13 Low-Key Christmas Party Ideas That Spread Major Holiday Cheer

You don't have to host the Christmas party to have friends over for some holiday fun. 

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B.Y.O.B(ow) Wrapping Party

Make the traditionally tedious holiday chore into a chore no more by throwing a Bring-Your-Own-Bow wrapping party! Promise pals a booze-stocked bar cart, curated charcuterie boards and festive wrapping paper aplenty. All they’ll need? Ribbons, bows and a bundle of holiday gifts ready for wrapping.

Gingerbread House Curb Appeal Competition

Compete with friends to find out who has the design chops necessary to give plain-Jane gingerbread house kits the sweetest curb appeal. This trio of sugary-sweet homes created by Sprinkle Bakes blogger Heather Baird can serve as the ultimate icing design inspiration. Buttercream frosting, glittery gum-drops and hot-cinnamon candy are essential,while multiple bottles of pinot, cabernet and Chianti are strongly encouraged.

Classic Christmas Movies Marathon

Cozy up couch-side with a festive and fizzy cranberry cocktail, candied popcorn and your closest friends to view all of the classic Christmas movies. Sure-fire crowd-pleasers include: It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and of course, the beloved Elf. Have yourself a very merry, little movie marathon and take one sip of booze for each time Santa makes an appearance on screen.

Ice, Ice, Cookies

Turn up the volume and up the ante this year with a laidback, '90s inspired Christmas-cookie party. Have friends break out their shiniest velour tracksuits and come prepared to trick-out and ice-up some gooey vanilla sugar cookies. The soundtrack? Look no further than to our very own '90s breakout star and rap sensation turned real estate expert and entrepreneur—Vanilla Ice (ice), baby.

Boozy Holiday Brunch

Host a boozed-up holiday brunch and gift your guests with a heavy helping of holiday cheer, first thing in the morning. Bust out those neglected holiday plates and deck the dining table with holly, mistletoe and glitzy garland. Classic brunch staples, like chicken and waffles, breakfast burritos and homemade cinnamon buns will be a source of celebration. But the true stars of the show include big-batch mimosas, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and the seasonal favorite, spiked hot cocoa.

DIY Tree Ornament Party

Bust out the red and green glitter and host friends for an afternoon of finger-food and DIY Christmas tree ornaments! Christmas music blasting in the background is a must, and the crafting table should serve as a judgement-free zone.

The Tackier, The Better

Tacky Christmas sweaters are wardrobe staples during the holiday season. Throw a DIY tacky sweater pre-party with your pals and prepare for the festivities that await. Thrift store sweaters, glue guns, glittery puff-paint and an active imagination are all the makings necessary for some good, clean (albeit, tacky) holiday fun.

Pancakes + PJs Sleepover

Encourage friends to wear the most outrageous Christmas onesie they can find and join you for a Pancakes + PJs sleepover party. Lure them from their sleep with the earthy coffee aroma and the hissing and popping of bacon on the stove. Pile their plates high with sugary, syrup-drenched stacks of fluffy pancakes and gather around the kitchen table for an especially holly-jolly breakfast.

Spiked + Sprinkled Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate—bettered with booze. Invite your closest comrades over this holiday season and gift them with a tasting in what can only be described as “liquefied Christmas joy”. Some of our favorite alcoholic additions to the classic hot chocolate include (though are not limited to): whipped cream vodka, peppermint schnapps and a nice, spicy bourbon.

Pinot, Pallet + Paint Party

Let the inner artist shine through with your crew and host a Christmas-themed pallet paint party! Wooden pallets are easy on the wallet and make darling holiday decorations that look right at home on the front porch, foyer and even hanging on the wall. Supply pals with pallets, paintbrushes and a constant flow of pinot for a creative and crafty afternoon.

Santa's Wreath Workshop

You’re decking the halls, you might as well deck the front door while you’re at it! Ask friends over to join in on an afternoon of cocktails and catch-ups, while crafting one-of-a-kind Christmas wreaths to hang on their front doors this year.

Mistletoe + Margaritas Fiesta

Roasted turkey and whipped potatoes are great and all, but sometimes tacos and tequila are just the ticket to spice up the holiday season. Invite friends over for a holiday fiesta! Dangle mistletoe over doorways, prepare some chunky guacamole, and stock up on plenty of salt and lime. All are sure to grant your guests an extra festive time.

Stocking Soiree

Follow along with friends to make some festive and easy Christmas stockings, because no holiday mantel is complete without them! Be sure to send friends on their way with stockings filled with small, thoughtful goodies. You can't go wrong with classic gingerbread cookies or a Mason jar of homemade hot cocoa mix.