The holidays can be stressful, especially when it comes to planning a party. Whether it’s getting everyone together, gathering the supplies, or sticking to the budget, things can get overwhelming.
For the most enjoyable and stress-free holiday party, try these four tips that can grant you some relief and allow you to enjoy the holiday season too!
1. Send out invitations early
Your best bet in terms of figuring out guests for the party is to do so ahead of time, to avoid last second RSVPs or declines. Being able to let your party’s details circulate for a while before the actual date allows the attendees more time to reply to your invitation. Plus, for you as the organiser, it will give you a realistic vision of what to expect.
One extremely effective technique for children’s parties is to go digital with the invitations. Rather than taking the time to pass out paper invitations to children who may either lose them or forget to give them to their parents, try making an online event which will make it much easier for you to know who’s coming and who’s not.
These event ticketing platforms are not only great for RSVPing, but also discussing party details, sharing ideas, and more.
2. Set a Theme
There’s nothing like a themed party to get you really in the mood for Christmas. Themes like Winter Wonderland, Santa’s Workshop, and Ugly Sweater are always favourites, but be sure to explore your options and get creative. Pinterest and Instagram are terrific places from which to draw inspiration.
Theme parties are great because they’re immersive, interactive and an excellent ice breaker between party guests.
The only potential hazard is that after recent experiences assembling various costumes for Halloween and school Christmas concerts, some of the parents might slightly hate you. One way around this is to make the theme open enough to allow the creative to get creative, and the lazy/tired to look creative. For example, the Ugly Sweater theme is easy enough for any guest to pull off, but the ones who want to go the extra mile will have the opportunity to go nuts too. No one has to feel left out.
3. Select a good meal for the kids
Food is always an integral part of parties, especially for children. Depending on the size of your party, you might consider catering. If you’re expecting a large number of kids, it will save time on your end cooking, preparing, and serving.
If it’s a small gathering, try preparing your own (easy) meal that the kids will surely enjoy. Especially with the holidays, treats like gingerbread cookies or cupcakes will bring the festiveness into the party and be tasty for the little ones.
Click here for some Christmas-themed party snacks that are visually appealing, festive and tasty.
4. Choose activities/crafts/games/entertainment
Keeping the kids busy and engaged for the duration of the party will make sure it runs smoothly. If arts and crafts are your thing, gingerbread house building, ornament painting, and decorating festive cookies are easy ways to provide entertainment.
Games are a great route as well, but be sure to choose games that fit the size and the age range of the people at the party. Christmas bingo, Santa dress up relay races, holiday charades, are just a few of the possibilities that kids of all ages (and adults!) can surely enjoy.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
A cookie odyssey
Some small gingerbread cookies will do the trick here. This game involves party guests leaning back and placing a cookie on their foreheads. Using only their facial muscles (so no hands, no moving their heads), they must somehow move the cookie down to their mouths.
Christmas stocking game
Place items in Christmas stocking and get guests to guess what’s inside by feeling it.
Snowball relay race
The object of this game is to transfer cotton balls (snowballs) from one side of the room into a bucket at the other side. If a snowball is dropped, it must be left on the ground. The team with the most snowballs in their bucket at the end wins.
Basically ‘Simon says’ with Santa!
Message under a plate
This one works best if your party will involve you and your guests sitting around a table for meals at some point.
Prepare slips of paper with odd sentences that are not likely to fit into typical table conversation. Put one of these slips under each guests plate and ask them to read the message silently, put it back under their plates and then try to insert their message into the conversation without being detected.
Guests are eliminated from the game if a) another guest correctly guesses that they have used their message, and b) if the guest accuses another guest of using their message, but they are wrong. At the end of the meal, find out which guests succeeded in using their sentences without being caught.
Here are some examples of sentences you can use, but of course you can use whatever sentences you like. Just remember to adjust for ages and personality types.
- I walked into a huge puddle today.
- Are there any blue lollies I can eat?
- Santa is getting me a new phone.
- I don’t like green stuff in my cookies so I try to pick it out.
- I want my parents to have another baby.
- I wish I had a pet iguana.
- And then my computer just turned itself off and there was a weird buzzing noise coming from outside.