Christmas party ideas for hosting the best festive soirée

It’s Christmas party time! Don’t host your festive shindig without reading our top Christmas party ideas, to help you do it in style

The halls are decked with holly, the tree is dressed with tinsel meaning all that’s left now is to enjoy the festivities to the full. If  you’re looking for some last minute Christmas party ideas look no further than right here…

Looking for further party ideas? Read Dreamy Christmas table decoration ideas to celebrate the season in style

Create a warm welcome


Create a wow factor the moment your Christmas guests arrive through the front door. Style up a hallway console table with a festive display to add some festive cheer to your entrance. Twinkling lights and Christmas go hand-in-hand, so try to add a bit of sparkling illumination to your hall. Create a warm and opulent atmosphere with scented orange and cinnamon candles set alight inside burnished and bronzed lanterns.

If you don’t fancy a whole string of fairy lights, place a few battery-operated tealights in glass jars. Realistic faux flowers are a great alternative to fresh blooms, to ensure they last throughout the festivities.

Buy now: Hydrangea Stem, £19 each, Neptune
Buy now: Skye Lantern, £15, The White Company

Adorn your hallway with foliage


Light the way into the party! Line your hallway bannisters and door frames with festive foliage in abundance. Aromatic evergreens such as eucalyptus and pine make wonderful garlands as they release their scent when brushed past, ideal for high-traffic hallways. Use delicate herb wreaths decorations to add further delicate fragrance. And why not throw some fairy lights into the mix to add an extra bit of Christmas sparkle?

Looking for more hallway ideas? Read Christmas hallway decorating ideas to impress your guests

Dress your table to impress


Your guests will have dressed up so make sure your home is adequately attired too. A striking arrangement of foliage above the dining table will add a sense of occasion – easy to do you can simply bend some pliable twigs, such as willow, and fasten with garden twine. For further visual impact fill large glass vessels with seasonal foliage and berries. Accessorise with a cluster of tapered candles for added drama.

Buy now: Muuto Silent Vase, £44, Amara

Make a statement


Christmas is not the season for shrinking violets; instead it’s the perfect excuse to really go for it with accessories. A quirky terrarium filled with seasonal foliage and baubles is all you need for an eye catching centrepiece with a twist.

Buy now: Pasua Pyramid Terrarium, £39.95, Nkuku

Looking for more quirky ideas? Christmas bauble display ideas that will put a creative spin on tradition

Serve festive drinks


Festive tipples are always an instant win for Christmas parties. Try spiced cider as an alternative to mulled wine or really wow you your guests with a serving of home-made vodka. Simply dissolve 100g of caster sugar in a pan of 100ml water, simmer for 3-4minutes. Leave to cool then add clementine and zest, leave somewhere cool for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and hey presto you have yourself a flavoured vodka for Christmas cocktails. Serve in pretty glass tumblers and garnish with sprigs of edible berries for a festive flourish.

Buy now: Connoisseur Champagne Saucer, £38 for 4, John Lewis

Create a glamorous bar


Convert an existing storage space or dresser into a drinks station. Here, wallpaper-lined walls and glass fronted doors create a dazzling display space for coloured glassware and a selection of everyone’s favourite seasonal tipples. The built-in shelves makes a great drinks prep and serving space. Keeping wine and spirits out on display rather than hidden away creates a warm and hospitable feel in a house full of guests.

Buy now: Design Project Blue Flute, £8 each, John Lewis

Dress a console table for a buffet


For a more relaxed Christmas party, load up a console table with party food and allow guests to help themselves, buffet style. A smart runner and a vase of decorated branches will add a festive party feel.

Buy now: Red Felt Snowflake Table Runner, £9.25, Amazon

Blow up some festive balloons


Balloons are the easy way to make a big impact when it comes to party decorations. Set a sleek dining table with gleaming candlesticks and sparkling crystal to make a Christmas or New Year bash go off with a bang. Tie white balloons to mini decorative weights with lengths of ric-rac braid, ribbon or tinsel and surround the table.

