Holiday parties are the best. I look forward to holiday get-togethers of all kinds. Cookie exchanges, gift exchanges, ugly sweater contests, fancy catered parties and more really help me get through the winter. Getting together to spread joy, gratitude and love makes me happy. Geez, I sound like a Hallmark card!
One of the reasons I love holiday parties is because they remind me of my own special memories. There was one particular annual Christmas party that my family attended that will always set the standard as the best of the best. Our hosts filled their home to the brim with three generations of friends. It was a nice size house, but the layout of the house was choppy and the hallways narrow so the flow was a bit tight. No one seemed to care.
The laughter was loud, the food was great and the hosts were fun.
Like so much that is not the same this year, parties and other holiday inspired events won’t be happening. How can we make sure this season is fun, joyful and meaningful?
Let’s think creatively. With a little effort, we can create great memories that we will all cherish.
- Use Technology. Don’t groan “not another zoom event!” Technology has been a great resource this year.
- Set The Tone. Share your festivity by sending out pretty invites to your friends and family just like you always would.
- Dress The Part. Ditch the athleisure-wear and put on a fancy outfit or a holiday sweater. You’ll feel better and get in the holiday spirit.
Get inspired with these ideas:
- Secret Gift Exchange: The host picks random assignments for a secret gift exchange. Each person can drop off or send the gift by mail. Get together at the designated time virtually. Each person opens their gift and tries to guess who gave it to them. Sometimes we choose to give goofy gifts for fun:)
- A-Caroling We Will Go: With your invite, send the sheet music to each participant. Singing together may sound beautiful, or everyone may erupt in laughter! But it will be joyful.
- All Together Now: Historically, my husband and I have attended a beautiful choral presentation that puts me in the holiday mood. This year it was cancelled. Instead, along with my college pals, we watched a video with festive music and poetry performed by current students at my alma mater. It was really nice to see scenes from my old campus as we listened. Find an online presentation that your friends and family will enjoy watching, maybe the Nutcracker or a concert.
- Flame Of Faith: Share the lighting of candles for Hanukkah, Advent or Kwanza. For those senior members, using a shared platform, will allow them to continue to pass down the traditions and stories of their faith. Feel free to invite those of other faiths.
- Bring On The Bakers: Send everyone a basic recipe for sugar cookies with icing. Instruct your guests to make the cookies in advance and then join you virtually to decorate together. Who made the prettiest? The funniest? Most colorful? Plan on making double batches and everyone can take extras to their local shelter or retirement center.
- Cookies For All: Invite your friends to make their favorite holiday cookies. Set up a designated time to exchange cookies outside. Everyone can make ready-to-go baggies of several of their cookies for each participant. Even with masks on and keeping appropriate distances, it will be fun to see everyone.
- Tree Trimming: Invite a few families to trim their respective trees together. Encourage everyone to string the lights prior to the party. It’ll be fun to show off favorite ornaments. Tell stories of past tree trimming parties such as when Uncle Lou had “one too many” and fell in the tree or when the cat climbed up the tree and wouldn’t come down. The kids love hearing these stories as much as we like to tell them.
- Charity Drives: Invite your friends to join you in supporting a charity. In past years we have asked our guests to contribute to a charity and/or bring canned goods for us to donate. Send out a link to make donations or ask that they leave a bag of canned goods on their porch for you and your children to pick up. Spread joy and hope through this meaningful activity.