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Easy Holiday Theme Party Ideas

'Tis the season to make merry! So why aren't you hosting a party? If you're hesitant to stage a soiree because of tight purse strings or because you don't need to add any more to-dos to your holiday list, it's understandable. But before you lock the doors to party guests, consider hosting a holiday theme party that'll work with both your budget and your hectic schedule.

There are three holiday theme parties we always turn to for whenever we want to throw either an impromptu or inexpensive festive fete. They've proven to keep extra work to a minimum and are always worth the extra holiday bill.


Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

At the top of our holiday theme party list is the classic, never fail to have fun at ugly sweater party. If you've already decked your home out for the holidays, your decor is pretty much handled, but consider setting up a stylishly hideous focal point to display tacky finger foods and even tackier sweets.



Why it's great: Ugly sweater parties are probably the cheapest, funnest way to celebrate the holidays. So long as all your guests partake and wear their ugliest holiday garb, you don't need to worry about decorations. And because everyone will look their tackiest, the rest of the party elements should match! That means, of course, classic cheap party foods, like pigs-in-a-blanket and cheese balls, should fill your menu.


White Elephant Gift Exchange Party

While a Dirty Santa exchange requires actual gifts, it's totally acceptable to bring items from around your home (that may have been there for years) to a white elephant exchange. You see, a white elephant gift exchange is more about the entertainment, not the actual gifts. The funnier, the tackier, the better.



Why it's great: This holiday theme party is super informal and inherently fun. So long as you've got creative friends, you can have a fun night celebrating the holiday season on a really short budget. Don't worry a ton about decor - a few whimsical DIY paper banners are easy enough to make and will dress your space for the soiree.


Cookie Swap Holiday Party

Cookies abound during Christmastime. If you're already planning on baking up a storm, why not invite your friends over to make a party out of it? You can either have friends bring ingredients to do the actual baking and decorating at your place, or ask them to bring finished pieces to package for gifts. We've got a great tutorial for sugar and butter cookie decorating, as well as a ton of cookie recipes to try if you're looking to shake things up this year!



Why it's great: You're already doing the baking and there's no traditional party prep here. Have a special holiday cocktail for your girls who do come over, but apart from that, a cookie swap holiday party is all about spending time with your favorite ladies!


Merry & Bright Cocktail Party

Last but not least, there's the holiday cocktail party. While this could be the pricier option of all those listed here, simply because of the alcohol involved, it doesn't have to be. Go with a potluck approach to keep costs down. Each guest should bring the ingredients for a batch of drinks, while you, the host, will take care of the hors d'ouevre menu and decorative embellishments.



Why it's great: Nothing screams holiday party quite like festive cocktails. Making it a potluck spreads the cost around and won't hit one person hard. Make sure you've got a killer holiday party playlist and you're guaranteed to throw a seriously successful holiday soiree!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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