Buy now: Giant Confetti Balloons, £8.99 for 3, Ginger ray at Not on the High Street

Make sure your party sparkles

Christmas party ideas

Want your dinner party to go off with a bang? Add small sparklers to each place setting</a> to create a sense of drama. Just don’t allow them near the brandy-soaked Christmas pudding.

Buy now: Pop Bang Spark Silver Sparklers, £5.49, Talking Tables

Light up your garden


Show guests the way to your Christmas party with decorative lights. Here, three faux rattan stars make an eye-catching contrast against the leafy hedge, while a rope of mains-powered outdoor fairy lights entices people through the arch. Use fairy lights as up-lighters rather than all-over decorations to subtly draw attention to key features in your garden.

Buy now: Outdoor Light Up Trees, from £35, Cox & Cox

Hand out crafty party bags

Christmas party ideas

For a retro party, why not present your guests with a party bag when they leave. Perfect for rewarding well behaved children they’re always surprisingly popular with adults too!

The post Christmas party ideas for hosting the best festive soirée appeared first on Ideal Home.

Put A Spell On Guests With These ‘Hocus Pocus’ Halloween Party Ideas

And Now You’re… Wine

Hocus Pocus Wine Glass


Throw the ultimate Hocus Pocus Halloween party as you and your guests sip from these super cute wine glasses that will have you singing and dancing as if you were in Salem. The glasses are made to order and will give your party cocktails the witchy edge that will leave your guests wanting more. Checkout the rest of TheBurlapWineSack shop on Etsy for other Hocus Pocus-inspired drinkware.

To buy: I Put A Spell On You Wine Glass, Etsy, $14.95

Photo: TheBurlapWineSack | Etsy

DIY Floating Witch Hats

DIY Floating Witch Hats


The ultimate Halloween outdoor decor, these adorably spooky floating witch hats by Polka Dot Chair are the perfect addition to your porch. Only requiring six elements to make, this witchy decoration will give your home a whimsical feel while channeling our three favorite sistahs: Winnie, Mary, and Sarah.

The Sanderson Sisters’ Brew

Witches Brew Cupcakes


For a sweet treat that is just as terrifying as it is tasty, these Witches Brew Cupcakes by House of Yumm are made to resemble a bubbling pot of green bubbly witch’s brew, and we are so obsessed. Grab your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and pile on the extremely light and fluffy frosting before adding on different sized sprinkles and gumballs to create the wicked looking bubbles!

A Virgin Lit The Candle

Black Flame Candle


Perhaps one of the most fate-altering candles of Max, Dani, & Allison’s lives—the infamous Black Flame Candle will be the highlight of your party. Legend says that it will raise the spirits of the dead when lit by a virgin on Halloween night, however we can’t guarantee that it will bring the Sanderson Sisters back from the dead, but rather, it will ignite the warm smells of white carnation, sandalwood, black rose, smoky wood, and a kiss of patchouli upon your party guests. It may be made from the fat of a hanged man, but we’ll refrain from sharing that part with our party-goers.

To buy: Black Flame Candle, Etsy, $9

Photo: EnchatmentsByJackie | Etsy

I’ll Take Thee Away…

Come Little Children Sign


Add some more Hocus Pocus-inspired decor to your porch or fireplace mantle with this handmade walnut sign, proclaiming the song title made famous by the 1993 film. Just as Sarah Sanderson flew over the town of Salem luring the children to their subsequent death, you will attract your party guests just the same… but to an endless array of delicious food and cocktails, of course.

To buy: Come Little Children Sign, Etsy, $16

Photo: CountryChicBoutiques | Etsy

Wicked Wafers

Witches Hat Cookies


These witches hat cookies by Adventures in the Anderl House are almost too cute to eat! Almost. Only requiring three components, you’ll use a fudge-striped cookie as your base, topping with a touch of frosting and a Hershey’s kiss. Simple, delicious, and soon to be a party favorite among your guests—these cookies would definitely be amok amok amok!

