Holidays at Home
Words by: Jess Lackey
This year has been tough and on top of everything else, many of us are separated from our families and dearest friends during the most heartwarming time of year.
Despite the challenges, we are here to remind you that the holiday spirit is still very much alive and it’s not too late to feel the warmth and magic this holiday season.
Whether you’re celebrating with your small pod or virtually from afar, we’ve gathered some DIY holiday party ideas to help reduce your party planning stress and embrace your inner warm and fuzzies while spreading holiday cheer.
Creating an environment that is warm and inviting can elevate your mood and space, even in the most unprecedented of times. We’ve curated three beautiful holiday décor themes to help you ignite your holiday spirit.
Merry and (Boho) Bright
Merry and (Boho) Bright is characterized by a boho-inspired color palette of natural taupe, soft cream, pine green, inviting gray and warm metallics with soft fabrics, white string lights, greenery and natural garlands. We can smell the cinnamon vanilla from here.
Merry and (Boho) Bright Décor Shopping List
- Boho Gold Rimmed Plates – Amazon
- Soft Eucalyptus Garland – Amazon
- Gold Globe String Lights – Amazon
- Hanging Wooden Beaded Snowflakes – Amazon
- Metallic Ornaments for Centerpiece – Amazon
So much Christmas magic happens at night and with a Midnight Magic theme, you can create a space of rich mystic holiday wonder. Sip some bourbon by the fire and indulge with this rich color palette of deep purple, royal blue and smoky gray with rustic oak, plush fabrics and illuminated accents.
Midnight Magic Décor Shopping List
- Royal Blue Velvet Table Runner – Amazon
- Hanging Star Paper Lantern – Amazon
- Royal Blue Moroccan Plates Gold Trim – Amazon
- Gold Candlestick Holders – Amazon
- Wooden Bead Garland in Burgundy – Amazon
Ho Ho Ho Mistletoe
Sometimes the only way to celebrate the holidays is in the spirit of tradition, centered around an iconic mix of red and green, plaid, pine needles and a hint of holiday sparkle. Grab some eggnog and gingerbread and feel cozy at home with this traditional holiday décor.
Ho Ho Ho Mistletoe Décor Shopping List
- Plaid Table Cloth – Amazon
- Mixed Plaid Holiday Plates – Amazon
- Glass Santa Plate – Amazon
- Live Edge Wooden Tealight Holders – Amazon
- Pre-Lit Holiday Garland – Amazon
- Traditional Gold Pillar Candle Holders – Amazon
- Decorative Nutcracker Set (6) – Amazon
Dress the Part
Few things are more awkward than arriving at a holiday gathering in an ugly sweater when the dress code called for cocktail attire. To keep everyone comfy and safe from a good ‘ole fashioned razzing, be sure to alert your attendees of the appropriate attire for the evening.
Encouraging your guests to dress the part helps them to participate in the event and creates a mutual connection amongst attendees. Plus, if an ugly sweater theme is your thing, you can host an ugly sweater contest and award the best/worst dressed of the group.
Whether you’re fielding relationship questions from your Great Aunt Bernice or finally facetiming with friends, no holiday gathering is complete without some cocktails to loosen and liven up the party. Here are some our faves this season:
Holly Jolly Juice
Light and fizzy, Holly Jolly Juice provides the perfect mix of orange, vodka, ginger beer and holiday cheer.
2 oz Vodka
2 oz Blood Orange Juice
2 oz Ginger Beer
1 oz Pomegranate Arils
Sprig of Thyme
Fill a rocks glass with ice and 1 oz pomegranate arils. Pour 2 oz vodka. Top with 2 oz blood orange juice and 2 oz ginger beer. Garnish with thyme and star anise.
Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martini
A spiced bourbon cocktail with maple syrup. Even Buddy the Elf would approve.
3 oz Bourbon
2 oz Dark Beer
1 oz Maple Syrup
1 Pinch Nutmeg
Dried Red Chili
In a shaker, combine ice, 3 oz bourbon, 1 oz maple syrup and 1 pinch of nutmeg. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with 2 oz dark beer and garnish with a dried red chili.
Blackberry Thyme Champagne Cocktail
No celebration is complete without bubble and this thyme-infused blackberry champagne cocktail give us all the festive holiday feels.
8 Black Berries
½ oz Simple Syrup
6 oz Prosecco or Sparkling Wine
1 Sprig Thyme
Muddle 5 blackberries with ½ oz simple syrup and place in a chilled coupe glass. Top with 6 oz prosecco or sparking wine. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Salty Caramel Chocolate Martini
This decadent martini gave us all the star eyes with a delicious combination of salty caramel and chocolate. We can’t “Mmmmmm” loud enough.
2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liquor
1 oz Crème de Cocoa
2 oz Caramel Flavored Vodka
1 oz Milk or Milk Alternative
Crushed Heath Bar
Course Ground Sea Salt
Combine cocktail ingredients with ice in a shaker and shake well. Dip rim of a chilled martini glass in caramel syrup, then dip rim in crushed heath bar and sea salt. Strain cocktail into glass. Use a vegetable peeler on the chocolate bar to make chocolate curls and sprinkle on top of cocktail.
Keep the holiday momentum rolling with a few pre-planned activities for your guests. (Trust us, you’ll want to occupy Todd after he’s dipped a bit too much into the Holly Jolly Juice). Check out these fun activities for all ages, even Todd.
Gingerbread Decorating Contest
What could be more fun than decorating gingerbread after a few cocktails? It’s kind of like fruit cake, you know it’ll be bad but you want to try it anyway. If entertaining in person, you can provide gingerbread decorating kits (available on Amazon) or if celebrating virtually, you can instruct your attendees to purchase the kit ahead of time. Award prizes for the most creative, best and worst gingerbread decorating designs.
Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are great for groups of all sizes. If you have enough people, you can divide your guests into competing teams. Playful, funny and lighthearted, the holiday scavenger hunt is an easy holiday party activity that gets everyone involved. It can be played either remotely or in person, too. You can download our Holiday Scavenger Hunt Sheet below or create your own!
Help your guests feel like total geniuses or absolute dumb-dumbs with some classic holiday trivia. You can scour the web for your own holiday-themed questions or put our friends at Interactive Entertainment Group to work with their Interactive Holiday Trivia service.
With Interactive Holiday Trivia, a holiday-themed question appears and participants have 20 seconds to lock in their answers. A game pin allows guests to answer questions in real time via their smart device. When 20 seconds are up, points are awarded to those with the correct answer. Winners can receive gift prizes, bragging rights or both.
Top off your holiday gathering with the sounds of the season. We recommend Spotify’s Christmas Party 2020 for all your holiday classics, new and old.