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Holiday Party Ideas

When the holidays come around, that means party season is in full swing. Get ready to juggle the annual office holiday party, family get-togethers, and celebrations with your nearest and dearest. In order to avoid party fatigue, you need a game plan. No matter what kind of party (or how many!) you’re throwing this year—a kids’ holiday party, or an adults-only get together—the pressure to bring the festive fun is on.

The first step to throwing the best-ever holiday party is choosing which holiday spin your party will have. Are you leaning toward a Christmas ugly sweater party? Or a dinner party for Hanukkah with a make-your-own latke bar? Or celebrate the broader holiday season. Then, find a theme that can tie everything together, from your décor aesthetic (are you in an all-white winter wonderland mood, or are you feeling more brightly colored lights?) to your holiday foods.

When it comes to food, a sit down dinner will create a more intimate vibe if you’re inviting a small group of people, while serving up passed appetizers and mini seasonal sweets are easier for a party with a large guest list. Booking a caterer will save you the added headache of doing all the cooking and baking on your own. If music and entertainment are important factors for your holiday party, consider springing for live entertainment.

Once you’ve decided on a décor plan and theme, and the music and menu are finalized, think about cocktails. Are you going to hire a bartender for the night, or stock your own bar? Finally, decide on a gifting strategy. White elephant and secret Santa are classic, and can double as a party game, but forgoing presents and saving your guests—and yourself—money is a plus, too. Whatever your vision, these creative holiday party themes will help get you started.

Popular Holiday Party Themes

Great White North

This theme is perfect for a more formal event. Turn your party into the inside of a snow globe thanks to whimsical décor, large-scale graphic installations and velvet textiles all inspired by wintertime in Canada.

Aprés Ski

Re-create a ski lodge with paper snowflakes, warm cocktails, and comfort food for an unexpected good time. Light a fire (or play an animated fireplace video on your TV) to up the cozy vibes. If guests are willing to dress up in snow attire, even better.

Winter Informal

Want the most low-key party ever? Skip the most stressful part of parties—finding the perfect outfit—and throw a winter informal. The dress code is athleisure, and the menu includes pizza and hot chocolate.

Winter Wonderland

You can never go wrong with a classic theme. Start with an all-white color palette, add some metallics for shine, and consider hiring a string quartet, which will make the bash even more enchanting.

Billy Huynh; Unsplash

Great Gatsby

If there’s no such thing as “too extravagant” when it comes to your parties, go all out with a Great Gatsby theme. Think nonstop dancing, lively entertainment, sparkly attire, luxe decorations, and obviously, a champagne tower.

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