Between office parties, school parties, and get-togethers with family and friends, December is a busy month.
You might think there isn’t possibly room on the calendar for yet another holiday party, but I’m here to tell you there definitely is — especially if it’s fun, unique, and more than just drinks and appetizers.
Here are some suggestions to consider for such a gathering:
- Favorite things. Tell guests to choose one item that they would call one of their favorite things. It helps to set a maximum dollar limit to spend per item — around $5 so your guests aren’t spending a fortune. Have guests bring five of that item. Upon arrival, each person will put their name on five strips of paper and then into a bucket. Throughout the party, while people are mingling, eating and drinking, take turns picking five names out of the bucket, giving your favorite thing to each name drawn. At the end of the party, each guest leaves with five different items.
- Kids’ gift exchange. If you’re looking for a fun kids party to host, try a gift exchange. On the invitation, ask guests to bring a gift that would appeal to any child, regardless of gender, wrapped up. Let the kids play and after 30 minutes, gather them in one room and pass out gifts randomly. Let them open their presents together and be ready with a pair of scissors or batteries to help get toys out and ready to go.
- Cocktail mixer. As the host, supply the alcohol, but ask guests to bring their favorite mixers. You’ll end up with a really fun and unique assortment of juices, bitters, simple syrups and garnishes. Encourage guests to create their own signature drinks, alcoholic or otherwise.
- Hot chocolate bar. This works for any group: kids, adults, or families. Hot chocolate can be kept in a large pot with a ladle, with additions and garnishes spread out around it — candy canes, marshmallows, white chocolate spoons, whipped cream, caramel, sprinkles and cookies. You can dream up an incredible spread and your guests will be in hot chocolate heaven.
- Cookie, pie, or cupcake exchange. Ask guests to bring two dozen cookies, pieces of pie, or cupcakes on a plate with a card describing what they’ve brought. Provide bags or boxes (whatever makes sense for the dessert you’ve asked guests to bring) for each guest to fill with two dozen desserts of their choice.
If it is last-minute and you don’t have time to organize something specific, just invite friends over, put out some food and drinks, and enjoy. Unique, outside-the-box Christmas and holiday parties are a lot of fun, but not necessary to spend time with those you love the most. Happy holidays!