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Staying in Town for the Holidays? Best At-Home Party Ideas

Planning a holiday party is hard work. From food and decor to entertainment and the guest list, there is a lot to figure out before the big day. In the past, you may have rented a venue or hosted your holiday party at a restaurant. If you’re planning to host family and friends at home this year, here are a few party ideas to get you started:

1. Play Board Games Together

Yes, this old school idea is still a good one. Gather your family and friends for a night of classic board games. Bring out favorites such as Monopoly, Scrabble, or Pictionary and enjoy an evening of small talk and strategy. While competitive or cooperative video games also bring people together, the dynamic (and often demographic) is different when you stick to tabletop games. Give it a try and see how it goes! You may find it becomes a new tradition. 

2. Host a White Elephant Gift Exchange

Known by many names — Yankee Christmas, secret Santa swap or cutthroat Christmas — hosting a white elephant gift exchange is a simple, cost-effective form of entertainment and holiday party fun. Guests can bring funny, impractical gifts or anything they have at home they’re ready to pass on (think old coffee mugs or any other duplicate item). Not only is it amusing to see what everyone opens, but if you allow “stealing” as part of the rules, it can be a buckets of fun! For a mixed crowd, consider setting guidelines, such as a price limit, ahead of time.

3. Serving Guests a Festive Feast

In a food-loving society, cooking is an integral part of holiday entertaining. Most people, however, find they are running out of ideas. Some dishes are more time-consuming to prepare than others, and some just aren’t very easy to eat in front of a crowd.

This year, try something new by hosting a seafood-centric meal. Whether you serve crab legs or shrimp scampi (or both!) there are no shortage of seafood recipes to make your holiday dinner memorable and tasty. Wondering what else to serve with your seafood platter? Think crusty breads, grilled or steamed veggies, and pasta or potatoes.

4. Watch a Holiday Movie Together

If you love movies, nothing beats sitting side-by-side at the cinema with your loved ones. But coordinating a day and time that works for everyone can be tough — especially if people are traveling during the holidays. If a day at the theater won’t work, try hosting an at-home movie night instead.

With Apple’s recently released SharePlay, you can watch movies and TV shows with friends during a FaceTime call. Other platforms, such as Disney Plus, Amazon Prime and Netflix, also offer remote shared experience watching capabilities. So even if not everyone can make it to your house, they can still join in on the festive fun.

Planning and Hosting a Successful Holiday Party

The holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate with friends and family, or get to know your colleagues better. Hopefully, this guide will provide you with valuable information on how to plan a fantastic party when staying in town for the holidays!

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