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For many of us, Christmas is the holiday event we wait in avid anticipation for every year, and what better way to get everyone in the festive spirit than hosting a party?  That being said, it’s not always easy to figure out exactly what kind of event you want to hold and how to bring it all about.  It’s likely that a lot of your creative energy is already being sapped by gift buying, decorating, and the likes, so we’re going to make it super easy for you to get the holiday ball rolling this year.  Get ready for some fun themes, creative ideas, and helpful holiday tips that all guaranteed to keep you happy – as well as sane – this season.

Festive Themes:

Winter Wonderland – Everyone dreams of snow for Christmas, even if they know they won’t be getting it.  This year, make some dreams come true by hosting your own winter-wonderland- themed party, the sort that would make even Frosty the Snowman melt.  Focus your color scheme on icy shades of blue interspersed with glass and crystal-like decorations.  Use white flowers in floral arrangements, including pieces encrusted in crystalized decoration.  Use plenty of white lights – a few twinkling with a centerpiece creates a nice effect – and hang snowflake decorations at alternating lengths to create a sense of depth and wonder.  Complement your cold-weather-wonder decorations with warming additions such as hot chocolate, mulled wine, or cider, and cheese fondue.

Children’s Holiday Party – If you have a lot of kids in your family and circle of neighbors and friends, consider hosting a party to bring the wonder of the season alive for the children as well as the adults.  Kids (of all ages) love cookies, so what better way to get everyone in the festive spirit than having a cookie baking party?  You can let the kids pick their own cookie recipes and design the cookies themselves, or you can set themes such as reindeer, Santa, or snowmen cookies.  Set up games and contests for cookie decorating, making paper snowflakes, and making homemade ornaments that they can take home for decorating their own trees.

Exchange Parties – Most likely everyone is familiar with Secret Santa gift exchanges, but you don’t have to necessarily limit yourself to only this one type of holiday exchange.  You can certainly create a Secret Santa holiday party, but you can also have a fun and sophisticated cookie exchange party.  Prepare a few different types of cookies yourself, and have your guests bring a variety as well.  When you set up your guest list, go ahead and figure out who will make what, encouraging your guests to get creative, and try out the dozens upon dozens of cookie recipes out there – international cookies would be especially fun.  You could also exchange ornaments, Christmas wreaths, some purposefully over-the-top ugly Christmas sweaters, or anything else that catches your fancy.

Creative Ideas:

Activities – Fun and games aren’t just for kids, and the holiday season is the perfect time to frolic and be merry.  For your guests’ entertainment, purchase several small, inexpensive plastic Christmas trees and a variety of miniature decorations.  Have contests to see who can make the best looking tree, and even contests to see who can make the most ridiculous looking tree.  You can also have a make-your-own hot chocolate bar, complete with a variety of delicious toppings; have ornament decorating competitions; even a contest for who can come up with the most ridiculous Christmas “family” photo.

Food and Decorations – Unless you’re having a dinner party, various types of finger foods are always a great way of feeding a lot of people while simultaneously providing some culinary variety.  Unless you have plenty of time to devote to it, stick with foods that only require a few select ingredients and can easily be made in large batches, thus cutting down on time and hassle.  For decorations, avoid overdoing things with the traditional red and green color combo – bringing in hues of gold, blues, and burgundy, and complementing them with metallic and white lights.  Send out fun holiday stationery to invite your guests and set the stage for what’s to follow.

Helpful Tips:

Plan your party well in advance, and check with others to see if they’re hosting their own parties and when those will be.  In keeping with the theme of advanced preparations, do as much shopping online for your party that you can.  This will reduce the hassle and stress of having to get a bunch of stuff in person and lugging it all back home.

Remind yourself that this is supposed to be a fun and festive event and, therefore, you don’t need to go over the top or become too nit-picky about aspects of your party.  Scour magazines and the internet for party ideas, and then form a strict budget to bring your ideas to life without breaking the bank.

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