5 Fun Christmas Party Ideas

| November 20, 2012

Homemade gingerbread cookies

From swapping gag gifts to watching favorite movie classics, you’ll create lasting memories with these fun ideas for Christmas games and themes. And DexKnows can help you with your Christmas party planning, whether you’re searching for bakeries, caterers or party invitations.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Remember that hideous Christmas sweater from your great aunt Clara, the lime-green one with the sequined Santa faces and candy cane collar? There is an occasion for it, believe it or not: Dig it out from your bottom drawer and make it the central theme of this year’s holiday party. Specify on the invitation that your guests should show up in their ugliest Christmas sweater — the tackier the better. You can even put up kitschy Christmas holiday decorations and bake an ugly Christmas sweater cake.

If you don’t own an ugly Christmas sweater, you can probably find an inexpensive one at a local thrift store.

Dirty Santa Gift Swap

The Dirty Santa gift swap, also known as a white elephant exchange, is a humorous twist on gift giving and as popular as ever for Christmas holiday parties. The basic idea is that everyone brings a wrapped gift and plays a game to open and exchange them — find example game rules here. On the invitation, be sure to specify a maximum dollar amount — you may want to limit gifts to a certain type of item, such as books, ornaments or gag gifts. This theme works best when the participants know each other well. The gift game can get very lively, if not competitive.

Holiday Movie Marathon

Everyone has their favorite holiday movie, and there are decades of great titles to choose from. Depending on how much time you have, pick three to five Christmas movies that follow a particular theme, such as classics, comedies or cult favorites. Have plenty of snacks on hand, and check out Nestle Kitchens’ top ten appetizers for 2012 if you need inspiration. Find holiday movie-themed invitations, cups, plates and napkins online or at your local stationery store.

“Minute to Win It”

“Minute to Win It” is a game show on NBC where contestants compete in deceptively difficult challenges with household items. You can adapt this idea to the central theme of your next holiday party, especially if you’re hosting a big group. It’s not only fun for adults but will keep kids entertained and engaged, as well. Visit the Children’s Party Network website for some “Minute to Win It” party game ideas for kids, or check out the show’s website, which offers a list of challenges and rules, and brainstorm a few of your own variations.

Holiday Cookie Swap

What better way to celebrate the holidays with the foodies in your life than a Christmas cookie exchange? Ask your invitees to make their favorite recipe and bring their cookies to the party to sample and share.

A few quick tips:

  • Coordinate recipes ahead of time to avoid duplicates.
  • Have each person bring a dozen cookies for sampling, plus six to 12 boxed cookies and recipe cards for other attendees to take home.
  • Send invitations well in advance to give your guests time to plan and bake.

Check out Food Network’s annual 12 Days of Cookies for this year’s most popular recipes. The Joy of Baking website also offers a treasure trove of free Christmas cookie recipes and demonstration videos.

These are just a few Christmas game and party ideas to get you started this holiday season. And when you’re ready to shop, check out DexKnows local listings to help you find all of your party supply needs.

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Category: Holiday Shopping

About the Author ()

Katy is a Chicago-based journalist with an eclectic background in print publishing, web design and paralegal work. She's been writing and editing web content full time since 2010.