ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ideas for Christmas Parties - Party Hosting Ideas for Holidays

Updated on November 3, 2020
Victoria Lynn profile image

Annual Christmas parties for over a decade gave me all kinds of ideas for hosting exciting and affordable Christmas parties in a small space

Welcome to my Christmas party!
Welcome to my Christmas party! | Source

Have an annual Christmas party!

Christmas parties can be really fun and really festive! But . . . beware, or having one may turn into a tradition that you keep doing every year. That happened to me in the late 90s when i had my brother and a handful of graduate school buddies over to the house after finals to enjoy the Christmas tree lights. The next year, I had a pretty big bash, and the event kept growing and going every year.

The group kept changing over the years, with grad friends, family, friends from other parts of my life, and, later, coworkers from my subsequent jobs. For over ten years, I held up this tradition. I'm missed a couple of years in the last several years but am tentatively planning to have one again this holiday season.

The great thing about putting together an annual party is looking forward to seeing certain people at least once a year--folks that you otherwise do not see.

Have a Christmas party theme!

Having a theme is just a suggestion. I have never had a major theme except for the dress code, which was dress-up attire. People have typically arrived dressed up in pants and dresses, even the children. My best friend from grad school was my co-host in the early party years. She and I opted for long velvet dresses one year, setting the tone.

I'm thinking of doing something different this year--maybe comfy clothes, even pajamas as the attire. Maybe we'll have an "I survived the end of the world on Dec 21st" party. I thought also about having a party in January and encouraging people to bring their rejected Christmas gifts to re-gift.

Have a theme or not. It might be fun!

Send invitations early

Send invitations early in order for those invited to have a heads up on when to clear their calendars. I usually send a "save the date" email right after Thanksgiving for a December party, earlier if the party is the first weekend in December.

And, yes, you can email invitations. In this electronic age, a mass email is entirely acceptable. Don't feel that you have to send written invitations. Facebook also has a feature in which you can "create an event." You just fill in the details, send it to your invitees, and wait for them to respond. There may be a few people who require a phone call if they don't check email or have Facebook. Sometimes I have sent out a text message to certain people to tell them, "Check your email!"

Follow up your "save the date" message with the official invitation (email or otherwise) with details between one and two weeks before the party.

Stockings hung by the chimney with care . . .
Stockings hung by the chimney with care . . . | Source

What to include on the invitations

What information should you include on your invitations? Here are the basics:

  • date and day of week (so people don't have to go to the calendar to see which day it is)
  • starting and end time. In grad school, sometimes we would go from 2:00 p.m. (after our last final) until 2:00 a.m. Woo hoo! Those hours definitely changed over the years. I usually put "6:00 p.m. until ?" to leave it open-ended. The late folks generally stay until about midnight.
  • address and directions
  • where to park
  • what to wear
  • what to bring--In the lean college years, everyone brought something. After I got a real job, I started providing most of the food myself, giving the option if people wanted to bring something. Let people know if there will be alcohol or if they should BYOB.
  • if children are welcome--My nieces grew up at my parties. The more the merrier, I say. I like to set up a room with toys for the kids--Barbies, books, cards, even Twister!
  • fun events to expect--Karaoke? Door prizes? Games? You might list some things to pique the interest of your guests.

Christmas party games and activities

Come up with a few fun activities for the night if you want to spice things up. I like to give out name tags with numbers on them. Every hour or so, we'll draw a door prize winner. Prizes are generally things I've picked up at the dollar store--singing Christmas ties, reindeer ears, Rudolph noses, to name a few. If you have an outgoing friend who will make guests feel welcome right away, ask them if they want to be the one to make sure everyone gets a name tag. One of my friends had that job one year; she was engaging, funny, and made everyone feel comfortable when as the hostess, I couldn't get to them right away.

I always set up Karaoke for the folks who want to participate This activity usually gets going later in the evening. Sometimes we start earlier, as this activity is something that kids also enjoy.

Another option is to exchange gifts. Since everyone probably won't bring a gift, the ones who do could exchange. You could also have some extra wrapped inexpensive things for those who don't bring anything.

An activity I may do this year is take a photo of everyone in a certain spot, perhaps even with a funny backdrop.

Decorated piano
Decorated piano | Source
Worn out after the party!
Worn out after the party! | Source

Christmas decorations

Put Christmas decorations EVERYWHERE--inside and outside. Get a friend to help if you can. Hold mini-preseason get-togethers with egg nog and snacks, and do some decorating!

Lights line my house and the sidewalk to the front door, where guests are greeted by a life-size Grinch! All the rooms the guests will visit are decorated. I have tubs of decorations in the shed that I've collected over the years, marked with what they contain and in what room the decorations go, which speeds up the decorating process a bit. Still, it's a job to create your fantasy winter wonderland!

Serve appetizers

Of course, you'll have lots of food available. I find finger foods to be the best--veggies and dip, fruit and dip, meatballs or little wienies on toothpicks, and deviled eggs. Christmas tortilla pinwheels with salsa are also always a hit with guests. I purchased a chocolate fountain several years ago, and that was a favorite attraction. See my Christmas party appetizers for all of these ideas and more

Have a variety of appetizers, and plenty of them. Chances are some of your guests will bring dishes to fill in the gaps, if there are any. I always have coffee, homemade egg nog, sometimes hot apple cider, and a few soft drinks available.

A lot of these items can be prepared the day before and kept in the refrigerator. That way, you can focus on last minute preparations the day of the party.

Christmas photo album

A new idea I've had but haven't yet started is to make a photo album of all the previous Christmas parties. Although I've taken pictures of the house and my guests every year, I have yet to organize these photos. Photo albums of previous Christmas gatherings are something I would love to have for guests to go through and reminisce if they have attended in the past.

Play Christmas music

Make sure you have Christmas music playing in the background. From Elvis to Jewel to various artists, have an assortment. I have my top twelve favorites, but I have many more in my collection.

And when the party's over . . . .

With all the cleaning, preparing, and partying, you are sure to be worn out after it's all over. I usually experience what I like to call "post-party depression." It came, it happened, but now it's over. Nothing's left but the memories and the mess in the kitchen.

Still, many will talk about your epic Christmas parties for years to come.

I'd better get started with my decorating!

Use plenty of outside lights.
Use plenty of outside lights. | Source

© 2012 Victoria Lynn


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)