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How to Host the Perfect Christmas Party

Hosting a Christmas party is all about creating a warm, festive, and inviting atmosphere that delights the senses and fosters holiday cheer. Here's how you can turn your party into a memorable Yuletide celebration through thoughtful details in lighting, entrance decoration, soundscape, props, food, and centerpieces:

1. Lighting:

Warm Lights: Use warm white fairy lights throughout your party space to create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. String them along walls, around door frames, and over furniture.

Candles: Place candles (real or LED) in windows, on tables, and around the room to add a soft glow. Consider using scented candles with holiday fragrances like cinnamon, pine, or peppermint.

Outdoor Lights: If your entrance allows, line the path to your door with luminaries or lanterns to guide guests in with a warm light.

2. Entrance:

Welcome Wreath: Hang a lush Christmas wreath on the door. Consider making it interactive by attaching small, take-away party favors that guests can pick off as they enter.

Holiday Welcome Mat: A festive doormat can be a small but lovely touch that sets the tone right from the doorstep.

Snowy Scene: If possible, create a mini winter wonderland at the entrance with synthetic snow, a small Christmas tree, or a couple of decorated fir branches.

3. Soundscape:

Christmas Playlist: Create a playlist of classic Christmas carols mixed with modern holiday hits to appeal to a wide range of guests. Include some instrumental versions. Play at a low volume, as as a mystery party depends upon your players communicating. 

Carol Sing-Along: Later in the evening, after the game's conclusion, encourage a carol sing-along. Have lyrics printed out or displayed on a screen for everyone to join in.

4. Props and Extras:

Photo Booth: Set up a Christmas-themed photo booth with props like Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and festive signs. Use a backdrop of a winter scene or a simple curtain of twinkling lights.

Santa's Sack: Fill a decorative sack with small gifts or party favors that guests can choose from as they leave. This can be a hit, especially if children are present.

5. Food:

Festive Finger Foods: Serve a variety of finger foods that are easy to eat while mingling. Think mini meat pies, stuffed mushrooms, and sweet treats like gingerbread cookies and peppermint bark. There are menu suggestions below.

Hot Chocolate Bar: Set up a hot chocolate bar with options to customize—marshmallows, whipped cream, candy canes, and sprinkles. Offer a spiked version for adults with peppermint schnapps or Baileys.

Christmas Punch: In addition to the usual beverages, prepare a large bowl of Christmas punch, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions, garnished with cranberries and orange slices.

6. Centerpieces:

Natural Elements: Use natural elements like pine cones, holly, and branches in your centerpieces for an authentic holiday feel. Add some sparkle with glitter or fairy lights.

Edible Centerpieces: Create centerpieces that guests can interact with, such as a tower of chocolate-covered strawberries or a gingerbread house.

Floating Candles: Fill large glass bowls or vases with water, cranberries, and floating candles for an easy yet beautiful centerpiece.

7. Table Setting and Decor:

Festive Tableware: Use holiday-themed tableware or simply go for colors that match your theme—red, green, gold, and white are classic choices.

Personalized Place Cards: Make each guest feel special with personalized place cards if you are doing a seated dinner. You can get creative by using small ornaments or pine cones with names attached.

By focusing on these elements, you'll create an immersive and joyful holiday experience for your guests. Remember, the best Christmas parties are those where warmth and joy are felt in every detail.


Always ask for nutritional requirements of your guests with the RSVPs to determine if they have any allergies or objections to particular ingredients.

Recipes courtesy of the Halloween Party Host Handbook




1/2 cup Garlic bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 package of large whole mushrooms with the stems removed and diced

1/2 cup of cooked, crumbled sausage

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter


Cut the stems from the mushrooms and carefully scoop out the tops without breaking them apart and dice the stems.

Place the mushroom caps with the scooped side up on a baking sheet.

Combine the remaining ingredients with the diced stems and mix thoroughly.

Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture (save a little bit of the breadcrumbs for the top) and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle melted butter over the top.

Cook at 350 degrees until lightly browned (approximately 20-30 minutes).

*You can substitute the sausage for diced lobster. 



1 pound mixed salad greens

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Salt and pepper to taste.


Mix the ingredients together and drizzle the dressing on top.






