Every holiday season the invitations for holiday cocktail parties begin to roll into your inbox. If you’re thinking about entertaining friends or family this winter, why not think beyond the standard cocktail party? Throwing a shindig that is outside the norm is a great way to set you apart in a sea of back to back events. Whether you want to gather friends to indulge in a crafting session or find a fun theme that will create fun memories for years to come, there is something for everyone in this list of holiday entertaining ideas that AREN’T a cocktail party!
As the holidays come around, there is inevitably a rush of cocktail party invitations filling your inbox. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd when entertaining this year, try out one of these holiday party ideas that go way beyond a cocktail party! After all, hosting the ultimate in holiday parties just might be on your to-do list this year.
Holiday Movie Night
Invite your friends and family over for a fun holiday movie night. Pick your favourite Christmas movies and break out the pillows and blankets for a cozy night in. Add to the ambiance by stringing holiday lights up around the room and turning off overhead lights. Serve up a hot chocolate bar and candies popcorn for a fun night you won’t soon forget. Go upscale with this idea and roll out the red carpet for an Oscar-themed night complete with everyone’s best dress. Either way, holiday party ideas like these are sure to wow your guests.
White Elephant Gift exchange
Everyone loves a secret gift exchange and there are so many variations on this classic to choose from! Set a price limit and theme and let your guests do the rest. Some popular versions suggest gag gifts but you can also have theme such as books or homemade gifts. Holiday parties that involve a special gift are often the talk of the office.
While evening calendars can fill up quickly around the holidays, your guests are likely to be open for brunch plans. Serve mimosas or Bloody Marys and prepare make-ahead dishes like cinnamon rolls or breakfast casseroles so you have time to mingle with your guests. Brunch is the latest craze so be sure to capitalise on that when considering holiday party ideas.
Cookie Decorating Party
Break out the royal icing and have friends over for a fun cookie decorating party. Make batches of sugar cookies ahead of time and provide guests with icing, sprinkles, and candies to add their own flair. Provide boxex for guests to take home their handiwork – if the cookies don’t get eaten first! Don’t love the idea of making cookies? Pick up some plain ones from your gourmet bakery and let the decorating commence! Holiday party ideas like this one are delicious as they are fun!
Hot Chocolate Party
Nothing says holiday like a hot chocolate bar. Set out mugs, spoons, and hot chocolate and let guest customise their drinks. Provide various toppings such as marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, chocolate, caramel syrup, and candy canes. For grown up holiday parties adding liqueurs such as Bailey’s Irish cream and Kahlua takes it up a notch.
Gift Wrapping Party
Banish the dread of gift-wrapping by making it a festival affair. Invite friends to bring those last gifts that need wrapping plus bows, ribbon and tags. You provide wrapping paper aplenty and let guest get to work. Serve up a party punch and light appetisers for an easy way to get your gift wrapping done while spending time with loved ones.
Nothing makes a crowd get crafting like Christmas! Invite friends to bring plain wreath for a wreath decorating party. Provide guests with variety of ribbon, floral sprays and other wreath accessories and let the creative juices flow. Serve finger food and wine along with the crafting and don’t forget to take a group photo at the end of the night with everyone showing off their finished wreaths! Holiday parties can be simple and fun.
Gingerbread House Decorating Party
We can’t have a list of holiday party ideas without including gingerbread house kits and lay out the tables with icing and candies. Allow guests to get as creative as they want to decorate the gingerbread houses – anything goes! When everyone is finished, vote on your favourite and then toast the night by breaking out the bubbly and easting your hard work!