Photo: Adeventures In The Anderl House

Treat Table (No Tricks Necessary)

Witches Cauldrons


For an incredibly easy way to witch up your tablescape, head down to your nearest Halloween store and pick up different sized witches cauldrons for the ideal serving bowls to hold all your frightful finger foods. Getting different sized bowls will offer more variety to accommodate your different types of snacks, while your table will be completely enchanted by the perfect Halloween vibes of a Hocus Pocus-themed get together.

Boots & Broomsticks

Witches Hooks


For another witchy decor idea, build your own broomstick station by hanging hats and cloaks off of wall hooks. Add on some straw witches brooms (bonus points if they’re sparkly), and you’re all set! It will look just like the Sanderson Sisters stopped by to hang up their hats, but for an added touch of Hocus Pocus flair be sure to roll out your vacuum cleaner to channel the broomstick flying of the future.

Bizarre Bottles & Beakers

Apothecary Bottle Labels


Dress up your glassware with these Apothecary Bottle Labels from World Label for a fun way to incorporate the Halloween theme to your everyday kitchen essentials. Easy and free to download and print, these labels will be a small touch that will go a long way with your party guests. Cover your wine bottles, cookie jar, and even the bathroom soap to have your guests questioning whether it’s a deliciously spooky snack or just a bunch of Hocus Pocus.

Halloween Cocktail


Every Halloween soiree needs a classic cocktail to quench your guests’ unearthly tastebuds, and this Black Magic cocktail by Elle Talk will definitely not disappoint. The shimmery look is enough to turn heads upon first glance, but the tart taste will be intoxicating—literally. A play on a cherry martini, the cocktail gets its sparkling effect with the secret swirling ingredient: pearl dust. Bubble, bubble, we’re in trouble with this delicious cocktail at our fingertips!

Calling All Sistahs

Halloween Party Invitations


Gone are the days of mass text messages and Facebook event invites because we found the perfect invitation for a Hocus Pocus Halloween party. These Hocus Pocus invitations are handmade and sent to your computer minutes upon ordering, making it an easy send to your guests, either digitally or by mail. Put a spell on your guests, giving them just a peek at what’s to come as your petrifying party nears closer.

To buy: Hocus Pocus Party Invitations, Etsy, $14

Photo: SweetAsCanBeDesign | Etsy

Hocus Pocus Spellbook Cookies


These Hocus Pocus Spellbook Cookies by Rosanna Pansino are to dieeee for, especially if Winnie Sanderson has her way. Prepare to stun your guests with these oh-so-accurate treats, that channel the infamous spellbook that turned Binx into a cat and and was the apple of Winnie’s eye. Disguised by a delicious flavor, these dreadful little snacks will surely be a hit!

Spell-Worthy Sticker

Halloween Decal


This decorative decal stating the classic song heard all across Salem, I Put A Spell On You—the trademark phrase will be instantly recognized by your party guests. Place it above your fireplace mantle, along your stairwell, or on any wall in your house to let your guests know that they have officially entered a spine-chilling home where the Sanderson Sisters could show up at any moment.

To buy: I Put A Spell On You Decal, Etsy, $7-$18

Photo: Stickythingz | Etsy

Rugs & Remarks

Hocus Pocus Halloween Rug


Catch your guests’ attention right as they enter your home with this Hocus Pocus-inspired doormat. Handmade to perfection, this coir and vinyl rug has character and sass. Whether you’re throwing a high-energy rager or a sophisticated soiree, a little fun goes a long way. The nod to the Black Flame Candle shouldn’t be taken lightly, so be sure to keep the virgins in the room at a safe distance.

To buy: It’s Lit Hocus Pocus Rug, Etsy, $40

Photo: ShopJosieB | Etsy

Dead Man’s Toe

Halloween Appetizers


These unnerving little snacks by The Small Things may seem morbid, but man are they tasty! Channel the mystery ingredient in Winnie’s infamous potion by wrapping mini sausages with bacon, topped with brown sugar to caramelize the little smokeys to perfection. The idea may be repulsive, but it’s what the Sanderson Sisters would approve of.

