1. A cookie exchange party: everyone brings 2 dosen cookies for the party, along with the recipes…ask everyone to bring something unique (i.e. no chocolate chip cookies). Set out everyone’s cookies on a table and after the party, everyone gets a bag full of different kinds of cookies from the party (be sure to have recipes handy to give out along with the treats).
2. An ugly Christmas sweater party: everyone wears the ugliest Christmas sweater they own, or any ugly outfit for that matter. This is where you whip out your camera and take unforgettable pictures!
3. Christmas songs karaoke party: this will get everyone participating – from kids to grandparents! Have everyone bring an appetizer and serve some drinks to get your guests into a festive singing mood.
4. Have guests dress up as Christmas characters: this is open to ideas, but a great place to start is with classic Christmas characters from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Scrooge,” “A Christmas Story” and the like.
5. Set up a homemade photo booth in the spirit of Christmas: here you can take memorable pictures with your friends and family. You can also make papier-mâché characters with cut out opening for faces, or decorate the booth with tons of garlands and snowflakes…this project will let you be as creative as you want.
6. Do a white-elephant gift swap: everyone brings a gift that cost no more than $XX.00 (pre-determined on invitations). People draw numbers from a hat that tells them what order they will get to pick a gift in, at which point they decide whether they get an unknown (and exciting!) present or “steal” a present from someone who went before them.
7. Solve a murder mystery in a role-playing game: this game is a lot of fun to play, because everyone runs around looking for clues while socializing with strangers along the way. It’s perfect for large crowds of people who may not all know each other. Remember to hide your clues in obvious places like under the chairs, napkins and cups.
8. A snoflake-cookie making party: this is where everyone brings their kids and lets them all participate in cookie-making at once. Snowflake-shaped cookies are a good choice that fits the season, and they can be easily decorated by kids.
9. Meet Santa – at your house! This is a fun block party idea where you get a parent dressed up as Santa and all the kids in the eighborhood can come over and meet him.
10. Progressive Dinner Party: ideal for 8 to 10 people/couples as everyone participates by serving one course of the dinner along with drinks at their house. The party starts out in one house and moves to other houses throughout the night. It’s an out of the box idea that is actually quite fun!
11. Christmas movie night party: everyone can wear pajamas to feel relaxed and and at home. All your guests will get together to watch a Christmas movie, and enjoy some snacks (like milk and cookies). Be sure to have plenty of cushions, pillow and blankets on hand, or ask your guests to bring their own!
12. Throw a caroling party! If you don’t want to go to strangers’ homes, visit your friends’ and relatives’ houses with a caroling crew that will put them into a very merry holiday spirit!