How To Throw A Simple Holiday Party

The Christmas trees, peppermint mochas and holiday tunes are here, y’all.  As we move through December, you may be scrambling to throw together a holiday party to celebrate. Every year I throw a small and simple holiday party as a way of gathering friends before I head out of town to see relatives. It’s a great way to reconnect, eat, drink and be merry before packed airports and seeing Aunt Helen.

Here are my pro tips to host a simple holiday party that won’t add stress to an already hectic season.

Go digital:

Digital invites are most efficient. Whether Evite or a Facebook invitation, pick something festive and send out as soon as possible. Schedules fill up like crazy with Corporate parties and festive family outings, so send early in hopes of getting all your friends to show up.


Most of us already have our holiday décor displayed, so you are covered there.  Light some holiday candles, turn on a fire and throw on some holiday music so your guests feel the festive spirit.

Yummy beverages:

Fancy cocktails with 9 ingredients are a huge pain and end up tasting terrible if not mixed properly. My go to for holiday fiestas, one word: crockpot! It’s simple, can be made ahead of time and no need for fancy instructions for my guests to worry about. My two favorite crock pot recipes are bourbon apple cider & cranberry orange mulled wine. Pair your crockpot cocktail with a few bottles of champagne or wine and call it a day! For those non-alcoholic drinkers grab some sparkling cider so they can join in the toasting fun.

Limit your menu:

Serve only appetizers and desserts, so that you aren’t spending an entire day in the kitchen prepping. A cheese and charcuterie board are always a hit. Baked brie is delicious and a fan favorite every year at my house. Looking for a heartier appetizer, tamales {I mean it is that time of year}. Order a few dozen fresh tamales from a local shop. For desserts, your options are endless. Stick with bite sized items that won’t require a big ordeal of cutting into that large pie. Pumpkin bars, peppermint brownies, chocolate fondue and mini cheesecake bites are crowd favorites.


The traditional white elephant gift exchange or yankee swap can be a riot with the right crowd. Alternatively, ask for toy donations for your favorite charity.  It is always great to pick an organization in your backyard, something in your local area that will help your community. Remember, if you plan an activity, make a note on the invitation so that people are prepared.

Don’t stress, grab a drink and mingle with your guests. Your simple holiday party is sure to be a hit!



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