We know wintertime can be a drag. With the holidays coming up, it becomes especially difficult to be merry and stress-free. We’re faced with lack of daylight, cloudy skies, cold weather, excessive spending on gifts for family & friend, battling colds and flus, and inevitable weight gain (we can go on and on). So, what’s the best thing to do this month to stay afloat? Plan a party. Getting your friends together for a fun night of cocktails and games can be the perfect mini-escape from stressful holiday season.
Here are 7 different ideas you can use to throw a successful and fun party – and temporarily get your mind off all the holiday stress.
Ugly Sweater Christmas Party – Who doesn’t love themed parties! Now you can finally unearth that hideous Christmas sweater your grandmother (bless her heart) gave you a few Christmases ago. If you’re lucky enough not to own one, it’s just as fun to go on an ugly-sweater-shopping adventure at your local thrift store with a friend. Give your guests even more incentive to wear an ugly sweater by having a contest for the ugliest sweater at the party with a prize (something inexpensive like a $10 Starbucks gift cards works well!)
Board game night – Don’t be fooled by this one! We promise it’s not as lame as it sounds. Although it might seem like the dullest way to spend an evening, inviting your friends over for a night of board games can actually give your brain the rest it needs during this stressful and (at-times) depressing season. By focusing on the game and the added competition against your friends, you’re taking your mind off of work, holiday expenses, travel arrangements, etc. It’s simple yet highly effective. Besides, staying indoors seems like a much nicer alternative than going out when it’s below 10 and snowing outside.
Christmas cocktail/mocktail party – This is a great party idea for all ages, as these drinks can easily be made alcohol-free. Make a list of 5-10 or so different drinks your guests can choose from at the party, be sure to buy all the ingredients you need to make the drink, and play bartender for the night (ok, not the whole night). Giving your guests the option to choose from different cocktails or mocktails can make your party much more appealing, rather than having just two or three drink options. You can also make the mock/cocktails in small test-size cups so they can try more than one drink. Check here for a list of delicious drink recipes.
Festivus – Seinfeld lovers unite! If Christmas songs, the millions of Christmas commercials, and the red and green colour combination are making you sick to your stomach, throw a Festivus party! Take part in the Festivus rituals, which include the airing of grievances and feats of strength. A Festivus themed party is the perfect alternative to those who are in desperate need of some comic relief amidst the madness of Christmas. Don’t forget the aluminum Festivus pole.
Potluck – The best part about a potluck is not having the stress of cooking enough food to feed all your guests – and worrying that you may not have cooked enough food for all your guests. Instead, have a holiday-themed potluck party where your guests can bring a dish of their choice. Make it easier for your guests by not having the dishes be holiday-specific (not everyone is a master chef).
Baking/Gingerbread House Decorating party – The holidays wouldn’t be the same without cookies and gingerbread houses. Pick a few different baking recipes, and gather your family, friends and kids (if you have them) and bake away! While you’re waiting for the cookies to bake, you can drink cocktails or hot chocolate with marshmallows while sitting around a warm fire (or candles, if you don’t have a fireplace).
A Classy Affair that’s laid back – If you just want a reason to dress up and have a good time, throw a classy holiday party with a laid back atmosphere. Tell your guests to dress up in their best attire, and have cocktails, champagne and snacks on hand to serve all night. For more intimate parties or smaller groups, you can host a nice sit-down dinner. Even though you’ll be dressed up, this doesn’t mean the party has to be stuffy and overly serious. Make sure to create a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere, so your guests don’t feel uncomfortable.