party Planning Tips for Seamless Entertaining
a. Theme It: Come up with theme so your party stands out among the rest and becomes the coveted invite.
b. Avoid Hours in the Kitchen: Don’t feel the pressure to make all your food from scratch. Make it a mix of homemade, semi-homemade and store bought. Better yet, make it potluck whether it’s a dessert and drink only party or a sit down meal where you make the main dish and friends bring side dishes. Pre-batch and pre-cook everything the day before so you’re spending less time in the kitchen, and more time with your loved ones.
c. Make a Holiday Playlist: Music can keep the party grooving and upbeat so curate a holiday playlist ahead of time. Mix holiday classics sung by a variety of artists such as Michael Buble, Idina Menzel, Frank Sinatra and more!
Christmas Music, Amazon.com
d. Be prepared: Some guests may over do it on the holiday “cheer” or you may just have one too many cookies. Have on hand plenty of water for guests plus some simple remedies like F.A.S.T. First Aid Shot Therapy (firstaidshottherapy.com). These small bottles the size of a shot are a liquid remedy for pain (say goodbye to your headache) and stomach aches. And offer carpooling, a taxi or Uber if guests need a safe lift home.
Available at Amazon.com, 12 bottles for $29