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The Best Posts of 2017: Kids Birthday Party Ideas, Fashion, & More

Can you believe we are already in 2018? Last year flew by for me, and I cannot even begin to tell you how ready I was to end that year. There were some really great moments around here the past year, and I wanted to share some of the best posts of 2017, and I say “best” because they were the posts that you all loved the most! These include fashion, kids birthday party ideas, and more.The best posts from 2017, including fashion, kids birthday party ideas, and more. Plus, take an end of the year reader survey to make 2018 the best yet!

I want to know, what would you like to see more of this year? More fashion is already in the works, but I really want to give you all more of what you love to see around here:) This community is my favorite, and I have big plans for 2018 and Motherhood and Merlot.

If you want to check out any of the posts below, just click on the related images. There is also an end of the year survey that I would REALLY appreciate if you would take a second to look over for me. It will help a lot in planning out content for this year.

Best Posts of 2017 (as viewed by you!)

The first thing you loved were the parties for my littles, which I am so glad about because I LOVE to throw a good party:)

Kids Birthday Party Ideas

The “Under the Sea” party we threw for my second daughter was a win, and one of the last parties I threw in 2017. 

This Disney Princess Party is one of my most visited posts, and is constantly getting views and questions on the party itself. It is one of my favorites because we had a real life princess come to visit my oldest. 

Best Beauty & Fashion Posts

This post on the best places to find maternity clothes is the most viewed post on my blog. I update it with the latest and greatest places, because maternity clothes aren’t cheap, and we are all trying to find the best deals!

This post on all things floral print was a win, and the photoshoot was so much fun to do!

This was something new for me this year, and now I am hooked. I love working with Zona Med Spa and I am obsessed with the results. 


*Cheers to making 2018 the year of change, and the best year yet*

PJ Masks Party Ideas and Printables

Bedtime is the right time to fight crime! Well, it is if you’re a PJ Masks fan! I’ve teamed up with Birthday In A Box to create a fun PJ Masks Party filled with ideas for decorating, foods, activities and more. You can read the full party article on Birthday in a Box but I’ll share all the photos with you here for a special sneak peek.

PJ Masks Party:

For this party, I went with a pyjamas slumber party theme with serving breakfast foods for dinner. I set out some mini boxes of cereal, bottles of milk, two kinds of mini donuts, muffins in cupcake wrappers and breakfast cookies.

You’ll find the free printable boxes I used to hold the mini cereal boxes and mini donuts here. For the small cityscape background found on the table, you’ll find the free printable file here. For all the other party supplies including the background, balloons, tablecloth, cupcake wrappers, milk bottles and more, visit Birthday In A Box.

For the seating area, I used paper plates, fun superhero cups, and a PJ Masks tablecloth from Birthday In A Box. The PJ Masks characters on the table were from the toy store, the science beakers used to hold Sixlets (candy coated chocolates) were from our local craft store, and the PJ Masks masks are a free printable file from the website.

For the party activity, I filled black balloons with small candies. You’ll find instructions on how to fill balloons with treats here. Guests could then “pop a bomb” to get their candy treats.

For party favors, I included some PJ Masks goodies from the Birthday In A Box website plus some little PJ Masks toys from the toy store. You’ll find my full PJ Masks party, including links to the party supplies, on Birthday In A Box.

For more PJ Masks Party ideas, visit our PJ Masks board on Pinterest.

Stay updated on the latest party ideas by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

*Disclosure: I was compensated for this post; however, all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links so I may receive a small commission for your party supply purchases. 


DIY Fairy Garden Tea Pot and Garden Party Ideas Rural Mom

One of my favorite ways to celebrate Spring is with a Garden Tea Party! Tea, friends, my garden…does it get any better?  Thanks to our partnership with Oriental Trading, I’m sharing tips for creating a lovely garden tea party and a fun DIY Fairy Garden Tea Pot craft… read on for inspiration!

