Are you one of those people who know exactly how many days there are until Christmas? Do you troll Netflix beginning in November for anything resembling a Christmas movie? Do you plan what you’re going to serve on Christmas morning in October?

We can totally respect your love of holiday hoopla. With carols being piped in at every store, the smell of cinnamon permeating the air, and general good cheer, this is simply the most wonderful time of the year, don’t you agree? If you’ve decided to have a seasonal soiree at your house, we can help make it as festive as possible.

Read on for tips on ramping up the holiday cheer at your Christmas shindig.

Make it a White Elephant Party

This simple concept infuses energy into every party. In general, you pre-set a budget for gift giving for all your attendees ($25-$40 is typical). Everyone buys one gift within this range and brings it (wrapped or in a gift bag!) to share in one big pile. It’s best to add your gift on the sly so no one knows which gift is from whom. Everyone picks a number and then chooses a gift from the pile based on this number.

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However, you can forego your chance to pick from the pile in favor of “stealing” something someone has already opened. It’s usually best to set a limit for the number of “steals” ahead of time (three is fairly typical). It can be great fun, in particular when one gift becomes the hot ticket item. A lot of bargaining will be going on. Unless it’s agreed upon ahead of time, gag gifts aren’t usually recommended, as no one wants to be the one person who ends up with a wrapped toilet seat. Need some “pinspiration”? Pinterest is a great resource for White Elephant gift ideas.

Consider a Merry Motif or Theme

Costumes aren’t just for Halloween. Christmas is a great time to throw a Santa and Mrs. Claus party, an ugly sweater party, or a party in which everyone simply dons a hilarious Christmas outfit. Live in a warm weather climate? Make it an ugly tank top party! Any which way you cut it, having people come in holiday attire ups the ante on the festive fun. And just imagine how amazing your party photos will be.


If you’re really going all out, have some Christmas outfits and accessories on hand and hire someone to bring a photo booth. Or save the money on the latter with a DIY photo booth. Boozers beware – party antics will be recorded for posterity’s sake!

Ambiance For the Win

Creating great ambiance is the key to any successful party but this is particularly true at Christmastime. Make sure to have your merry music playing in the background. Throw a yuletide log on the fire and serve up some spiced rum with plenty of apples and cinnamon sticks. This not only tastes dee-lish but it’ll make your whole house smell like a Christmas candle.

Santa Claus

Are kids invited? Consider having a neighbor or friend dress up as Santa Claus and deliver gifts. This can even be pre-arranged by the parents. There is nothing better than creating your own winter wonderland, even if you live in a warm weather climate. Don’t forget the mistletoe!

Let the Merriment Ooze Into Your Food and Drink

We could do a whole post on Christmas bites and cocktails, and the ideas on Pinterest alone will blow your mind. From bacon wrapped dates to hearty crockpot concoctions for your main dish, there is no shortage of fodder for festive food. For dessert, we adore these Grinch cupcakes—this will be in addition to your table filled with Christmas cookies, of course.


In a time when the news as far as the North Pole can be downright depressing, make sure you ramp up the holiday cheer at this year’s Christmas shindig.

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