The most wonderful time of the year, aka CHRISTMAS, is upon us, which means you officially have a legit reason to watch Love Actually on repeat, play Christmas music non-stop, and drink loads of Christmas-y cocktails. Rejoice! Once you’ve figured out your White Elephant gifts (plus what you’re getting for your boyfriend, your best friend, the wine lover in your life, your wife, your father-in-law, the list freakin’ goes on), you can finally sit down and start planning this year’s holiday shindig.
Obviously, this year’s celebrations are going to look a tad different. Due to social-distancing guidelines, our parties probably won’t feel the same. Sadly, some of us might won’t see the friends and family we usually celebrate with every year, which can make it feel a lot less of a jolly season. But, just because this year’s different doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice any of the holiday spirit.
If you’re still hosting a celebration with your roomies, your Q-team, or even some of your close friends, there’s plenty of ways to make it a Christmas to remember. And for those of us potentially heading to Zoom for the holidays, we’ve got options for you too.
Whether you transform into Buddy the Elf the second Thanksgiving is over or your rising sign is akin to the Grinch, these Christmas party ideas will get you in the spirit of the season. From yummy drink concoctions to creative decoration tricks, we’ve got you covered with everything you’ll need to make your soiree *sleigh* extra hard.
Provide Some Much Needed Pampering
Take a second from thinking of the perfect gift for your boyfriend’s mom or how the hell to get your ornaments to stop falling off your tree, and have a SPA DAY! This is perfect if you’re spending the holidays with your roomies and are all feeling the stress of the season. Paint your nails, moisturize your face, and put some cucumbers on those eyes.
SHOP NOW Holiday Treats Facial Masks, Amazon, $19.99
Family Feud, But Make it Festive
If you’re lucky enough to spend this holiday with your family, what better way to celebrate than with some family friendly games?! Unfortunately, Steve Harvey won’t be hosting, but you can make your own fun by dividing the fam into teams and competing for something interesting…may I suggest, losing team has to do all the dishes? That’ll up the ante reaaal quick.
SHOP NOW Christmas Family Feud Quiz, Etsy, $8.46
Set the Scent
One of the best aspects of the holiday season are the aromatic and festive scents and candles are a perfect way to get those smells in your home. It can smell like you’re baking all the delicious cookies without even turning your oven on! Now that’s what I call magic.
SHOP NOW Pumpkin Vanilla Nutmeg Candle, Etsy, $16.50
Hang Some Holiday Decor
Whether you’re “guests” will only see your background via Zoom or you’re planning on celebrating with your pod IRL, decorations are key for a fun holiday celebration. Go crazy with over the top red and green decs, or do a more muted color scheme like this hanging sign.
SHOP NOW Door Hanger, Etsy, $56.00
Try a Banner!
Banners are a great way to decorate minimally while taking up a lot of wall space. And they’re guaranteed to set a festive mood for virtual or real life guests.
SHOP NOW Happy Holidays Banner, Etsy, $16.80
Write Holiday Cards
Things can get hectic, to say the least, around the holidays, and sending out those cards to loved ones can sometimes fall by the wayside. Set up a letter writing corner complete with cards from a small business, stamps, and of course, some pretty pens. Your loved ones will be ecstatic when they receive your card in the mail!
SHOP NOW Happy Holidays Postcard Bundle, Etsy, $12.00
Host a Wine Tasting
This is a great way to spend time doing something that you know all of your friends will enjoy…drinking wine. Send these bottles to participants and have a virtual wine tasting via Zoom for your far-away friends that you won’t be able to see this year. We may be biased, but they’re gonna love every sip.
SHOP NOW Uncorked by Cosmopolitan Tasting Set, Wine.com, $58.99
Upgrade Your Wine to Make Different Drinks
Did you know that you can take any bottle of wine and make it taste better? We laid out all the hacks for you here so you don’t have to do any of the research. Mulled wine and red wine hot chocolate are perfect drinks for your holiday parties.
Throw a Pajama Party
Everyone knows that getting dressed up on the holidays is overrated. Why wear clothes with zippers when you’re eating all the delicious holiday treats, when you could be in your comfy coziest PJs. Make it a contest to see who shows up withe cutest pajamas to spice things up.