Garden Tea Parties sound like a really fancy idea (pinkies up!), but the truth is that they can be as extravagant or informal as you’d like to make them. Your guests can wear jeans or evening gowns – whatever they’re the most comfortable in.  Whatever style you choose, check out these tips and our fairy garden tea pot craft idea to help make your celebration a memorable one:

Consider what type of party you’d like to have. Will it be formal or informal? Do you want to host a brunch-type party or an evening party? Will your guests be primarily adults, or will you be having a child-friendly party? You could also go with an entirely children’s party – what little girl wouldn’t love a princess garden party? How about making it a “working” party? Everyone knows that many hands make for light work. Why not team up with friends and help each other plant their gardens? After the work is done, you can kick back and relax! Each time, someone new can host.

Choose a theme and color scheme to make your party pop. You could go with traditional Springtime flowers, but there isn’t any reason why you couldn’t go with contemporary colors and decor as well. What are you into? Roses? Fairies? Ladybugs? Cherry Blossoms? Rainbows? Teddy Bear Picnics? There are so many Springtime themes to choose from! Once you choose, take a look at Oriental Trading for your decor and supplies. They’ve got just about everything you could think of from decor to eating utensils, and it’s available in so many different themes!

Food, food, and more food! Some fun finger foods I like to serve at garden parties are Vanilla Cherry Pecan Meusli Muffins or Sweet Irish Breakfast Scones, but you could serve some really fancy hors d’oeuvres or even cut up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if that’s what your guests like! As long as you cater to your guests’ tastes, the party is sure to be a success.

The tea, obviously! I recommend having a few different choices so your guests are all happy. Start with black, green, and then maybe something fruity. Iced tea is an option, too.  Check out our Southern Style Tea recipe for inspiration. Be sure to have some fresh lemon and sprigs of mint for garnish!

Send your guests home with something to remember you by!  Tea pot fairy garden crafts are a fun idea. I think fairies are so adorable and these are just so fitting for a garden tea party, don’t you think? Guests will love making them and taking the keepsake home.

DIY Fairy Garden Tea Pot Craft

Supplies Needed (see links at the end of the feature to shop this post):

Ceramic tea pot planters
Acrylic paints (in various colors)
Paint brushes (in various sizes)
Small embellishments to decorate tea pot and/or add to fairy garden like butterflies, florals, small figurines and mini-mushrooms
Succulents or other small plants (succulents and cactus are ideal for fairy gardens)
Glue (optional, for securing embellishments)
Potting soil
Water and paper towels (for cleaning paint brushes)


This is a free-form art craft, so the tea pot sky is the limit!  Guests can paint the tea pot planter a solid color and add a few embellishments to it or paint on patterns, flowers, words or other artistic designs. In the illustration below, I used green acrylic paint and upward strokes of the paint brush to simulate a look of grass at the base of the planter.  Then I added a few green solid lines to act as stems for self-adhesive daisy flower embellishments.

If you provide your guests with colorful paints and embellishments, it will be easy for them to create a bright and festive one-of-a-kind look.  This is also a great craft for kids and the fairy garden planters make a terrific Mother’s Day gift.

Once the paint is dry, add potting soil to the inside of the planter and plant your preferred plant.  Place moss around the plant and then add in small figurines, butterflies or even miniature furniture pieces to complete your fairy garden.  If you prefer to gift the planter without adding a plant, you can simply fill the planter with moss and then add the figurines and/or embellishment to create a fairy garden scene (as illustrated in the “Mom” planter pictured in this feature.)

Shop This Post:IN-12/3843 Gnome Characters | IN-13696802 Tea Party Pack | IN-13764550 3D Self-Adhesive Mushrooms | IN-48/2326 Fancy Butterflies | IN-48/2836 Self-Adhesive Daisies with Jewel Center | IN-73/33 Plaid® Paintbrush Super Value Pack | IN-73/89 Acrylic Paint Set – Primary Colors | IN-13752222 Natural Moss |IN-13674927 DIY Ceramic Teapot Flower Planters

Now that you’ve got the basics, you’re ready to put on your fancy hat and gloves and party! Remember that the object of the garden party is to have a great time with friends. Don’t stress yourself out – if it doesn’t go well, you can turn it into a tea-and-wine party instead 🙂

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10 Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas


It’s Fiesta season here in San Antonio, and with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner as well, I thought I’d share some of my favorite DIY Cinco de Mayo party ideas. I’m not a huge and elaborate themed-party thrower, but sometimes all it takes is a couple colorful handmade touches to make a party pop. Checkout these festive Fiesta ideas!

