Event Planning

Holiday Party Ideas For The Ultimate Fun Time

Yashika Tangri
February 8, 2024
min read

Whenever the holidays come knocking, it’s time to search for remarkable holiday party ideas that make your party stand out.

Holidays are incredibly fun to celebrate with your friends, family, or colleagues. However, confusion and stress are bound to occur when planning a holiday party, especially if you are a rookie.

If you are looking forward to planning a holiday party but don’t know how and where to start, you came to the right place.

We’ve compiled a handy list of holiday party ideas that your guests will remember for years.

Let’s get into it.

A. Holiday party ideas- how to get started

A good holiday party plan should start at least three months before the party. This is enough time to pursue more resources, such as vendors and venues, while increasing the likelihood of guests attending the party. 

Here is how you can get started. 

1. Create your to-do lists

All great parties begin with a great to-do list. This will help you prepare accurately and eliminate any last-minute stress. 

Here’s what to include-

i). Where will you throw the party? - The venue

The first step is to decide the venue for the party. Is it going to be your home? Will the space be enough? An on-site community space is great for parties that involve your groups from work or neighbors. A larger hall or restaurant can also work just as well.

ii). Who is going to be at the party? - The attendees

This is where you list all the people you’ll invite to the party. They can be your work buddies, schoolmates, family members, or neighbors. Send invitations at least three weeks in advance so they can prepare adequately for the party.

iii. When are you going to have the party? - The date and time

Holidays are a busy time for everyone, but planning can improve the chances of attendance. Once you know the date and time, you can decide on the menu, games, decorations, and event ideas

iv. Are you going to get the guests gifts? - Party favors

You can offer gifts and party favors as tokens of appreciation. It can be anything from delicious cookies to cute socks. If you don’t have enough cash, you should think along the lines of a gift exchange party.

2. Establish your budget

An appropriate budget depends on multiple factors, including the size, goals, and elements of the party. Review your finances before planning; no holiday party should jeopardize your bank balance.

Here are some tips to remember while budgeting -

  • If it’s a company party, it’s best to spend about $75-$200 per employee, but your budget may vary widely.
  • Your ideal budget depends not only on the number of guests you are planning to invite but also on the party type. For example, if you’re throwing a small and casual party for 25 people, you may be able to keep it under $1000. But hosting a formal evening with music, fine food, guests, and gifts may exceed several thousand dollars.
  • Consider venues that include amenities such as chairs, tables, or even basic sound systems as part of the package. Other factors include the duration of rental and in-house services like food or decorations.
  • Renting would be a smart choice for one-time use of expensive decor items such as chandeliers. But if the item is unique and you’d frequently use it, buying could be cost-effective in the long run.
  • Personalized branding elements in signages can stand out but cost more due to the customization involved.

3. Sort your menu

A good party is mostly about a great choice of mouth-watering dishes.

Here are some great options you can try:

i). Spinach-artichoke Christmas tree skewers

This is a classic appetizer for the festive holiday season. This delish snack is wrapped in puff pastry and served with a dip. You can make them Christmas tree-shaped and top with a little cheese star.

ii). Maple cranberry baked brie

Start your holiday parties with the seasonal spin on classic baked brie. This easy-to-make homemade maple and cranberry jam gets layered into buttery puff pastry-wrapped brie. Now drizzled with maple syrup and let the feast begin.

iii). Antipasto Christmas tree cheese ball

This charming and delicious cheesy appetizer sculpture will decorate your holiday party and feed your guests in one swoop.

iv). Crab cake bites

This classic seafood dish makes incredible bite-sized serves. These bites are the easiest way to add a little fancy bling to your party, which is ready in over 30 minutes. It goes great with both Christmas and New Year’s bash.

v). Pesto pizza stuffed star bread

This easy and festive holiday appetizer looks way more impressive and complicated than it is. You can make it using homemade pizza dough and pesto, but store-bought can also work.

