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Holiday Party Ideas

Wintertime is here and the holiday season is in the air, and everyone is getting together with friends and family. If it’s your turn to host the festivities, here are some ideas other than just standing around and nibbling on food.

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Gingerbread House Contest

You can get super cheap gingerbread house kits from Walmart and Target. Split your guests into teams of two or three people and give them some extra sprinkles, colored icing, and a short time limit of three to five minutes. Watch the shambles that comes from the quick building and have teams explain their “concept” to you while you judge the houses and determine a winner.

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White Elephant Gift Exchange

Have a large group of people that do not necessarily all know each other closely? A white elephant is perfect for this. Set a price range, typically between $10-$15. The funnier the gifts, the better. Each guest brings a gift and then receives a number. Go in order of number and each guest can choose to steal someone’s gift or unwrap a new one. If someone’s gift is stolen, they can steal a new one, but not the one that was just taken from them or unwrap a present. At the end of the exchange, when the last person has their gift, the person with the number one can choose to swap gifts with anyone. One gift can only be stolen three times, and the person who steals it the third time has it permanently.

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Secret Santa

If you have a close group of friends and family, draw names from a hat and then surreptitiously give them their gift so they do not know who it is from. Then, at the party, have them guess which person gave them the present.

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Watch a Holiday Movie

The movie will give you some time to relax and also be a chance for everyone to unwind and eat some snacks. There are tons of holiday movies out there, both for Christmas and Winter in general. You can find one to fit the tone of your party.

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Photo Booth

You can print off props online or order some cheaply from Amazon. Throw a backdrop over some bookcases or use a blank wall as a background. It will capture the moment and you’ll have pictures, not only to just post on social media but, to keep and remember for years to come. Try out cute poses and funny faces.

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Christmas Cookie Decorating

Later, after the messy Gingerbread Extravaganza, have some simple fun with food colored icing and sprinkles. Just take some time and decorate your cookies together. It will be fun merriment and delicious after the fact as well.

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Ugly Sweater Contest

There is only one time of year when you can break out that fuzzy, wooly, abomination your grandmother thinks is “hip,” and that is at a Christmas party. Have everyone wear their jingly, colorful outfits. Have a jar and some slips of paper and people can drop their vote in the jar. At the end of the night, tally up who had the most votes.

Hey there,  I'm an outgoing introvert at Old Dominion University. I've lived all across the globe but my hometown is Charlottesville, VA, nestled in the Shanendoah Mountains. Only on an adventure do I feel I can truly connect with the earth. Majoring in Graphic Design, writing for Her Campus, working as a Campus Ambassador, participating as a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma Service Sorority, and being part of the Civic Scholars program, I've got my hands full. When I'm not working or hiking, I'm writing or planning event nights for my friends. I love being outdoors and I spend every moment I can exploring and traveling. I watch a little too much netflix and run an independant literary-arts magazine for emerging authors and artists. Check Sincerely Magazine out and be sure to submit some of your work. I hope you enjoy my rambles because days are simply too short to be bored, Kieran Rundle