| 03.19.2018

Twinkle lights, holiday music — A few Christmas party ideas to ensure good memories and an enjoyable time


Christmas parties are often overdone, so here are a few simple party ideas to get guests having a good time. Some ideas for holiday drinks include eggnog, apple cider, cranberry punch with orange slices and peppermint hot chocolate. Some treat ideas include cookies, cakes or pies. Decorations for these parties can be simple with some white Christmas lights set up and holiday music. All of these additions to the party will help set the mood for guests to enjoy the Christmas-themed gathering. 

White Elephant

This game is usually played with six or more people. Each person brings a wrapped gift — often times something humorous or inexpensive. The gifts are put in the center of the seating area and the first person pulls a gift from the pile. The next person has the choice to either pick from the central pile or steal from the previous person. If the person steals, the person they stole from has to either steal a different gift or pull from the pile. The next person’s turn starts after someone choses from the pile. A gift can only be stolen twice. The game ends when the last gift is pulled from the middle pile. There can be themes for the gifts such as electronics, homemade, around the house, etc.

Ugly Sweater

At this party, guests are encouraged to wear the ugliest sweater they can possibly find. Most ugly sweaters are purchased from thrift stores. Crafty people can even make their own by purchasing a plain sweater and decorating it in an ugly yet festive way. To host this party, simply decorate in a holiday manner and provide some food or drinks. To make it a competition, set up a big bowl and blank strips of paper to have people vote on whose sweater is the ugliest and present the winner near the end of the party.

Tie Exchange

This party is often encouraged for guys and girls that aren’t in a relationship, as it is a type of “date function.” Guys show up to the party first and place their ties or bow ties on a table in a central area. When the girls arrive, they pick a tie from the pile and the owner steps forward. The two are encouraged to stay together and get to know each other a little bit. After an hour or so, the host can turn the lights up and make an announcement having guests thank their partner for the conversations, and put back on their ties. At this point, the party can turn into a normal party, and the two can either chose to stay together or mingle with other guests until the party ends.

Secret Santa

For this game, write the names of the participants on a sheet of paper and cut out each name. If the participants don’t all know each other well, write down an interest on the backside of the paper with the name on it. Assign each participant another person’s name and their interests. On the party date, the participants bring their gifts and discreetly place them in a central area. When everyone has arrived, distribute the gifts and remind participants not to reveal whose gift went to whom. There can be themes for Secret Santa parties such as all gifts have to be winter, holiday or re-gifted.

Thrift Store

This party requires guests to wear only things they have bought from a thrift store. People can get creative with this by finding humorous hats, scarves, gloves and shoes. The clothing doesn’t necessarily have to be holiday-themed, but obviously not new. Guests also bring one wrapped present that was purchased from a thrift store and put in a central location. Sometime during the party, people that brought a gift will grab one present from the pile. The party can then continue.

The Giving Party

This party is centered around guests purchasing gifts that will be donated to different charities or one specific charity. A popular theme for this party is a children’s toy giveaway. These parties are perfect for the spirit of giving during Christmas. The guests should bring the gifts unwrapped along with wrapping paper and bows. At the party, the guests will spend time wrapping the gifts and writing Christmas cards for the recipients of the gifts. Some charities prefer the gifts to be unwrapped, so make sure to check with the organization beforehand. Another option is to bring the party to the charity organization to volunteer.

Alexia Neal can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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