Avocado Piñata by Healthfully Ever After

I think this is the funnest piñata idea I’ve ever seen–almost too cute to hit!


DIY Cactus Props by Squirrelly Minds

Next time you buy a bunch of furniture from Ikea, save the boxes and add some green to your fiesta with these eco-friendly cardboard cacti.


Pin the Tail on the Llama Game

I think this would also be great for a throwback Napoleon Dynamite party, no? “Tina, come get your dinner!”


Printable Papel Picado Invitation from Bespoke Bride

You may not have time to print and send these festive invites, but you could use them to send a digital one! Loving the color combo!


DIY Easy Flower Crowns by Bird’s Party

Bird’s Party cleverly used silk flowers to make this crown–no more worry about your fresh flower crown wilting!


DIY Papel Picado Streamers

I’ve actually made these before and they were super easy! Plus everyone will admire your handmade party decor skills.


Cactus Balloons by Design Improvised

Haeley from Design Improvised is a genius when it comes to party balloons!


Tissue Paper Lanterns by Tell Love and Party

Another easy peasy way to add color to your Cinco de Mayo party.


DIY Sombrero Headbands by Let’s Mingle

It’s not a party without a party hat!


Fiesta Flower Doorway from Aunt Peaches

Make a grand entrance with these oversized fiesta flowers.


10 creative New Years party ideas

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with one of these fun party themes.

Five. Four. Three. Two. One! Say goodbye to 2017 and hello to the New Year by hosting a theme party for friends and family. Whether you’re looking for over-the-top fun or a more low-key celebration, the countdown to midnight will pass in a flash with these ten fun New Year’s party ideas. You won’t want the night to end!

1. Decade party

We may be heading into 2017, but who says we can’t party like it’s the ’60s or ’90s? Centre your New Year’s party theme around your favourite decade and invite your guests to come dressed to impress for your chosen time period. If the ’60s are your decade of choice, think retro, whether it be with psychedelic décor colours (think electric blue, orange, pink and purple) or food that defined the era like crescent rolls stuffed with hot dogs, also known as “Pigs in a Blanket.” The possibilities are endless with every decade, so be sure to get creative no matter which nostalgic way you decide to celebrate the New Year.

2. Old Hollywood glam

Serve up some Old Hollywood glamour as you celebrate the New Year with this throwback-themed party idea. Encourage your guests to come dressed to the nines—think red-carpet-worthy gowns for the women and classic tuxes for the men. A cocktail-party setup works best for this theme, as it allows guests to mingle while they sip on drinks and munch on appetizers. For your décor, use accents in classic Old Hollywood colours like black, red and gold. Wow your guests by adding a red carpet to your front entryway and place lit candles around the party setting to create a romantic mood. Remember, it’s all in the details!

3. Countdown to the End of the World

With the popularity of TV shows like The Walking Dead and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, zombie mania doesn’t seem to be letting up, so why not throw a zombie-themed End of the World party? Sarah Conley, owner and operator of Celebrations by Sarah in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, suggests inviting your guests to dress up as zombies or a character from their favourite zombie-themed show or movie. To achieve an apocalyptic atmosphere, Conley recommends staging areas of your home with overturned furniture, having almost-empty kitchen cupboards and a playing a video reel of a fake news broadcast about the rise of the zombies. “At midnight you could really freak your guests out by shutting off the power, getting a strobe light going and having zombie actors move through your space,” she says. It’s a fun and unforgettable way to ring in the New Year

4. Potluck party

Invite your guests to contribute to the execution of a successful New Year’s party by hosting a potluck. Ask each guest to bring a savoury food dish, dessert or drink. Ensure there’s a variety of things to feast on by making a list of specific items you want (keeping in mind dietary restrictions) and assigning one to each guest. It’s the best way to make sure you provide options for all your guests to enjoy. These are sure to be a hit if you’re looking for recipes that make great sharing dishes. Remember to let guests know ahead of time in order to avoid duplicate or . In the end, it’s all about coming together and counting down to a New Year.

