Would you like to entertain this year but don't want to give "the usual" party? Try these ideas for something different and start a new tradition! You'll have friends eager to take part in your celebration.
There is one special thing to keep in mind:
- If you're entertaining several different groups of friends, plan the two (or even three) parties on one weekend. Invite friends from work over after work on Friday evening, neighborhood friends on Saturday evening, and church friends on Sunday afternoon.
- Once you have everything planned, you'll be able to polish your silver, clean the house, choose your holiday wardrobe, do your grocery shopping, and prepare the food--only once!
- You'll be able to use the same menu, same dishes, same decorations, and wear the same clothes for all the parties.
- It may seem like a lot of work, and it is! But once the work is done, you'll have more time to enjoy the parties yourself!
Here are some of our ideas for parties out-of-the-ordinary that will have your friends talking for days and looking forward to your entertaining next year!
Neighborhood Decorating Party
There's a neighborhood near my house where all homes are decorated in a theme. One block has angels, one Santas, one candy canes. You get the picture! On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, plan a neighborhood party around the decorating. Plan a simple brunch, ask everyone to contribute something to the feast, and spend the day "neighbor helping neighbor" getting the decorations put up.
Who doesn't love to look at beautiful Christmas lights? But who really likes the job of putting them up? Plan a simple party to get friends together to help each other with the task. Prepare a hearty pot of chili or soup, offer crusty rolls and warm cider. Then go from home to home to get the decorations out.
In and Out!
Plan to go as a group to a holiday movie or new release. Assign someone to purchase all the tickets ahead of time. Ask each guest or couple to bring one part of the dinner, like casserole, salad, or dessert. Invite everyone to come 2 hours before the start of the film. Enjoy what everyone has brought, and then be off to the show. You won't have to do anything but get your house ready, and you know that guests won't stay all evening.
Make it Simple
Plan a party around pizza, homemade, chili, hearty salad, or "make-your-own" sandwiches. By focusing on a food theme, you won't be tempted to add just one more thing.
Tell friends from work that you'll be home all evening and invite them to drop in. Offer simple steaming soup, cheese and crackers, meatballs, cheese fondue, or small sandwiches. After a long day of work, no one will want to stay long, but it will be a nice opportunity to visit and relax.
Give to Others
Plan a party to benefit the needy. Your job will be to get everything organized. You and your guests might make things, such as blankets, toys, or socks. Or collect things as admission to your party, like canned food items or toys to give to the needy or a food bank. Or do a craft project and share it with residents of a retirement home. Put together food baskets and distribute to a shelter for the homeless.
Shop 'Til You Drop Party
Plan a "Girls' Day Out" for Christmas shopping. Locate some interesting places to shop for crafts, antiques, or specialty items. Get things ready for a light meal when you're "shopped out" or stop at a favorite lunch room mid-day. When you can't buy any more, get out all the wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon, and tags, and compare your purchases before you wrap them. Shopping, lunch, wrapping, and fun, all at one time!
Christmas Tree Decorating Party
This theme for a holiday party has worked great for years. Ask each person to bring two ornaments to share. You, as host or hostess, should have an ornament to share with each guest. Write the date on the back as a reminder of the occasion. Everyone puts one of their offerings on the tree and exchanges the other with another guest. Everyone goes home with two new ornaments, one from you and one exchanged. It's a great way to get the tree trimmed and add to your ornament collection.
Read on for more fun ideas for Christmas Parties.