Christmas Party Planning Guide



I attended an amazing Christmas party this past weekend, which gave me the inspiration for my blog this week. When I attend parties I am constantly taking mental notes of my favorite things. I’d like to think of it as a mini Pinterest board in my head. I’m constantly “pinning” these ideas to have for when I decide to host my own holiday party. Here are a few things I would keep “pinned” when planning your holiday gathering.


Party Planning Guide

It’s always a good idea when you’re sending out your invitations to include a way for guest to RSVP, especially when you’re going to serve food.  The Christmas party I attended this weekend was scheduled at 7PM  with cocktails and heavy hor d’oeuvres.

Here are a few party planning rules of thumb to consider when planning your holiday menu: (refer to the chart to the right)

If you are planning to feature hor d’oeuvres, here are some other tips:

-3-7 bites per person when accompanied by a large dinner

– 10-12 bites per person when accompanied by a light dinner

-20 bites per person if hor d’oeuvres only

Remember to provide a variety of foods to please everyone.  Try to have hot and cold foods, but also be considerate of vegetarians, vegans, and food allergies to keep everyone nibbling throughout the night. Don’t forget to have something sweet, too!

Learn How to make these adorable Santa strawberries to serve at your next holiday celebration, Just click the image!

Learn How to make these adorable Santa strawberries
to serve at your next holiday celebration,
Just click the image!

The Themed Christmas Party.

Tacky Christmas Sweater Party I must say this party makes for the best holiday photos! I have been to a few of these, I try to make it a personal challenge to find the tackiest of Christmas sweaters. Just about any sweater with a Christmas tree, reindeer, or snowmen on the front will do. This would be the easiest of parties to host, just ask your guest to please wear a Christmas sweater.

Christmas Cookie Swap:  This would be a great party with your girlfriends during the holidays. Invite your friends to bring their favorite Christmas cookies with their favorite bottle of wine, and you have an instant girl’s night.  Don’t forget to have goodie bags for your guests to take their favorite cookies home at the end of the night.  You can also ask the guest to bring copies of the recipe to share.

Melting Snowmen Sugar Cookies

Melting Snowmen Sugar Cookies

I love these cookies.  I think they would be a great hit at your next Cookie Swap event!

There are lots of other kinds of parties you can host such as: 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland,  Gift Wrapping Party, Ornament Making,  and many more.  Don’t forget the little ones. Let them join in the fun and host a gingerbread house making  party or cookie decorating event.  



Keep your guest active by adding games to your party schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed the games I part took in this weekend. Here are just a few games with their rules you should try to incorporate in your party planning:

White Elephant, Dirty Santa, & Chinese Gift Exchange:  I have heard this game called by several different names, but these are probably the most popular. It’s ultimately a fun re-gifting exchange game, Click the link to find out how to play.

The Reindeer Antlers Balloon Game will be your new holiday favorite. I had never played this game before until this weekend.  Let’s just say I wasn’t on the winning team but I had a great time participating!  Here’s how to play:


Reindeer Antlers Balloon Game

The 12 Days of Christmas:  We were divided into groups and given one of the 12 days of Christmas. We started off the song and when your number came up it was your turn to sing and act out your number! I must say this was a great hit, I definitely enjoyed seeing my cousin acting like a “french hen” for the third day.

There are many games out there, just make sure they are appropriate for the crowd you are hosting.  There is no time limit to the games, but give your guests breaks so they don’t feel like Santa on Christmas Eve!



Favors are not something you have to do, but they are always a great way to say thank you to your guest for attending your party.  Favors do not have to cost you a fortune. They can be easy to make and become little mementos for your holiday fun filled night. Here are just a few to consider:

Red Tic Tacs can be transformed in to “Reindeer Noses”. Just add a cute little label and  “Wah Lah!” a party favor that will have your guest smiling all the way back to their homes. I have even seen green tic tacs labeled as “Christmas tree seeds.” So Cute!

Try tying a cute bow on different Christmas Cookie cutters for an instant easy party gift as well.


Christmas Candy Sleigh Party Favor

 If you have a little more time on your hand, these sleighs made of candy are an awesome Christmas party favor.

Click the picture to find out how to make this tasty sleigh!

Good Luck Party Planning.

Just remember no matter what you decided to serve, what theme your party is, or what games you play, your party will be a success only because of the loved ones that attend. Tis the season to remember our friends and family which is the true meaning of Christmas! I wish you the best of luck and safe travels to all your holiday celebrations! Last but not least, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living,  working with you to create your lifestyle!



  1. […] to make my Christmas Candy Sleighs!  I featured them in the past Design Wisdom Wednesday on Christmas Party Planning Guide. I think they came out great?  What do you […]

  2. Dixie K Walker says:

    Thank You! I’m enjoying all the feed back! Yes, I found the chart very helpful as well. I used to work in a restaurant while in college for extra money. I did mostly catering and I always wondered how they knew how much to prepare and why? Obviously experience plays part in a restaurant but for someone hosting their own get together I found this extremely straight forward and easy to follow. Thanks for posting!

  3. BIG CHEF says:

    WOW, great post. I especially love the infographic on how much to serve per guest. Thank you so much… SHARING!
    Rosana Santos Calambichis, CEO
    BIG CHEF Online

  4. Dixie K Walker says:

    I thought they were cute too! I made reindeer out of candy canes last year and attached them to my presents! I would love to see them when your done! Post a picture for us! = )

  5. Claudia Davis says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Christmas Candy Sleigh Party Favor – can’t wait to make it. Thanks for sharing!

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