Everyone always says that Christmas is the season to be jolly, but in our house we view it as the season to be tacky. That’s right, I’m talking about a tacky sweater Christmas party!
Don’t get me wrong, I like dressing up for the holidays every chance I get, but a chance to wear a sweater with a Santa cat that lights up and plays jingle bells— that comes but once a year. While there are tons of holiday party ideas all over the internet, these are some of my personal favorite tips and tricks.
*Hold a contest for tackiest outfit. While some people will put more effort into their costumes than others, it’s hard to resist a little friendly competition. Hobby Lobby and Walmart both sell ribbons for tacky sweater competitions, and don’t be afraid to pick up a gift card or two to sweeten the deal.
*Set up a Hot Cocoa Bar. Whether there will be kids there or not, everyone loves hot cocoa. Marshmallows, Candy canes, whipped cream, and sprinkles will go a long way to making a super sweet setup! While Swiss Miss is the tried and true instant mix that we use at our house, I also have a great recipe for homemade mix that takes no time at all to make!
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix:
-3 cups pure cane granulated sugar
-2 cups light brown sugar
-3 cups unsweetened cocoa
-1 TBSP koster salt
Combine all dry ingredients and store until ready to use. Can be combined with warmed water or milk, depending on your preference or dietary restrictions.
**Gift idea! This recipe serves up to 64 cups of cocoa, so you can always wrap up the extra mix to send home with your guests or to give as gifts to neighbors with a holiday mug filled with candy canes.
*Set up a photo booth! I am all about a photo booth, but especially when all of your closest friends are going to be dressing up in the most ridiculous ways. (My husband was a human Christmas tree last year— you better believe we were going to be taking pictures!) Pick up some extra santa hats, elf glasses, and reindeer antlers and make sure you have the selfie sticks and cameras ready!
*Have an ornament swap or White Elephant gift exchange. This is an expensive time of year for everyone, so rather than buying small gifts for all of your guests, have everyone just buy one. You can find several gift exchange stories online, which have you sit in a circle and pass the gifts left or right when certain words are said, until the gift lands at it’s final owner. Friends can then choose to steal someone else’s gift or they can keep the one they were given. It’s an inexpensive way to keep everyone laughing and having a great time.
*Decorate tacky sweater cookies. Everyone loves a good Christmas cookie, and I personally think that’s half the fun! Wilton even has ready made kits if you don’t keep decorating supplies on hand in your kitchen. Be sure to pick up some treat bags before the party so that your guests can bring their treats home with them.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s no one “right way” to host a party. Things become hectic, regardless of how much you prepare and sometimes your kitchen looks like a war zone after everyone leaves. But the time spent with your friends before everyone goes their separate ways for Christmas— that’s something that is worth dirtying every dish in my kitchen.
Note: After I wrote this post, it ended up on the front page of our local paper. With this picture. Needless to say, my husband has met a lot of new people who now recognize him!