Got The Holiday Party Host Blues?

Here’s 6 Tips To Bring Back The Cheer

Does the thought of hosting yet another holiday party make your heart sink and shrink three sizes at the idea? Are you racking your brain to come up with some new ideas to make it fun for everyone?  Hosting holiday gatherings adds extra stress, not to mention cost to an already stressful time of year.

One research study found that 17% of people host one holiday party a year. Another 17% host multiple parties. How can you keep your holiday party fresh & keep your stress levels down to a minimum? According to Diane Phillips, entertaining expert, in an article from Eating Well, “The key to a great party is a relaxed host.” And to be happy host means you have to plan ahead.

So lose the “grinchiness” and perk up your holiday party with some of these “out of the box” ideas for your holiday gatherings this year. These tips will help make your party memorable, fun and unique.

  • Create the theater experience for a holiday movie themed party.

Instead of having folks standing around the dining room table sipping on eggnog and eating Chex mix, let them know they are attending a movie marathon. They can come dressed in cozy, comfy clothes or as their favorite character from a holiday movie rather than in their holiday dress shoes and attire. Sure, you’ve made it tradition to show Polar Express for the kids each year at your family holiday party. Why not change that this year and make it into a full-blown movie theater experience? Set up the recreation room or basement with a large movie screen and sound system. Instead of just one movie, show a few holiday favorites. Kids and adults alike will enjoy feeling like they can escape to “the theater” and relax. Set up a popcorn machine for everyone to have buttery popcorn to munch on while enjoying the movie. A slushie machine or other fountain drinks are great for the kids, while adults can sip on margaritas or other adult spirits. You could even make it an afternoon event, so your party doesn’t overlap with other holiday parties.                                                                                  

  • Make your party the pre-party.

Before people’s schedules get crammed and the holiday parties turn into a blur of candy-canes and holly, hold your party early. Maybe a week or two before the scheduling jam. Besides, you want people to come to your event, right? Although for some, standing around chit-chatting isn’t in their comfort zone. Set up tables with different stations of “holiday prep”. Tables with ornament making, creating Christmas cards or decorating cookies (or even Christmas brownies!) can get everyone, even the shyest of your guests, talking and creating a memory to take home or to give away. And you’ll be sure to have enough tables & chairs when that one guest that never rsvp’s, but always shows up, arrives with a plus 1 or 2.

  • Hold your own reindeer games.

Playing games at holiday parties is not a new idea, according to one 2013 market research study, 37% of partygoers say they play games at their holiday parties. Woman’s Day magazine offers up some DIY holiday party themed games, like Jingle Bell Toss, which is “like beer pong, but for kids! Use red plastic cups and have kiddos try to toss jingle bells into ‘em.”  You can take your games up a notch with giant games. Set up a variety of games throughout your party space, this way everyone can play! Giant Jenga, Kerplunk, Checkers and Twister will keep your guests engaged and having a fun time. Keep score and have stocking filled fun holiday themed prizes for the winner of each round. Add more to the prizes and make it a full-blown tournament with a grand prize at the end.

  • Throw a Christmas carol dance-off.

Set up a dance floor, load up the holiday tunes and brush off your dancing shoes. Grab a partner for a holiday carol dance off. Guests will have fun moving around and burning off all the extra calories they take in at all their holiday parties. Hopefully your moves will keep you from getting “tapped out” from the competition. Rent a large speaker to keep “Jingle Bell Rock”, other holiday favorites and some classic party songs playing loud and clear.

  • Share memories with a slideshow or home movie.

Perhaps there’s no avoiding the more traditional take on the holiday party-besides, your cheese ball is the best after all! But, you can add a little more to just the eat, drink and be merry event. With a little preparation, you can remind your guests why you all gather together each year. Create a slideshow of pictures or a home movie from the party over the years or from various gatherings throughout the year when you all have gotten together and project these as part of the party. Celebrate the moments you have shared. Make it even more fun by “emceeing” the slide show or dvd with your own witty commentary or have guests fill in the blanks ala the kids game, Ad-Libs, and make it even more interactive and fun.

  • Set up an obstacle course challenge for the kids.

After sampling all of Aunt Marge’s cookie platter (as well as, Aunt Edna’s, Joyce’s and even your neighbor Marianne’s), the kids will be bouncing off the walls! Burn off some of that energy with an indoor obstacle course challenge. Depending on the size of your space, you could run one course or a few. Create teams for tag teams or run individually.

Your holiday party can keep your friends and family buzzing throughout the season as well as keeping your heart full. According to a 2015 article from, everyone is feeling more stressed at the holidays, but one way to combat that is with some preparation and planning, especially if you are hosting a holiday party. Use the tips above or let them inspire your own unique ideas and create a party your guests will love and remember for a long time. And if you are serving spirits at your event, be sure to rent a coffee urn and have plenty of non-alcoholic options on hand for the designated drivers.

Throw the party everyone will be talking about this year instead of the same old boring event. Let us help you get started, give us a call to get planning!

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