vi). Cheesy spinach dip Christmas tree

A Christmas masterpiece includes spinach artichoke dip, flaky puff pastry, and festive design. The classic spinach dip can be enjoyed in every form and with any appetizer.

vii). Parmesan-crusted brussels sprouts

Brussel sprouts are a star veggie, and adding Parmesan to these crispy bites makes them irresistible.

viii). Naughty knots

These cheesy, herby bites of deliciousness may make you want to be on the naughty list. If you make these for your holiday dinner guests, they will remember you forever. 

ix). Sausage roll wreath

This holiday showstopper on the table will make your guests drool and massively impress them.

x). Smoked trout spread

This easy-to-make appetizer can easily contest for the star of any holiday party. Deliciously piled into toasted bread, crackers, or crisp endive leaves, this creamy, smoky, bright snack will surely be a hit.

xi). Brulled brie crostini

A great party trick is caramelizing the tops of your crostini. Now assemble the toasts and wait to brulee the top when you serve your guests. The crunchy sugar topping is the perfect coat for a warm and oozy slice of brie and sweet jam.

xii). Baked feta bites

Baked feta bites combine the likes of baked feta pasta and the delightful sophistication of cranberry brie bites, making it a culinary revelation from the best of both worlds.

xiii). French onion soup bites

Fortifying broth + sweetly soft onions + a few chunks of bread and a molten layer of cheese = a bowl of perfection or French onion soup bites.

xiv). Smoked salmon dip

Your new go-to party dip is here. Add smoked salmon, spicy horseradish, bright lemon, and finely chopped dill, and get them mixed into a cream cheese and Greek yogurt base for the creamiest savory dip imaginable.

4. Holiday party themes

Parties with themes are twice as much fun than a regular one. 

Here’s a list of holiday party theme ideas that all kinds of guests would enjoy.

i). For the ladies

A ladies-only party can be incredibly fulfilling when you have the right company. 

Check out these ideas:

  • Wrap and rum - Invite the girls and ask them to bring their gifts and wrapping supplies with delicious hot rum toddies on the side. This is a great way to bond, wrap, and gossip while being productive.

  • Pajama party - Get a break from the dresses, heels, hose, and makeup and try out those adult-size holiday onesies. Pajama parties are extremely fun and comfortable, especially when you are with your girlfriends.
  • Scrooge party - To escape from the holiday hustle-bustle and cheer, the Scrooge party is an incredible theme. You can offer non-holiday-themed food such as Chinese takeout or margaritas and watch a chick flick.
  • Cookie exchange - In this classic party theme, bring your best homemade goodies and go home with various delicious cookies to share with your friends and family.

ii). For the children

Children at a party can be hard to manage, but not when you engage them with the right amount of games and entertainment. 

Here’s a list of some entertaining ideas:

  • Santa’s cookie crew - Ready a couple of batches of simple sugar cookies in holiday shapes. Ask the children to decorate their cookies with colored frosting and sprinkles.
  • Caroling we go - Organize a group of children for a fun, enthusiastic evening of caroling. Travel door to door to entertain or go to a local retirement home to seek blessings from the elders.
  • Reindeer games - Let the children enjoy a reindeer relay, a backyard dasher(er), or a prancing/dancing contest.
  • Ginger house construction contest - Let the children work individually or in teams to build gingerbread houses. Provide the basic supplies and let the creativity roll. You can then give prizes in multiple categories, such as sturdiest, tastiest, or most colorful.
  • Deck the hall party - This is a great party game to host with several other parents, encouraging bonding. Each parent can bring their materials and decorate the party with a different ornament. This way, everyone can bring their own kind of bling to lighten up the party.

iii). For the adults

Drinks and alcohol aren't the only exciting things at an adult party. 

