3 Holiday Parties You Can (Still!) Pull Off This Year

Did holiday cheer find you a little late this year? Don’t fear: you can still pull off hosting a holiday party. Just choose one of these three easy themes.

Cookie Swap

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of a good cookie swap and it’s a great way to simplify your holiday baking. It’s an easy and affordable party to throw and so loved that it often becomes a tradition that you’ll want to bring back year after year.

The process is simple – invite a group of friends requesting that they bake a batch or two of a specific kind of cookie to share. Enjoy sampling everyone’s sweet treats at the party, then trade and package them so that you leave with a box full of assorted holiday goodies and plenty of new recipes. Some of my favorite cookie recipes have been discovered at cookie swaps.

To counter the sweets, I like to make things simple by making a big pot of soup to serve alongside good bread and drinks.

Hot Cocoa Bar

One of the easiest and most fun holiday parties I’ve hosted is a hot cocoa bar. I make homemade hot cocoa on the stove-top and ask each guest or couple to bring delicious adornments like homemade marshmallows, chocolate dipped pretzels, candy canes, or fresh whipped peppermint cream. The preparations are so easy that I’m able to focus on my guests and really celebrate since I’m not tied up in the kitchen!

This is a great party to host on a weekend afternoon or late evening. It lends itself well to an open house format, which can be particularly great if you’re inviting friends with kids.

White Elephant

If you’re hoping to throw together a last minute holiday get together, nothing is better than a silly white elephant gift exchange party paired with a potluck. No need to go shopping to look for the perfect gift – find a quirky knick-knack that you have lying around, wrap it up and anticipate a laugh. Some of my best white elephant gifts in the past have been a belly dancing instructional DVD, onion goggles, and this year, I managed to find an actual statue of a white elephant. Rather than focusing on what each person will gain with their gift, the focus is on sheer entertainment. It’s always nice to throw a valuable gift into the mix as well and watch your guests strategize a way to get it in their hands.

Pairing this party with a potluck is an easy way to feed your guest with very little effort and enjoy the best dishes coming out of their kitchens.

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