2 cups of cooked white Rice

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup

~3/4 stick of butter

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tenderized chicken breast fillets

1 cup garlic flavored bread crumbs

Mix the white rice, cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, sautéed onions and mushrooms, 1/4 stick of butter, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of garlic bread crumbs.


Tenderize the chicken fillets with a meat tenderizer.  At the edge of one end of the chicken fillet, place about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture and roll the chicken fillet around the rice.  Place the chicken fillet into a baking pan with the free edge facing down.  Microwave the remaining butter for 10 seconds and drizzle over the chicken breast.  Lightly sprinkle the garlic flavored bread crumbs over the buttered breast.

Cook at 375 until done (approximately 40 minutes).  Check with a meat thermometer to determine if the meat is done.



2 bags of frozen broccoli

1 tube of Kraft garlic cheese

½ cup jalapeno jack cheese

2 cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup

1 can of Campbell’s cream of celery soups

½ diced onion

½ stick of butter

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 350F. Thaw out the frozen broccoli and drain the water. Melt the cheeses in a saucepan and add the creamed soups.  In a separate pan, sauté the onions with the butter until golden brown.  Add the browned onions to the cheese mixture.  Pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli in a 9 x 12 baking dish. Sprinkle garlic bread crumbs over the top of the casserole, cover and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling.  Allow to cool on the counter for at least 10 minutes before serving.






12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

White frosting.  Brown, Black, Green and Red squeeze frosting to draw a Rudy Reindeer on the cake!


Set rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Butter the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and line with flour. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often.

Pour the batter into prepared rectangular pan(s) and smooth top with metal spatula. Bake cake(s) about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.

Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely.  Put into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, remove the cake to put on the frosting.

Cover the cake with the white frosting; draw a Rudy Reindeer using the squeeze tube frostings and write a festive ‘Merry  Christmas’ message on the side. 




1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup of chocolate sprinkles

¼ cup of caramel sauce (optional)

3/4 cup white sugar

¼ tbs salt

1/3 cup boiling water

3 1/2 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup half-and-half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan and carefully add the boiling water. Bring this mixture to a small boil and stir frequently. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and the vanilla and stir. Divide between 4 mugs. Add whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles to the tops of the mugs and serve!  Drizzle the top with caramel sauce.


1 oz. orange juice 1 oz. grapefruit juice 1 oz. passion-fruit juice 1 oz. mango juice 1 oz. pineapple juice 1/4 oz. lime juice 1/2 oz. kiwi syrup

Pineapple, strawberries, orange slices, and cherries for garnish.

Shake the ingredients with a glass of broken ice and poor into a glass.  Garnish with the fruit and serve!


1 cup milk

2 cups vanilla ice-cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup of Oreo cookies (or other cookies as preferred)

Add the above ingredients into a blender on low speed for 1 minute until mixed thoroughly. Serve in a glass with an Oreo cookie garnish.


4 cups milk

1.5 cups sugar

5 whole cloves

½ tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp for second phase

2.5 cups light rum

4 cups heavy cream

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

12 egg yolks

Combine the milk, cloves, ½ tsp. vanilla and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over the lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil.

In a large bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar, whisking until light and fluffy. Whisk hot milk mix slowly with the eggs, stirring.  Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring for about 3 minutes or until thick.  Prevent this mixture from boiling! Strain to remove cloves and allow cooling for about 1 hour.  Stir in rum, 2 tsp. vanilla and nutmeg. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.





 GAME OBJECTIVE:  To be the first team to correctly unscramble all of the ‘Christmas-related’ words or phrases. 

GAME INSTRUCTIONS: Get a timer and set it for 10 minutes (or simply keep your eye on a clock).   Pair your guests into teams of 5-6 and hand a ‘Christmas Scramble Challenge’ sheet to each team.  Start the time and make the announcement to ‘get started!’  The first team to ‘correctly’ answer all of the scrambled words or phrases – wins! After the winner has been declared – the rest of the teams continue until the timer goes off.  Rank the teams in the order that they correctly guess all of the scrambled words or phrases.  If there are teams that did not answer all of the words /phrases, rank these teams in order of the most correct guesses. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:  Copies of the ‘Christmas Scramble Challenge’ sheets and the ‘Christmas Scramble Challenge’ answer key 

 PLAYING TIME ~15 minutes.
















