Top 10 Holiday Party Ideas To Wow Your Guests

If 2020 was the year of social distancing, virtual parties, and holidays spent on Zoom, then this is the year we slowly start coming back to hosting parties as we know and love them. This holiday season, not only are we gathering with our family, friends, and co-workers, but we’re making up for a year of lost parties. For this reason, we want to go all-out!

If you’re on the same page, then throwing an extravagant bash might be the best way to greet the holiday season. Whether you’re throwing an all-out affair for everyone you know, an intimate gathering with your loved ones, or a professional event for your co-workers, then our holiday party ideas are sure to elevate your next event. 

Here are 10 ways to make your next holiday party a hit with everyone who attends.

1. Take It Outside

If you want your guests to experience a true winter wonderland, then host your holiday-themed party outdoors. If there’s a fresh layer of snow outside, then your guests are sure to be awed by the appearance of it all. And, as a bonus, being outside adds an extra level of precaution in post-pandemic times. 

Although it may seem like spending hours outside is a sure way to freeze your tail off, we promise there are many ways to make sure this doesn’t happen! Heat lamps, bonfires, and—if possible—plastic dome igloos will keep your guests warm and cozy. Adorned with white string lights and tons of candles and decorations, your party will be a sight to behold. 

2. Rent a Ski Cabin

If you’re throwing a more intimate holiday party, then there’s no better way to bring everyone closer together than by taking part in a winter sport. If there's a ski resort near you, then centering your holiday party around skiing and snowboarding can make for a full day of fun.

But even if winter sports aren’t something your guests want to partake in, a ski cabin can be a great venue for a party, or a cozy place to have a Christmas movie marathon during happy hour. The crisp winter air, the rustic décor, and a fireplace can make the perfect setting for an après ski party. And since you’re renting the whole cabin, you can decorate it any way you want with holiday decorations

3. Make It a Brunch Party

We only need one reason to throw a brunch party and it is definitely the food. From eggs benedict to blueberry scones to mimosas to wash everything down, brunch is a delicious way to celebrate the holidays.

If your holiday party falls on a weekend, move the time up a little bit and make it a brunch party. Doing this will help to make your party feel more low-key while still allowing it to be elegant and sophisticated. Plus, it opens the door to all kinds of cute décor, like Christmas lights, ribbon, and a photo booth

4. Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar

When the temperatures drop, all we want to do is cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa. And we’re sure your guests feel the exact same way when the holiday season rolls around!

Treat your Christmas party guests to an impressive mug of hot chocolate by setting up a hot chocolate bar. To do this, set up a table with a festive tablecloth where all the hot chocolate ingredients will be displayed. Make a large batch of hot chocolate and keep it warm in a slow cooker when your guests arrive. All that remains is putting out a variety of toppings and snacks. 

Use these baking cups to display hot chocolate favorites such as marshmallows, crushed candy canes, and chocolate chips. Add snacks like cookies or gingerbread houses for added punch. And don’t forget to serve up plenty of whipped cream! You can also have your guests help you put ornaments on the Christmas tree, or play some holiday trivia while you enjoy your cocoa.

5. Go International

Just because your guests are, well, guests, doesn’t mean they can’t participate in making the party come together. Instead of planning an elaborate party menu, ask your guests to contribute a dish to a potluck-style dinner. Even better, incorporate a potluck dinner into an ugly sweater party

Elevate this idea by picking an international theme. Ask your guests to bring a dish from their own culture or a culture they admire. Whether they bring an appetizer, main course, or dessert, in the end, you should end up with a dinner that has something from all corners of the world. Bonus points if you include trivia questions about different cultures. 

6. Plan a Toy Drive

Is your office throwing a holiday party this year? If so, incorporate a holiday toy drive to make the party feel more meaningful. To do this, have everyone bring a new toy as their “ticket” for getting into the holiday party (just make sure to set a price limit so people don’t feel obligated to spend a lot of money on the toy!).

Of course, it’s important to do some research on which nonprofit you will donate the toys to and to reach out to them ahead of time. Luckily, many local nonprofits would be more than happy to accept toy donations and some will even arrange a pickup for the toys you’re donating to them. THis party idea is perfect for coworkers or employees for team building, and you can make it more fun by bringing along santa hats for everyone involved.

7. Host a Christmas Song Karaoke Contest

When we’re surrounded by friends, yummy food, and boozy cocktails, it’s impossible not to have fun. That said, it’s still a good idea to have some activities to really get the ball rolling. Host a Christmas song karaoke contest to get everyone feeling pumped. 

To make this a contest, split up your guests into several teams. Have each team choose a karaoke song from a bowl and come up with a singing and dancing routine to it. To make it more exciting, have a “jury” panel to decide the winner. 

This is something you can even host on Zoom as one of your virtual holiday party games.

While there’s no shortage of Christmas songs, here are some that you absolutely can’t go wrong with on your holiday playlist:

  • Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt
  • All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey
  • The Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby
  • Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry
  • Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande

8. Go Ice Skating

There’s no better way to feel closer to your party guests than to participate in a sports activity. And while some of us may stumble and fall on the ice, we can’t think of a better way to let our guard down while having a few laughs.

We think that ice skating can be a stand-alone event or make an addition to your holiday party. As a stand-alone event, it’s totally possible to rent an ice skating arena for your entire party and to even bring along a DJ to play your favorite tunes.

But if renting an entire arena isn’t an option, then you can always hit up the ice skating rink before (or after) your holiday party. 

9. Set an All-White Dress Code

For a super Instagrammable holiday party, it’s hard to think of anything that looks chicer than your guests showing up in their best white attire. And while it may seem like something that’s best left for the warmer months, we think that an all-white dress code perfectly encapsulates those winter wonderland vibes we love so much. 

To set an all-white dress code, ask your guests to show up in their finest white sweaters, dresses, and coats. Or you can simply write “white attire only” on the invitations. Oh, and don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!

10. Show Your Guests How Much You Appreciate Them

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like getting a thoughtful and useful gift. For this reason, we’d definitely give out party favors to show your guests how much you appreciate them.

We think that tasty treats always make a great party favor. If you can make something homemade for your guests to enjoy when they get home, then your party favor will feel very personal. 

But we also think that there are other holiday party favors that are sure to be a hit with everyone. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Luxurious Hand Cream: When outside temperatures drop, our skin definitely takes a hit. For this reason, hand cream is an absolute must for everyone this season. Give your guests something luxurious that they will savor this winter.
  • Sunrise Alarm: As the days get shorter, it gets harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. An alarm clock that simulates a sunrise will be one of those life-changing items that your guests may not have thought of but can’t live without. 
  • High-End Scented Candle: A high-quality scented candle will be something your guests either love and use every chance they get, or proudly re-gift to someone else. In either case, this is our idea of the perfect party favor!
  • A Bottle of Wine: Wine is a sophisticated present that looks, feels, and tastes extravagant. You can even customize some wine labels with a personalized message. 

Jingle and Mingle

It seems like we’re all overdue for a good party this holiday season. Whether you’re hosting your party outside, serving a brunch menu, or hosting a karaoke contest, we’re sure that your guests will be impressed by your party. And for that extra wow factor, Sophistiplate has your back with the best holiday tableware


Our Sources:

Blueberry Scones Recipe - NYT Cooking | The New York Times

Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe - NYT Cooking | The New York Times 

How to Throw a Karaoke Party on Zoom | WIRED

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