December 23

Holiday Party Ideas for the Family

The holidays are the perfect time for family get-togethers. This year, take your family party to the next level with a themed holiday party. Here are our top six ideas for family holiday parties.

1. Gingerbread House Party

Gingerbread house decorating

Image via Flickr by COD Newsroom

A gingerbread house decorating party is fun for kids and adults alike. To set up your party, prepare a homemade gingerbread house or purchase a gingerbread house kit. For best results, assemble houses and allow them to sit overnight before decorating.

Each person at the party receives a gingerbread house and an apron. For an extra special touch, consider holiday-themed aprons. Decorating elements should be placed in the center of the table. Popular gingerbread house decorations include:

  • Pre-filled bags or tubes of icing in a variety of colors.
  • Toppings such as nonpareils, sprinkles, and sanding sugars.
  • Coconut.
  • Candy canes (whole or crushed) and peppermint discs.
  • Small candies such as gumdrops and candy-coated chocolates.
  • Marshmallows.

Turn on some holiday music while you decorate and enjoy your time together.

2. Christmas Luau

Turn the tables on the season and hold a Christmas Luau. Island music and travel posters set the tropical mood. Flower leis, grass skirts, and sunglasses are a must for all party goers. Get your guests moving with a game of limbo or a hula dancing session. Menu ideas for your Christmas Luau can include:

  • Tropical drinks with umbrellas.
  • Pulled pork.
  • Sushi or poke bowls.
  • Tropical fruit cups.
  • Coconut cupcakes.
  • Pineapple whip.

The weather outside may be frightening, but a Christmas Luau is delightful. Bring those feel-good summer vibes back with your friends and family this holiday season.

3. Holiday Sing-Along

A holiday sing-along is always fun with kids. Provide party-goers with printed lyrics to several simple holiday songs. Got a piano player in the family? Piano sheet music is easy to find online. Print out simple piano music for your songs and have your piano player accompany the singers.

You can also take your holiday sing-along on the road. Carol singing is a great way to spread holiday cheer to your neighbors. If you have littles who can’t read, give them jingle bells to ring as your sing. You can also find your favorite holiday songs playing at popular Christmas Squares during the Holiday season!

4. Game Night

Game night is fun for kids of all ages. Minute-to-win-it games are easy to set up, easy to play, and require minimal supplies. Here are a few ideas for your holiday game night party:

Gingerbread Man

Place a small gingerbread cookie on each person’s forehead. Then, contestants must move the cookie to their mouth without using their hands. The first person to bite their cookie wins.

Candy Cane Fishing

Each player gets a deep bowl and a pile of candy canes for this game. First, players put the candy cane into their mouth with the hook side out. Then, players must use the candy cane “hook” to grab candy canes and put them in the bowl. The player who gets the most candy canes in the bowl in a minute wins.

Reindeer Ring Toss

One person wears a reindeer headband. Other players toss rings made from pipe cleaners at the antlers. The player who gets the most rings on the antlers in a minute wins.

Snow Shovel

For Snow Shovel, each player gets two bowls and 15 white pom poms. Each player must move the pom poms from one bowl to the other using only a plastic spoon in their mouth. The player with the highest pom count wins.

Cup Stack

Decorate green plastic cups with star stickers to look like Christmas trees. Players must stack the plastic cups into tree formation and then place them back in a single stack in under a minute. This game typically uses 36 cups, but fewer cups can be used for younger children.

The Great Bell Race

For the Great Bell Race, give each player a large jingle bell and a straw. Players must use the straw to blow the bell across a finish line marked on the table. This game is best in pairs.

Keep track of contestant scores and crown winners at the end of your party. Christmas prize ideas include:

  • Christmas movies.
  • Holiday albums.
  • Holiday-themed sweater.
  • Holiday candy.
  • Christmas-themed game.
  • Holiday-themed stuffed toy.

5. Pancakes and Pajamas 

This holiday-themed brunch is a great way to have fun while spending time with your family at home. Outfit the whole family in holiday-themed matching pajamas. Serve a brunch with pancakes at the center. Here are some ideas for holiday pancakes:

  • Make pancakes in holiday flavors such as gingerbread, eggnog, red velvet, or hot cocoa.
  • Turn round pancakes into Santa faces, snowmen, ornaments, and reindeer using whipped cream, berries, bacon, sprinkles, and chocolate chips. Older kids can decorate pancakes themselves.
  • Dye the batter green for Christmas tree or Grinch pancakes.
  • Use metal cookie cutters to create fun holiday shapes such as trees, stars, stockings, and gingerbread men.

No matter which option you choose, be sure to serve pancakes with warm syrup and hot cocoa.

6. Movie-Themed Party

Celebrate the movies of the season with a watch party. Here are a few party ideas for popular holiday movies:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Serve Grinch-themed treats such as green punch, roast beast sandwiches, and green candy-coated pretzels. In addition, you can make special Grinch-themed popcorn by adding green food coloring to the oil during popping.

Elf

For the authentic Elf experience, make lots of paper chains and snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling. Make Elf hats out of construction paper, red ribbon, and a red feather. Movie-watching treats include candy canes, the world’s best coffee (or hot cocoa), and spaghetti. After the movie, have an indoor snowball fight with plush snowballs.

The Polar Express

Set up your chairs like train seats and get everyone in pajamas. Each child receives a paper ticket, and an adult “conductor” creates a word using a hole punch. Movie treats include a hot chocolate bar and North Pole cupcakes. At the end of the movie, everyone gets a large jingle bell.

There you have our top picks for holiday family parties. Do you have a favorite way to celebrate with your family? Drop us a line and let us know. We will consider adding it to our list.


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