  14. ANGELS


  16. SNOW MAN

  17. YULE LOG



RULES:  Pair the guests into groups of 2 (or 3 if there’s an odd person out). Give the teams 10 minutes (or more) to create a unique 30 second dance routine to be performed to the holiday song of your choice. Play the song repeatedly in the background so the teams have ample time to practice with the music.  Important caveat of the competition:  one member must dance as an elf and the other member must dance as a reindeer but they must have a uniform, coordinated routine - you just can’t go out and act like an elf and reindeer for 30 seconds!  Be creative!  If there is a team with 3 players, the 3rd person must act as Santa Claus in the routine.

When the time is up and / or the guests are finished creating their routines, one at a time, the guests are to perform their routines for the other guests. The host will judge or the guests will vote via a ballot for the best dance routine. In the case of a tie, the host will be the tie-breaker.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: any type of music playing source and a dance song.

PLAYING TIME:  approximately 30 minutes.



RULES: Separate your guests into teams of 4 (or 5).  They are to elect one team member to be the snowman or snowwoman.  Using toilet paper (provided by the host), they are to build a three tier snow person with toilet paper on their model.  They cannot cover the face or use any other materials besides toilet paper.  The host can decide to allot a specific number of rolls per team, or have enough for the teams to use as much as they need.  More is definitely not better!  Give the teams a 5 minute strategy session before saying ‘go.’  Then, allow for a designated amount of time by setting a timer, such as 7 minutes.

The host will call time and judge the best snowperson.  Proportion, uniqueness, and efficient use of each sheet of toilet paper are to be judged.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: toilet paper rolls (minimum of 4 rolls per team of 4/5); timer (can use a smart phone).

PLAYING TIME: ~ 15 minutes



RULES: Prior to the party, have each guest tell you their birth year.  Make a drawing with their name and birth year on small, folded sheets of paper.  One by one, draw a slip for each guest and notify them on who there are to purchase a gift for and the year of which it must have been released.  For example, if someone was born in 1980, they could get the person a Rubik’s Cube toy.  You can keep this as a secret Santa exchange and allow the guests to slip their presents under a tree upon their arrival.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: each guest is to be notified in advance of a person and birth year of which they are to find a gift that was released in that birth year for this person.  As the host, you are to set a price limit for the exchange.

PLAYING TIME: ~ 10 minutes to open the gifts and compare, etc.



RULES: to be the one to come up with the most original 30-second performance of a chosen song. Choose any 30-second segment of a popular song.  The guests who will compete are to reinvent the song in any manner that they choose (i.e. change up the lyrics, sing in a different accent, etc.) and perform this 30-second masterpiece for the rest of the group.  The one who reinvents the song the best wins!

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:  a chosen karaoke song and a stage / performance area. 

PLAYING TIME: ~ 15 -20 minutes.



RULES: Purchase about 1.5 meters (~5 ft.) of bubble wrap packing material.  The guests take turns walking the length of the bubble wrap.  The first one to walk the length of the wrap without popping a bubble is the winner. If everyone does it without a pop – then change it up to walking on their knees, crab walks, front rolls etc.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: strips of bubble wrapping material.

PLAYING TIME: ~ 10 minutes



Courtesy of: The Official Party Host Handbook.

Objective: to be the team that gives the most awesome rap duo performance!

Rules: divide the guests into groups of two or three. Give the teams 10 minutes (or more) to write the most awe-inspiring and hilarious rap lyrics about the holidays. Play a steady rap beat in the background so the groups can get inspired and practice. 

When the time is up, allow each team to perform their rap song in front of the group. Each member of the team must play a role in the duo (or trio). The host will choose the best upcoming rap artist duo at the party!

 Props needed: a cool rap beat (instrumental) to play in the background and during the performances. There are rap beats available to purchase as downloads on the My Mystery Party Prop Emporium at

 Time needed: ~ 15 -20 minutes.



Objective: to decorate your human Christmas tree the best.

 Rules: Divide your group in teams of 4-5 players. Each group is to select a ‘Christmas Tree’ team member and they are to stand quietly while the other members of the team ‘decorate’ them using items you present for the challenge. You can offer Scotch tape, string, crepe paper, aluminum foil, sequins, etc.  The teams are to assemble their own ornaments and decide how to hang them on the human Christmas tree. Give a set amount of time (i.e. 15 minutes) and then when the time is up, you choose the best decorated human Christmas tree.

