I spent a lot of weekends this past year enjoying the company of friends. At summer bar-b-ques…dinner parties…poker nights, etc. But if you’re like me, you find that the year is quickly coming to a close and you still haven’t reciprocated. Don’t despair! Here’s some easy and fun ways to eliminate your social debts and fulfill your obligations before the year runs out!
Traditional Holiday Cookie Swap: How many kids’ birthday parties, christenings, and communions did you actually go to this year? A cookie swap is a great family-friendly party for a weekend afternoon. Everyone you invite bakes a dozen more cookies than there are guests. For example: if there are 6 invitees, each invitee bakes 7 dozen cookies. Ask your guests to dress up in their Sunday best (pearls and all). Serve fancy finger sandwiches and coffee. A little holiday music on the CD player and you’re good to go. Each guest enjoys a tummy full of sweets and goes home with dozens of cookies to enjoy later or put out on their holiday buffet.
Holiday Gift Wrapping Party: Invite your favorite multi-taskers. Similar to the Cookie Swap, everyone brings lots of wrapping paper and trimmings to share — and of course all their unwrapped gifts! Set up tables with scissors, scotch tape, tissue paper, markers, etc. Order in pizza or Chinese food. Wrap your holiday gifts while gossiping with your best gal pals. This party is so easy you can pull it off any night after work and you don’t even have to cook! Parents with kids will appreciate a safe haven to wrap gifts free from little one’s wandering eyes.
Tree Trimming Party: Consider hosting a tree trimming party if you’re a new homeowner. There’s nothing sadder than a naked Christmas tree and many new homeowners barely have all their rooms decorated never mind their tree! Invite your closest friends and family — you probably haven’t had time to host a proper housewarming anyway — ask each guest to bring an ornament for your first tree. Strategically placed Christmas decorations will fill any holes where you haven’t yet bought furniture. You’ll have to do all the cooking yourself and shell out money for beer and wine, but it could pay off in the end. With enough carefully placed remarks about everything you still need for your new home, you may make out like a bandit at Christmas! Who says it’s all about the joy of giving? Receiving ain’t so bad!
Lights Out Party: Have you been putting off hosting your own little event because you’re afraid you’re not the world’s best entertainer? Go out for a good time instead! Have everyone meet at your place in their warmest outdoor gear then head to Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts for the Festival of Lights. Climb aboard the heated train and delight in a 2-mile trip of more than 7 million twinkling holiday lights. Ride the antique carousel. Visit Santa’s workshop. Then hurry back to your comfy pad for an easy dinner of hearty stew and hot chocolate.
Trash to Treasure Party: They say “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well find out for yourself at this party perfect for all those friends who ever stuck you with a re-gift. I usually have this soiree the Saturday after New Year’s — once the gift giving and returning has died down. Take that one gift that you just don’t know what to do with: the garden gnome, the Porky Pig pie plate, the Thomas Kincaid lighthouse collectible and bring it to this twist on the ‘ole Yankee Swap. Each guest brings the worst Christmas gift they got re-wrapped and ready for re-gifting. Draw numbers out of a hat indicating the order in which you get to pick your “treasure.” You can swap with anyone who has a lower number than you do — the person to pick #1 has their choice of the lot. TIP: the worst the gift you bring, the better. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that people get for Christmas!
With easy and fun party ideas like these there’s no reason for you to enter 2008 in social debt. Enjoy!