5. Black and gold event

Deck your home with black and gold accents to celebrate the New Year in luxe style. Start by incorporating black and gold helium balloons—they will float up to the ceiling and hang dramatically as your guests walk through your home. If you plan on having a sit-down dinner, your dinnerware should follow the same colour scheme as your theme. Adorn your table with gold candelabras and black candles to add a touch of sophistication and romance to the overall setting. Hints of gold glitter add an extra-special touch and tie the theme together. Stuck for ideas? How about edible glitter on the rim of cocktail glasses, or a DIY gold glitter ‘Cheers’ garland that can be used as a backdrop for a photo station where your guests can goof around with props and capture some of these memorable moments.


6. Minute to Win It game night

Who needs to get dressed up for a night on the town when you can stay in the comforts of your home and host friends and family for a fun-filled game night inspired by the popular show Minute to Win It? “Anyone can compete at these silly, yet challenging games, so this New Year’s Eve party idea would be great for families, especially those with tweens tagging along,” says Conley. The challenges require supplies ranging from pencils and plastic cups, to pantyhose and cotton balls—mostly items you’d have around the house or can be easily found at your local dollar store.

7. Masquerade ball

Bring out the masks and celebrate the New Year in Venetian style with a masquerade ball. Adorn your home with table linens, pillow throws and props in jeweled-tone colours such as quartz purple, emerald green, ruby red and sapphire blue. And let’s not forget the most important element: the masks. Encourage your guests to come dressed the part and remind them that over-the-top masks and elaborate costumes are welcome. Create an extravagant menu made of simple foods like hors d’oeuvres and other light finger foods. Set the mood by serving as your guests arrive. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the Phantom of the Opera theme song playing in the background to complete the overall atmosphere as you ring in 2016.  

8. Indulgence party

Say one last goodbye to those decadent foods that most people plan on giving up after New Year’s with this indulgence-themed party. Are some of your guests cutting back on sugar? Dairy? Red meat? Create a dessert table with everyone’s favourite treats, or serve the of their dreams! The possibilities are endless with this theme, so be sure to enjoy these guilty pleasures one last time with those you love before it’s time to stick to those New Year’s resolutions.

9. A Downton affair

Celebrate the New Year and a new season of the popular British period drama Downton Abbey by throwing a formal dinner party based around the 1920s aesthetic of the show. To execute, Jordan Maxey and Devon Dunn of Smitten Events, a Vancouver-based event planning company, suggest you focus your attention on the details. “Think place cards, menu cards, beautiful place settings and multiple forks,” says Maxey. To create the perfect table setting, check out these helpful tips on . For the menu, start your posh dinner party off with class by serving up as an appetizer. For the main, this is the perfect dish to serve with sophisticated cocktails like this . If a formal dinner party isn’t your style, an elegant tea party is another way to execute this theme. Of course, you can’t forget to look the part! Invite your guests to dress up in fashions from the 1920s: flapper dresses for the women and classic and sophisticated suits for the men.

10. Colourful confetti-themed brunch

If you’re not a fan of staying up late and celebrating into the night, why not host a confetti-themed New Year’s Day brunch? To bring this theme to life, simply purchase ready-made confetti, or source colourful construction or scrapbook paper from your local craft store and do it yourself by cutting small circles out of the paper. Scatter confetti around your brunch table and fill clear balloons with it to create a festive atmosphere. Invite your guests to wear pastel-coloured clothing to complement your theme. Serve brunch in style by creating a buffet table filled with brunch staples like, . Let’s not forget the mimosas or —it wouldn’t be brunch without them!