 Props needed:  any type of materials to decorate the human Christmas trees that you can find – but make sure each team has a set of the same items.

 Time needed: about 20 minutes – give time for instructions, the challenge, and judging.



Objective: be the first team to cross the finish line after wrapping all of your presents.

 Rules: divide your guests into two (or three) teams. Create a start/finish line and ‘lanes’ for your guests to race in with a wrapping station at the end of each lane for each team. Each team is to line up at the start/finish line and when you say go; they will race to the other end of their lane and wrap a present using the box, paper, tape, and ribbon you have provided for them.  Have pre-cut paper ready for them, as you don’t want them rushing with scissors to cut gift wrap paper.  Once the box is properly wrapped, they can race back and tag the next player in line who will rush to the end of the lane and repeat the process until all presents are wrapped.  You can decide how many boxes to give the teams to wrap (should be at least one per player) and also you can vary the sizes of boxes as well – maybe give them each a jewelry box, tie box, shirt box and big box, etc. If, at any time, the judge finds that a box is not properly wrapped (taped down properly with the ribbon tied), the team member must come back to fix it.  There can only be one team member per team at the wrapping station at any given time or you are to assess a 30 second penalty where their team becomes immobilized and cannot move.

 Props needed:  boxes (a box per number of guests is preferred), tape, pre-cut gift wrap paper (or allow them to tear it with their hands), and ribbon (pre-cut).

 Time needed: about 20 minutes.



Objective: be the first team to fill your stocking with Christmas treats!

 Rules: divide your guests into two (or three) teams. Create a start/finish line and ‘lanes’ for your guests to race in with a stocking at the end of one lane and a bucket of candy and small Christmas toys and large wooden spoon at the other. Each team is to line up at the start/finish line and when you say go; they will race to the other end of their lane, scoop as much candy / toys as they can with their spoon and race back to the start/finish line to put the candy inside of the stocking. The next person in line is to be the stocking holder. The next team member will give the stocking to the person behind them and repeat the process and so on until the stocking is filled to the brim and no further candy pieces can fit. Any candy that is dropped on the floor at any time cannot be picked up and put into the stocking.

 Props needed: a stocking for each team and enough candy to completely fill each stocking (and extra to cover the candy that will drop on the floor.)

 Time needed: about 10 minutes.



Objective: To guess the most of who belongs with which ornament.

Rules: Before the party, instruct each guest to bring an ornament to the party. Upon their arrival, take their ornament and put it away in a secret place.  When ready, pull out all of the ornaments and place them on a table. It would be easiest to assign each ornament a number/letter for ease of guessing. Give each player a sheet of paper and ask that they write match the person with the ornament. The one who guesses the most correctly, wins!  

Props needed: each player to bring an ornament (and not show/tell anyone). A sheet of paper and writing utensil for each guest. A way to label the ornaments (by writing a number on a small sheet of paper and placing in front of the ornament on a display table.  

Playing time: ~ 5-10 minutes 



Objective: To rack up the most points by guessing each person’s lie.  

Rules: Give each person a small strip of paper for the number of guests you have and a writing utensil. One by one, each guest will stand and list three items they have been given as Christmas gifts in the past – but they are to tell the worst gifts they’ve ever received – with a twist that two are true and one is a lie.  The players must correctly guess which is a lie for a point in the game. They write down the lie on the slip of paper as proof of their guess.   The person with the most points at the end, wins.  In the event of a tie, a rock, paper, scissor tournament best two out of three will decide the winner.

Props needed: strips of paper (the # of guests for each guest) and a writing utensil.

Playing time: ~ 15 minutes  



Objective:  to draw the most awesome Christmas scene on the paper plate on your head.

Rules:  give each player a white paper plate and a non-toxic marker. Set the timer for 5 minutes. When you say go, the players are to put the plate on top of their head and draw a Christmas scene. When the timer goes off, they are to put the markers down. The host will judge the best scene drawn.

Props needed:  white porous paper plates for each player (not glossy). A non-toxic marker for each guest.

Playing time:  ~10-15 minutes.

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