Some Christmas traditions are so fun, easy and delicious that they have survived for generations.
Faster than a herd of Christmas reindeer, the holiday season is speeding toward us. If you’re entertaining guests this year, you might be starting to panic. Don’t. Holiday hosting can and should be fun. To help you break the ice and transcend the stress, we’ve rounded up some sure-fire diversions that may come in handy on your all-important night. Use one, use them all—consider these ideas our gift to you!
If you’re in a real pickle
Some households in Germany celebrate the holiday by hiding a glass pickle on their Christmas tree. The first person to find it receives an extra present. Perhaps, like the pickle itself, this idea is better as a garnish to your holiday party, not as the event’s staple!
Cut to the creativity
Set up a cookie-decorating station and give your guests the opportunity for artistic expression. Provide various-shaped cookie cutters, sprinkles, frosting, and decorative sugars and let the collective creativity of the crowd loose. It’s fun and a guarantee to relieve some pressure in the baking department.
A caroling party
The magic of music is well-established over the course of human history—harness it for your own. Put lyric sheets in the hands of your guests and discover the time-honoured truth that if you want to get people involved, get them singing!
Fire up the stove
Not only do hot mulled wine or apple cider taste delicious, they are easy and fast to prepare and make your house smell wonderful. If you decide to host a caroling party, mulled wine gets people to sing along!
Don’t discount the festive value of these dollar-store trinkets. For optimum bang for your buck, lay one at each place setting and start the meal by ‘detonating’ your cracker with the person sitting next to you. Then sit back in satisfaction as silliness circumnavigates the table.
This famous—occasionally infamous—botanical equivalent of Cupid should be hung in a prominent, high-traffic location and introduced to your guests, so that everyone is aware of the rules: Any two people caught standing beneath the bawdy bough are obliged to kiss. If you’re feeling plucky, pucker up and give your guests a demonstration.
Gift exchange party game
It is no secret that this tradition can be a wonderful way to tie an evening together. Ask each guest to bring one gift and set a price limit. Pile up the gifts. Draw guests’ names one by one from some container and, in turn, each person chooses a gift from the pile or “steals” from someone who has already chosen. The person whose gift was taken away chooses again, either from the pile or from someone else. The suspense peaks when everyone opens their gift to discover, sometimes hilariously, what they ended up with.