Fun ideas and themes for holiday gatherings

Do you need Christmas Party Ideas? As it gets closer to that magical time of year, it makes sense to find a number of fresh, fun ideas to help you host great holiday togethers with friends and family. Christmas is a great time to host a memorable party -- one that your guests will rave about all next year! Here are five themed Christmas Party ideas for you to enjoy with family and friends. Perhaps these will inspire all sorts of festive creativity for a great party from the little Christmas elf in you!

  • Holiday Book Club Party: Let's All Read ___________ (this book)! For the literary types (or not), this can be a fun party which requires a bit of extra planning. Find a good holiday-themed book, get copies to everyone ahead of time, and plan your party date to eat, drink eggnog, and Christmas Party Ideasdiscuss the holiday-themed book. With early invitations, make sure that you give your guests enough time to read the book before the party date. Include the book’s title ISBN and cover image on your invitation so that they get it from a book store nearby, online on Amazon, or borrow from their local library, if they wish.
  • Ornament Party: Deck Out the Tree, Our Ornaments or Yours. Have people over to help trim your tree or decorate your house throughout the party. Set the mood with great food, or just desserts, and an assortment of hot and cold beverages. It could be held at the house of the matriarch/patriach of the family, or an aunt or grandmother. The party could just be an excuse to gather at a different location and break from tradition or routine! What you need:  Make sure you set up the actual tree before the party. With a real tree, sizing, set-up, watering, and drop cloth are all easier to do without a crowd. Ornament and decoration stations: Tree trimmings (the communal set); it's possible to prep some areas for decoration by starting an idea to inspire your guests. Remember, most guests will bring their own ornament to add to the tree as a gift to the host, so leave room!
  • Eggnog Mixer with Yankee Swap: Bring a Gift, Have Some Nog! This could be a party for a number of single friends. Yankee swaps are both contentious (in a fun way), and also have the ability of getting strangers to talk. It's possible to have this be a fun Yankee Swap (good gifts) or Yankee Grinch Swap (funny, joke or just plain bad gifts). There are many variations to rules and half the fun is deciding which to use. What you need: on the invitation, clearing state a spending limit $$ amount.
  • Christmas Jazz Party! Hiring a couple local jazz musicians to play cool new versions of Christmas carols can be cheaper than you think! You can look online for nearby musicians, call the musician's local union, or contact an area college or university music department. This can make your party so memorable! Unless you have a pianist/musician in the family, these guest players might also be asked to accompany some family caroling as well! Add egg nog, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and great desserts, and you will have a jazzy new year!
  • Rudolph Reindeer Party, for kids! Parents will have fun too, but this one if for the kids! Buy or make a reindeer pinata. It's entirely possible to make a standard pinata into a reindeer with some well-placed antlers and perhaps a big red nose! (Not that anyone really wants to hit Rudolph!) Fill it with individually wrapped candies or other sweets! (Go ahead and plan some other fun group games as well!) Have each guest (or their parents) bring three small three to five dollar-value gifts, and wrap them the same (but color coded for boys and girls). Put these is a big bowl as prizes for some of the games and activities! Each child will leave the party with three small gifts (many will be the same, which is what kids want!) Extra Tip: make sure to specify an age range for the children, to keep the party from being out of balance.

Other Considerations and Party Invitation Ideas:

So these five ideas can be just the beginning of your festive planning. There are a great number of ways to add interesting and unique food and activities to your event to make it very unique and personal -- for example: Christmas breakfast foods (like waffles), or all-vegetarian meal, perhaps a stir-fry, a BBQ, etc. Festive activities can include Christmas themed games, a holiday puzzle on a large table, and more.

If the party you decide to throw is a new theme for you, consider inviting some new people as well. For many guests, a themed Christmas party seems less private than a family gathering during the holidays, and is the perfect chance to have new friends or co-workers over without inviting them to stop by on Christmas eve or day. Use direct email, Facebook, Christmas cards, or simple postcards as invitations. Telephone calls as invitations work as well, but often make it harder to explain the theme to a large number of guests, and don't display the planning involved. Invitation cards often stay posted on a refridgerator or common area to remind them of the date. Ask for an RSVP so you can plan the food and drink needs. There are also a number of online invitation websites that can easily track your RSVPs for you! These sites also help inspire others to attend if they can see the list of confirmed guests!

Feel free to mix and match any of these ideas together into your own individualized party theme! For example: imagine an Eggnog singles mixer with adult pinata (filled with flavored teas and coffees samplers), and live christmas jazz! Be creative. If you plan it right, it might be possible to throw more than one of these parties for the various people in your world: one themed party at work for office friends, one specifically for the kids, and another for close friends and family! Have a great party (or more than one), and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!