The Best Holiday Party Ideas

If it's still the holiday season, there's still time to brainstorm holiday party ideas. Put together a fine soiree or a casual shindig for your friends, family and neighbors with just the right touches in place. Get the whole family in on the plan for the ultimate in fun.

Holiday Entertaining for Families

Nearly everyone plans to attend a family party during the holiday season. Why not throw one of your own? Give family night a holiday spin by inviting another family you love.

  • Keep this party to a medium size. Invite families you already know from community activities or hobbies. The party will deepen a relationship already based in common interests.
  • Consider the kids. Since you're inviting everyone in the family, make up menus that everyone will love and select whimsical or playful holiday decor.
  • Entertain everyone with a three-course meal, even if things stay loose and informal. This gives shape to the party's timing.

Parties for Friends, Neighbors and Colleagues

Inviting friends, neighbors or colleagues calls for a different atmosphere. Envision an upscale, yet carefree environment with lots of mingling.

  • Take care with the bar. Stock up on stemware. Mix up a signature drink and have lots of party buckets or ice buckets on hand.
  • Decorate lavishly to share the holiday spirit with everyone in your community.
  • Plan sophisticated snacks or apps, plus a main course that can be enjoyed in groups at cocktail tables in case you never get around to sitting.

Holiday Party Essentials for The Whole Season

No matter what party idea you come up with, there are a few holiday party essentials you'll need. Stock your cabinets with these items to use all season long.

  • Platters let you set out everything from finger foods to fully roasted birds.
  • Cheese boards can be made of marble or slate. Look for elevated platform styles to show off unique cheeses guests may not have sampled before.
  • Decorations are a must for a party feel. Choose LED string lights, greenery and ornaments placed throughout the house and mantelpiece decor.

In fact, you can use your platters and boards to fix up snacks to share with your family as you brainstorm together. Enjoy the process as much as the party!