SHOP NOW Women’s Pajama Set, Target, $25.00
Make It a Movie Marathon
Cozy up with some blankets and snacks and turn your holiday party into a full-blown movie marathon. Order some pizzas, pour some vino, and you’re set for the ultimate movie-watching experience.
STREAM NOW Elf, Amazon, $3.99
Set the Tone With Your Invitations
Cover All the Art on Your Walls With Wrapping Paper
Okay, now let’s talk decorations. Give your art collection (hey, framed posters count) a festive makeover with this easy trick. Plus, you can reuse the paper to wrap gifts for your fam after your party is over. A win-win.
SHOP NOW Wrapping Paper, Amazon, $9.99
Mistletoe, but Make It Portable
Every holiday gathering or Zoom party needs mistletoe, and making it mobile pretty much guarantees that you’ll secure a kiss with your loved one. All you have to do is buy some fake mistletoe and glue it to a rod.
SHOP NOW Hanging Mistletoe, Amazon, $16.99
Order All the “Get Lit” Party Products You Can
The year from hell is almost over, so you might as well lean into the whole “lit” theme. (Which, god willing, will definitely be o-v-e-r by the time the next holiday season rolls around.) Put it on napkins, plates, and cups, and make sure your guests abide by the motto all night long.
SHOP NOW Get Lit Christmas Party Napkins, Etsy.com, $11.92
Make a Grinch Cocktail
If You’re Gonna Go the Ugly Sweater Route, Do It Big
Because nothing says “happy holidays” like a cheesy AF sweatshirt. The punnier, the better, IMO!
SHOP NOW The Grinch Ugly Pullover Sweater, Target, $27.99
No Gifts, Please. Just Wine.
This is a fun twist on the usual gift-exchange tradition. Instead of a free-form Secret Santa setup, require your guests to bring a special bottle of wine for whichever lucky person they were assigned. To abide by this year’s social distancing measures, ship the bottle or have it delivered to a friend.
SHOP NOW Uncorked by Cosmopolitan Pinot Noir 2019, wine.com, $14.99
Fine, Do a White Elephant Exchange
If your friends in your pod, roomies, or family aren’t into wine (why?), then set a price limit ($20 is totally fine) and have each friend bring one gift. (If you need white elephant gift ideas, by the way, we gotchu.) When you’re ready to play, here’s how it works: Each guest picks a number from a hat which dictates the order that they’ll get to choose a present from the pile. You can opt to keep the gift you select, or pick from the presents that were opened before you. Just a warning, though: Sh*t tends to get heated. That glittery candle in the shape of a pear is a hot-ticket item, y’all!
Shop Now Sorry I Can’t. Mercury Is Retrograde Sweatshirt,Cosmopolitan, $35.00
Play “Never Have I Ever” With Candy Canes
No, I haven’t lost my mind, it’s a real thing! It works just like the famous game, except you attach a “never have I ever” prompt to each candy cane with red ribbon, and then place the sweets in a jar or cup. When it’s your turn, pull out a peppermint and pose the question to the group. Whoever hasn’t done the act in question gets the treat (yes, you’ll need to have more candy canes stashed on the sidelines), and the person with the most candies at the end of the game wins. Or loses. Depends on how you look at it!
SHOP NOW Candy Canes (24 pack), Amazon, $22.99
Or Play This “Naughty or Nice” Game
The game is mostly naughty. But hey, that’s what makes it fun, ya know?
SHOP NOW Hot Seat Game, Amazon, $24.95
Obviously, There Needs to Be a Christmas Party Playlist
If Mariah Carey isn’t on repeat, is it even Christmas? THE ANSWER IS NO! I went ahead and made you a holiday playlist on Spotify, feel free to Venmo me whenever.
Christmas-Themed Karaoke Is Also a Must
Okay, I’m not saying that you should invest in a karaoke machine for your apartment, but I’m also not not saying that, ya know? I’m willing to guess that you’ll get use out of it year-round. Just saying.
SHOP NOW Portable Karaoke Machine, Amazon, $139.99
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