The Ultimate Guide To Hosting A Holiday Party

It is now the first week of December which means that it’s officially time to get into holiday mode. I don’t know about you, but the month of December is always full of different gatherings and parties for me, and I usually end up hosting one as well. There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into hosting a holiday party, which is why I’ve created a guide to help you in your holiday party endeavors.

The Guest List

Creating the guest list for a party is VERY important. Of course, you are going to want to invite your closest friends. But do you mind letting them bring a plus one? If you decide to let them, you should assume that about half of the invitees will bring someone with them. A hostess should also consider how well the guests will all mingle together. Will your work friends get along with your personal friends? Do you even want to mix your different groups of friends? These are both very important questions to consider. Also, remember the more people you invite, the more cleaning up afterwards there is likely to be. However, if you’re armed with the correct tools for the job, you can be ready for the aftermath of a party of any scale. See here for cleaning products up to a job such as this –

Here’s a cute template to keep track of who’s coming and who’s bringing what:


After creating the guest list, the next task is to send out invites. You need to decide if you want to send out a virtual invite, or do it the old-fashioned way and use paper invitations.

If you do decide to use virtual invites, you can use evite, Paperless Post, Punchbowl, or just Facebook. If I were hosting a party, I would probably use paper invites, just because I feel like they are more personal and won’t get lost in your inbox. They are, however, more expensive.

I think choosing the right style of invitation is important because it somewhat sets the tone for what kind of party you are having. For example, if you are hosting a semi-formal soirée, you would probably want to use something simple, yet elegant (gold, silver, cursive…), and if you are hosting a baking party & movie night, you could get away with fun and colorful invites.

Here are some of my favorites:

Food & Drinks

Whenever I host a party, it always seems that figuring out what food to buy/make is the most stressful part of the whole thing. If you are having a party in the evening, you will definitely need to have quite a few different appetizers. It’s always good to have a fruit & veggie plate, as well as some sort of cheese & cracker plate.

I usually make the BBQ meatballs for every party I host/attend, and they’re always a hit! I use the party meatballs & BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s

Here are some other fun & festive options:

If you don’t plan any fun activities, your guests will most likely get bored and want to leave. Here are some fun ideas to entertain your guests at at your party:

If you have a karaoke machine, find a Christmas karaoke CD and take turns singing your favorite Christmas carols. You could always consider hiring a DJ in your area on Headliner – dj manchester.
Photo Booth
Having a photo booth at any party is always fun. Gather together or make some fun props for the guests to use and set up a little area with a camera.

Christmas Gift Wrap Relay
Set up an assembly line of gifts, wrapping paper, scissors, tape, ribbon and gift tags, and divide all of your guests into teams depending on how many people there are. Have everyone be responsible for one element of gift wrapping, and see which team can finish first and wrap their present the best!
Gift Exchange
You can go along with the “White Elephant” rules, or even create your own theme (i.e. gifts that start with M, gifts that are gold, etc.). And make sure to set a price limit and let everyone know beforehand!
For a Christmas party, the decorations are perhaps one of the most important details about the party (in my opinion). There are so many different directions you can go nowadays, so let’s take a look at some of the styles and color combos.
Classic Red

1 | 2
Glam Gold

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Pretty in Pink

1 | 2

Merry & Bright

1 | 2
The Outfit

The final part of hosting a holiday party that you need to take care of is the outfit. It all depends on how casual or formal your party is, so here are some casual, informal, and semi-formal outfits for you to gain inspiration from:
1 | 2

1 | 2 | 3

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
And that, my friends, is how you throw a FAB holiday party! Enjoy, and be sure to share pictures of your creations with me!



  1. December 31, 2013 / 9:14 PM

    Such an informed post. I want to add that taco pinwheels are very easy to make and usually a hit with parties. I’ve witness sworms of people eat them at work and at a party once.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *