Holiday parties are a great chance to gather friends and family together for a good time. Food and drink are important components, but so is the entertainment factor. Here are some ideas to keep the action going and multiply the fun.
Everyone makes fun of holiday sweaters, but did you know there is an actual website where you can purchase ugly Christmas sweaters? Since 1995, rustyzipper.com has been amassing the Internet's largest collection of ugly sweaters. Chances are you may own an "interesting" holiday sweater, as do some of your friends and family. Why not gather all these colorful and crazy sweaters in one place? Ask guests to wear their most unique sweater and let them know there will be judging. Inform them that their sweater can have a holiday motif or not, but it must be the opposite of boring and can veer off into cool. Have a contest with several categories: best holiday sweater, ugliest sweater, most original, most colorful, most hipster etc. Hand out prizes in each category, awarding with a "something warm" gift card, like from a coffee house or a knitted cap, scarf, etc.
Minute to Win It
You love the TV game show now you can play it at home. Invite your most competitive family and friends over for an evening of good-natured challenges to be completed in one minute. To get detailed direction, go to NBC's official game website www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how-to. Here you'll find a number of challenges that are illustrated by video and have complete instructions.
The aim of "A Bit Dicey" is to balance six dice on a popsicle stick held in your mouth. Whoever completes the most challenges wins a prize. You can do this individually or in teams. Award holiday-themed prizes such as a Christmas ornament, balsam candle, holiday cocktail napkins etc.
White elephant gift exchange
This is a great icebreaker at work holiday parties or with family and friends. Decide first what type of white elephant this is. Do you want your guests to bring something that's just lying around the house or do you want them to buy something new? If new, set an amount to spend.
Wrap your gift and be clever as to disguise what it is or to suggest that it is something it's not, such as wrapping a DVD in shirt box with lots of newspaper so it doesn't jiggle. Try not to let on which gift in the pile is yours.
The host hands out numbers written on a piece of paper to each person. Have duplicate numbers in a box. The host picks the first number out of the box and subsequent numbers to keep the exchange going. The first person drawn goes to the pile and picks a present to open. The next person drawn decides whether to open a new gift or to "steal" an already opened one. If they do steal a gift, the person who has been stolen from has the option of stealing from someone else, or opening a new gift. Note: A gift can only be stolen three times and you cannot steal a gift that was just stolen from you. Continue until all gifts have been opened. Note, too, that if this is a group that meets annually a gag gift can keep the fun going year after year as it shows up again to groans.
Christmas Karaoke "Idol"
Throw a Christmas karaoke "Idol" party and have guests belt out their favorite holiday tunes in front of a panel of non-singing judges. Go to iTunes and purchase a Karaoke Anywhere app or go directly to the website, www.karaokeanywhere.net. You can stream and download more than 50,000 songs right on your Apple or Android devices. For a party, you plug your device right into your TV and let the competition begin. Fifty songs are free from both the Apple Store and the Android Market.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times