Good grief, Christmas is almost here. If you have some holiday parties coming up that you need to plan for, check out my advice on how to host a FUN Christmas party for kids.
My mom’s group had our annual Christmas party last weekend, and it was a HUGE success. We followed these tips, and the kids and grown ups had a blast.
Thank you to Oriental Trading for providing us with some complimentary goodies to facilitate this post. We’ll definitely be back for more for our next group event.
- Make sure to decorate and make it LOOK like Christmas!
This is totally the time to drag out any and all Christmas decorations that you have. Stockings, wreaths, trees, photo albums, baskets, glittery pine cones, garland, cups, plates, whatever!
For a few of our tables, we used some Christmas tableware from Oriental Trading. The shiny red on our food table made the display a “WOW” for our guests.
The magic of Christmas, for kids, is so very visual. Be sure to set the mood and give them something awe-inspiring to look at. It will get them excited quickly, and you really don’t have to spend a bunch of money to do it. Ask neighbors, friends, or family members if they have things for you to borrow if you’re tight on money. I’m sure everyone has a few pieces they’d love to lend you to make your venue more magical for the kids.
- Feed those little cuties.
Yes, kids love decorations, but next, they love FOOD! You don’t have to offer a full meal, but you should definitely have some festive and tasty finger foods and something to drink. For an inexpensive option, bananas or little oranges are a good budget stretcher and healthy. I think everyone loves Christmas cookies, so that’s a good crowd pleaser! For drinks, little water bottles or juice boxes are great and portable, too.
- Have some fun activities for them to do.
This could easily be combined with the snacks. What about letting them decorate some sugar cookies?
I love letting the kids do some kind of a craft. Creating their own ornaments can be simple and fun. For our group’s party, we found several ornament kits that had everything included and didn’t even need glue! They were a hit, and we’ll definitely be doing it again next year. Ornament crafts, like the ones we got from Oriental Trading, make it easy for large groups to facilitate a craft for all of its members.
- Offer them a way to GIVE BACK to others.
I feel like every large group gathering should have some sort of “giving back” component. Our group chose to have a 12 Cans of Christmas food drive for hungry folks in our community. Each family was encouraged to bring a dozen non-perishable food items.
A family in my neighborhood hosts an annual Christmas party, and it “costs” one unwrapped toy to get in. They donate to Toys for Tots or other local charities.
Another friend of mine actually has an angel tree for foster dogs at a local dog rescue. She lets families choose a dog to sponsor and collects wishlist items for them like blankets, treats, food, dog bowls, and more.
No matter which type of giving you’d like to encourage your party guests to do, it’ll be something that everyone can feel good about. Children LOVE to help, and it’s a great way to teach them humanitarianism.
- Host a gift or book exchange.
Let’s face it, we all love presents. Kids will enjoy taking part in a gift exchange or book swap!
The way our group did our book swap this year was to have each child that wanted to (it was totally optional to participate) bring a WRAPPED gift and place it in the box that corresponded to their age range. We had baby books, preschool books, young elementary books, and books for tweens and up. For however many books you brought, you could take that many books out of the same box (which other people had dropped their books into). That means that if your family brought a baby book and a tween book, you could take home a baby book and a tween book.
You could easily run a gift exchange the same way. Be sure to set a price range so that everyone leaves with an equally awesome gift.
- Don’t forget SANTA!
Roll the red carpet out for the big man himself. If you find that Santa is too busy to attend, consider having kids write their letters to Santa. You can bring a little mailbox for them to place their letters in, or just provide envelopes for them to place their letters in to have their parents mail once they get home.
If you have Santa AND letters, you could even have the kids hand them out to him when they go sit on his lap!
We had our Santa set up with a cute backdrop and decorations so everyone could take adorable photos with the big man himself before he gets too busy in his toy shop to take a minute to post.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. If you’re hosting or attending parties, be sure to relax a little and just have a good time as a family.
What tips would YOU add for hosting a super fun Christmas party for kids?