How to Throw an Ugly-Anything Christmas Party

Each year I throw several parties. I wanted to host more this year, but our house has been under construction for quite some time now because of a flood we had in the kitchen. I currently host a yearly tea party and an annual Christmas party. Last year we also had a couples’ Valentine’s Day dinner. This year we added a couples’ Friendsgiving dinner to the line-up, and the two others I want to throw include a masquerade ball and a Kentucky Derby party. Below, I will list how to throw a successful Christmas party and in the captions, I will insert links to the available, shoppable items in the pictures. I think everything is on sale!

1. Pay attention to detail: I purchased these napkin rings over the last two years and I love how festive and fun they are. Similar snowflake ring, similar red bow ring, exact buffet napkins

Again, I usually go over the top with decorations for the holidays and dining. The silver chargers, the red chargers, and reindeer salt and pepper shakers make a great addition to the table.

2. Make fun and festive food. Below is a cookie dip I made. I write on these place card holders to let my guests know what they’re eating. The drink was a green ‘Grinch Punch’ which was lemonade with green food coloring. I also made a chicken alfredo bake. 3. Set up a hot cocoa/dessert bar. These Santa mugs are ones I’ve wanted for about four years now. They sell out so quickly each year, and then people sell them on eBay for twice the amount.Dessert was red velvet cupcakes and Christmas cookies, as well as hot chocolate. 4. Invite the best people. I had several people not able to make it at the last minute, so the crowd was a little smaller this year, but I think we still had a great time. This year, everyone wore any ugly-Christmas item. Some wore hats, socks, sweaters, etc. I wore a headband, socks, and garland wrapped around me.

My pocketed, midi dress is a favorite. There are plenty of colors, sizes, and the price, depending on the color and size, starts at $12.99 shipped!6. Exchange ornaments. We play a game to accomplish this. The person who wins the ugly contest gets to choose the ornament they want, but everyone gets an ornament. Another option is to exchange dish towels, or something else fun. We use a box with secret ballots.
7. Make it memorable. I ask my guests to also bring an ornament for me. This is separate from the one for the exchange. Because of this, I have really personal ornaments from friends, even ones that have my name and wording explaining that it’s the second or third-annual party, etc. For this reason, our Christmas tree doesn’t have a theme. Also, as a family tradition, we always buy at least one ornament together each year. Maybe some day we will have two trees and one will be themed. Do you have a themed Christmas tree? Do you throw Christmas parties?

Here are the ornaments I bought so far: reindeer, Mrs. Claus dress – SOOOO cute and comes on a hanger(!), lantern with LED lights, the beaded tree, and here’s the treble clef ornament I bought for the swap. I love the Eiffel Tower ornament too!

I’d love to hear about it.



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  • When I was in college my mom always hosted an after party for my friends who were home for the holidays. She would ask us to invite our friends to stop by after their family dinners for dessert. It was always a casual drop by kind of evening to catch up and have some sweets. I remember many Christmas evenings going on until 3am! It was always a blast.