Here are some more ideas to light up the party- 

  • Tinsel and ‘tinis - Begin your adult-themed holiday party with exquisite martinis- eggnog martinis, candy cane martinis, or anything that calls for an olive. For the perfect Christmas garnish, add a little red pimento.
  • Adult skate - If you want to recreate your childhood with your friends, adult skate is a great game to have extreme fun. Reserve the local ice rink and have an amazing time that guests won’t forget anytime soon.
  • Christmas carol-oke - Karaoke parties are already so much fun, and they multiply during a holiday party. Arrange a screen and mic, gather the guests, and sing holiday harmonies.

5. Holiday party favors

Offering party favors is a practice of warm hospitality that ensures your guests remember you for a long time. 

Here is a list of what you can get your guests:

i). Hot cocoa bombs

These chocolate balls are filled with delicious hot chocolate toppings such as melted marshmallows and sprinkles. Your guests can enjoy it with warm milk while dissolving the ball into a rich cup of cocoa. 

ii. Cool snow globes

These unconventional globe gifts contain various images, including scenery, animals, and artwork. Each snow globe is approximately 4 inches tall and is a thoughtful way to pay homage to your guest’s diversity and worldliness.

iii). Pine cone fire starters

Pine cone fire starters make wonderful favors for holiday parties in winter. Guests can light the pinecone and place the starter on top of the kindling. This incredibly useful gift will remind guests of your warmth and hospitality every time they light it up.

iv). Live Christmas cacti

A living plant can be a hearty holiday gift that can perk up any space. Christmas cacti require little water and are easy to care for.

v). Holiday candles

Holiday candles are a perfect gift for your guests to add that cozy warm glow to their homes. They are available in varied scents like pine, cinnamon, vanilla, etc. You can even put a customizable holiday label with your guests’ names.

B. The final checklist - chronological preparation 

Now that you're aware of most kinds of holiday party ideas take a look at this handy chronological checklist to ensure an impeccable party.

1. 10-12 weeks prior

  • Select the date, time, and venue of the party.
  • Reserve the venue if required.
  • Decide the party theme from the list we have mentioned.
  • Decide your budget.
  • Identify your guests.
  • Book equipment and party entertainment.

2. 6-8 weeks prior

  • Decide the menu, and book a caterer if necessary.
  • Plan your decorations.
  • Decide on your party favors.
  • Decide on the games and activities for your guests.

3. 3-6 weeks prior

  • Send the invites.
  • Gather all your party supplies and favors.
  • Finalize the agenda of your event.
  • Contact the venue to discuss any last-minute adjustments.

4. 2 weeks before

  • Send an RSVP reminder to guests who haven’t responded.
  • Send any additional details of the party to your guests that you could not include in the invite.
  • Create a holiday playlist.
  • Buy all groceries and props for the event, including food, alcohol, decorations, and party favors.

5. 1 week prior

  • Start the decorations.
  • Clean and arrange the venue.
  • Wrap the party favors.
  • Prepare any make-ahead dishes and big-batch cocktails.

6. The day

  • Place the dishes, napkins, and serving utensils on the buffet and glasses and napkins on the bar.
  • Brush up the decorations.
  • Buy the ice.
  • Put on the playlist.
  • Have a lot of fun.

C. Wrapping up

Our list of practical and super convenient holiday party ideas will surely excite all your guests.

If you need additional help planning your holiday party, Ticket Generator is here. We are an all-in-one event management software that handles ticketing and registration needs. You can create your registration page with various customizable designs to reflect the feel of your party.

Sign up now to know more!

Yashika Tangri

Yashika Tangri is an amazing marketing manager who operates from Trycon Technology's Noida office. Her name signifies success and fame, and she has certainly lived up to these expectations.

At work, Yashika is a highly efficient digital marketing organizer and a source of inspiration to her colleagues with her positive demeanor and professional work ethics. Despite being a lifelong student of science, Yashika decided to pursue a career in marketing in 2018.

After work hours, Yashika enjoys creating new playlists on Spotify, and she is an avid reader who finds solace in escaping reality through the pages of mythology books.