From Team Longenecker


Hosting a Holiday Party with a Twist

Hosting a Holiday Party with a Twist

The holidays bring with them an opportunity to spend time with family and celebrate within our homes.  But do you ever struggle with keeping everyone entertained and happy?  How about throwing a holiday party with a twist?  A few years ago, I decided to try this for our Christmas Eve Celebration and it has quickly turned into a family tradition now known as “Emm’s Crazy Christmas Eve.”

So, what exactly is involved to create a Holiday Party with a Twist?  Below I have included some ideas that are great elements to incorporate into the night.  The biggest thing to remember is to have fun with it and encourage everyone in the group to let their inner child shine for the evening.  At our house we have an all-in participation rule, which believe me helps to keep the laughter flowing and create great memories!

Photo Booth

A photo booth is a great opportunity for everyone to be funny and silly.  Each year we create a backdrop and set up an area to take pictures.  We went all out and got a photo printer and all so right after taking your picture you can print it out and have a copy.  What kind of back drop can you use?

  • A red or green tablecloth
  • An assortment of garland
  • Cut out cardboard shapes
  • A painted drop cloth

Once you have the back drop in place make sure to have some fun props for your guest to use when taking pictures.  You can pick up anything from Santa hats, crazy glasses, red or green wigs or maybe even elf ears.

Make sure to encourage your guests to use the photo booth and take an array of pictures.

Name Tags

Another fun thing to try is creating funny names for everyone and making everyone wear name tags for the night.  I have found fun name maker sheets like this elf name maker.  You can use the name maker to figure out what each person’s elf name is and make them a nametag to wear.  It can help to encourage silliness from the get-go.

The Games

Next is “A holiday party with a twist’s” main attraction, playing games.  First split the group up into teams who then compete for the glory of being #1.  Make sure to let your team’s take a minute to come up with a team name.  We usually play an assortment of games including team games to individual participants.  Here are some ideas of games that we have played over the years:

  • Moving Snow (individual competitor) – Each player sits in the chair and is blindfolded.  With a bowl of cotton balls on your lap use the spoon to put the “snow” in the bowl that you hold on top of your head.  You have 30 seconds to see who can move the most snow.
  • Christmas Cliff Hanger (individual competitor) – In one minute compete to blow the most of the ten Christmas cards to the edge of the table leaving them hang off the side without falling off.
  • Snow Blower (individual competitor) – Tape 5 solo cups to the edge of the ping pong table.  Give each player 3 ping pong balls.  By waving the paper towel roll and creating wind.  Blow your snow into the cups on the other side of the table.  The first player to get all 3 balls in a cup wins!
  • A Pair of Wrappers  (two competitors) – Standing together the team must wrap the present only using your outside hands.  The first team to get the gift wrapped with no box showing wins!
  • Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (individual competitor) – Line up a grid of Hershey kisses on the table for each team.  The goal is to find a Hershey kiss with a mom sticker and a Hershey kiss with a Santa sticker.  For every kiss you pick up that isn’t the mom or the Santa you must eat it.  You can’t pick up a new Hershey kiss till you unwrap the kiss and put it in your mouth.  First one to find both mom and Santa win.

You don’t have to choose these particular games to play, there are tons of ideas online that would work well.  When I do find a game that sounds like fun to play I will often try to change it to a Christmas or Winter name and include items that are related to the theme.  Don’t forget to grab some fun prizes to hand out to the winners, even something as simple as a candy bar or gift card.

Gift Exchange

Finally, it is always nice to include a fun gift exchange so that everyone can walk away with something.  You can choose to have everyone bring a gift or buy a small gift for each person yourself and wrap it up.  I often opt to purchase the gifts myself and have fun wrapping smaller gifts in bigger boxes and fake people out.  I have found many ways to exchange gifts.  Here is a great site of gift exchange ideas.

These are just a small selection of items that you can include in your holiday party.  Remember look for fun and silly things that encourage laughter and a great time.  Wishing you the best in planning your party and if you have questions on anything I included feel free to email me.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

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