What are Some Ideas for a Holiday Party?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Many people enjoy hosting a holiday party. Often, there are different factors to consider before it is possible to come up with holiday party ideas that are both affordable and enticing for everyone on the guest list. There is also usually the need to address what types of food and beverages to provide for the party, as well as favors and decorations that will be suitable for the event. Here are some holiday party ideas that may be just what you need to come up with something original, fun, and affordable.

A cookie auction can be fun, unique idea for a holiday party.
A cookie auction can be fun, unique idea for a holiday party.

Successfully hosting a holiday party rests on accomplishing one foundational task: bringing together the right people in the right setting. For this reason, it is a good idea to look over your guest list and take into consideration any factors that may relevant to your group of partygoers. For example, will the party be mainly adults who frequently socialize? If that is the case, something as simple as a pool party coupled with a cookout may be just what you need. The cost will be minimal and since everyone already knows each other and gets along, splashing around in the pool and sitting around the patio chatting and eating will make for a relaxing and enjoyable evening. For holiday party favors, use simple streamers, banners, and disposal dishware that match with the color scheme of the holiday in question.

A cookout may be nice for a holiday party.
A cookout may be nice for a holiday party.

Many people today are looking for ways to cut costs, due to economic setbacks. Still, they want to entertain friends in the home when the holidays roll around. Fortunately, a holiday party does not have to be an expensive venture. Structure the event as a potluck affair, asking each guest to bring one or two dishes. The host provides the setting and perhaps an entrée and some beverages for the party. For example, if the holiday is Christmas, encourage everyone to bring their favorite Christmas time holiday party food. Top the evening off with running old Christmas movie favorites for people to enjoy during the evening.

Lasagna is always a good crowd pleaser. .
Lasagna is always a good crowd pleaser. .

Your holiday party planning may move in an opposite direction and focus on foods and activities that are completely unrelated to the holiday at hand. Instead of turkey or ham as the entrée, serve spaghetti, lasagna or any other food that does not usually show up at holiday parties during the current holiday season. The idea is to give everyone a break from the traditional and spend the evening enjoying food and amusements that are different from all the other holiday parties going on. People who get tired of eating the same holiday party fare as they go from one party to another often appreciate this type of non-holiday holiday party.

Offering an array of hot beverages, like green tea, is a must for a holiday party.
Offering an array of hot beverages, like green tea, is a must for a holiday party.

Your holiday party does not necessarily have to be completely about getting together with friends. There is also the opportunity to incorporate a larger purpose for the event. For example, you can hold a cookie auction party. Everyone brings homemade cookies that are then auctioned off to the highest bidders. The money raised by the auction activity is then donated to a local charity, or used in some manner to help people who are not likely to have a festive holiday season. Along with doing something to help others, everyone also has the chance to eat and enjoy their favorite cookies. The host can provide a range of hot and cold beverages to complement the cookies.

A buffet-style holiday dinner is ideal for very large groups of people.
A buffet-style holiday dinner is ideal for very large groups of people.

Creating holiday party decorations for any of these parties can be as simplistic or as elaborate as your time, tastes, and budget allows. Today, it is also possible to purchase decorations and holiday party favors for next to nothing at discount retail outlets. Whatever form your party takes, make sure the structure will appeal to your guests and allow everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. After all, that is what a holiday party is all about.

Beer kegs might be part of a summer holiday party.
Beer kegs might be part of a summer holiday party.
Some holiday parties may include live music.
Some holiday parties may include live music.
Some family holiday parties hire someone to play Santa Claus to give Christmas gifts to children.
Some family holiday parties hire someone to play Santa Claus to give Christmas gifts to children.
Karaoke can be part of a holiday party.
Karaoke can be part of a holiday party.
Parties usually include potato chips as a snack.
Parties usually include potato chips as a snack.
Summer holiday parties may include a friendly game of football.
Summer holiday parties may include a friendly game of football.
People might bring a casserole dish to a holiday potluck.
People might bring a casserole dish to a holiday potluck.
Different kinds of pie might be served during a holiday party.
Different kinds of pie might be served during a holiday party.
Ham is popular at many holiday dinners.
Ham is popular at many holiday dinners.
Drinking shots may be part of a New Year's Eve party.
Drinking shots may be part of a New Year's Eve party.
Finger foods might be served at a holiday party.
Finger foods might be served at a holiday party.
Popcorn is a popular snack food.
Popcorn is a popular snack food.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

indigomoth

@pastanaga - I'd say the same thing goes for any kind of party. Activities like holiday party games are good because you can give people a chance to join in if they don't know anyone.

Music and dancing can help with that as well, but it depends on the type of party you are having.

pastanaga

@croydon - Just make sure that any activities are going to be optional, because I know plenty of people who would rather not go to the office holiday party, let alone participate in a bunch of games.

The person they put in charge of these kinds of things is often very enthusiastic but they have to be realistic about how much the rest of the group is going to want to participate. They aren't going to change their stripes for one day a year, no matter how magical the party is.

If, on the other hand, you have a fun loving group, then don't be afraid to mix it up a bit. It's always nice to see your workmates in a different light, as long as no one is going to be embarrassed or uncomfortable.

croydon

I'd say it's important to either have people who are comfortable with each other or some kind of distraction. If you've got a lot of old friends or family who never get to catch up, they aren't going to want to do a whole lot of activities because they'll want to talk to each other and just enjoy the company. Too many holiday party games and you could end up annoying them.

On the other hand, if it's something like a work party where people see each other all the time in an average week, I would definitely have a few activities planned to give people something to remember and something to talk about that isn't work-related.

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