Parties for the Post-Holiday Lull

white party

Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Years are over. After a flurry of holiday celebrations, there is a serious lull until Valentine’s Day in February. Just because all of the major holidays are over and there is nothing but bleak winter until the most romantic day of the year doesn’t mean that you can’t still throw some fun parties—and if you have left over decorations and food from your holiday bashes, you can even throw them inexpensively. Don’t let the post-holiday lull bring you down! We have some great party ideas to make sure the fun keeps going.

Host a Ski Chalet Party

Nothing says winter like jetting off on a ski vacation. Many times the resorts are so nice that you don’t spend very much time on the slopes—and that’s alright. If you can’t afford to drop everything and visit a ski resort for a few weeks this year, you can always host a ski chalet party. Your décor should be both natural and elegant, with a flair for the rustic. If you can find a venue that has a fireplace, it can be the centerpiece of your event.

Your menu should include warm, hearty comfort foods, ranging from stew to roast chicken. Warm, hearty soup is a great option, as long as it served with fresh bread. For desert, you can offer s’mores or even leftover fruitcake from your holiday party. This can be an extremely easy event to decorate, as you can make use of all of your left over wreathes and trees, dressing them up in simple white and silver décor to reflect the snowy season.

Throw a White Party

What color is most associated with winter? White! Throw an all-white party, reusing any white or snowy decorations from the holidays to make your space look like a winter wonderland. You can limit your menu to white foods like white fish, vegetables, pasta, and sauces, or your menu can be the pop of color in your otherwise white, white, white space. Deck out the place with white flowers, white table clothes, white chairs, and white lights. Serve up some white wine and get the music pumping!

A Party of Fire and Ice

The juxtaposition of fire and ice can be a great way to bring some heat to your winter festivities. The menu is simple enough to figure out—cold seafood and spicy or warm vegetables and meat. You could go with white foods and red foods, or just put spicy, flavorful dishes up against mellower pallet-cleansing dishes. The drinks are pretty easy to figure out too—you can do a flaming cocktail and then something cool and refreshing as a chaser.

Figuring out your decorations is as easy as sourcing the red and white elements from your Christmas decorations. Red and blue is another great combination, and most party supply stores will have plenty of both colors left over from the pre-New Year’s holidays. You can get ornaments, swags, wall hangings, and other decoration at discounted prices, making these party decorations extremely budget-friendly.

Renew the New Year

Did you know that most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after only two weeks? Why not throw a mid-January party around the theme of renewing your resolutions to help stay motivated! This is a great opportunity to invite all of those people that were too busy for parties on New Year’s and give them another chance to celebrate with martinis and maybe even a ball-drop at midnight.

Best of all, you can reuse your New Year’s decorations or you can pick them up on discount from just about any party supply store. Sequins, gold, and black, are the standard, but just about any color will do. Outfit your walls with clocks (to go with the theme of time passing) and make sure everyone has a chance to write down or talk about their New Year’s resolutions.

Party in a Snow Globe

Could anything be better than throwing a party in a snow globe? This is a great opportunity to rent a tent or to just festoon the interior of your favorite venue with snowflakes, fake snow, and fun. You can reuse any snowflakes from your tree and even scatter fake snow across the dance floor, so your guests can have the experience of playing in the snow, without having to get cold or go outside.

When it comes to decorations, you can make paper snowflakes (or enlist your party guests or children to do it), and hang them on the walls. You might even be able to find a projector that fills the entire room with projected snowflakes of different shapes and colors. For the menu, stick to traditional cold-weather food, ranging from soup to pie.

Throw a Special Party for that Friend Whose Birthday Is Too Close to the Holidays

If you have a friend whose birthday is in December, consider moving their celebration back a month so they have their own party and fun. People with birthdays in December usually feel that their parties are swallowed by holiday cheer—make sure that she or he feels special and appreciated with a party all their own, without Christmas or Hanukah or New Year’s encroaching on their festivities. It doesn’t have to be winter-themed, it just has to be separate from any other event.

Frozen Party

If your children are in love with the movie Frozen, after Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year’s is a great time to throw a party around the theme of the movie. Frozen decorations are in just about every single party store, and they will love playing in the snow, eating chocolate and cupcakes shaped like Olaf, and just having a break from the monotony of returning to school after the winter break.

How to Plan a Classic Christmas

Holiday striped thigh highs

There’s nothing better than a classic Christmas. Some people like to mix up their holiday celebrations, spice them up with new traditions or test out a new style, but having a classic Christmas, especially if you are inviting a new person into your family or starting a family of your own, can be a great way to celebrate this holiday.

But what does a classic Christmas consist of? There is the tree, the xmas decorations, the meal, the presents, and the traditions. While you don’t necessarily have to stick to this list, you can find some great inspiration here for the ultimate in Christmas-y Christmases. Take these traditions and give them your own twist!

The Tree

While an artificial Christmas tree may save money, it can lack that necessary life that a real tree can bring into the room. Half the fun of putting up a tree is getting to go to the tree yard—or even out to the forest—and picking out the tree that you want. There is no specific breed that is particularly synonymous with Christmas, but the standard is a green, full tree that is about seven feet tall.

Of course, there are many variations of this tree, ranging from the very tall and lush, to the short and wispy, a la A Charlie Brown Christmas. Find the tree that best matches your decorations and your idea of the right Christmas tree. Some prefer a blue spruce, while others like a more classic color and scent.

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

If you have room for a larger tree, there is something grand about a towering tree, though it may be difficult to decorate without a ladder. In smaller spaces, a short, squat tree can be just as charming, especially if it matches the scale of the room.

Living in an apartment or in a small house, you may simply not have room for a Christmas tree, whether it is fake or real. In this instance, you can get a little creative with your tree decorations, including make a life-sized paper tree to hang on your wall and surround with presents, or stringing green-wired twinkle lights in a tree shape, to the same effect.

The Meal

Christmas foods will vary from region to region (and certainly from country to country). Planning the perfect classic Christmas dinner may depend heavily on your family’s traditions from the past and the region where you live. For example, crab is considered a classic part of the Christmas meal in California, while the case is quite the opposite, here on the east coast. Tamales are classic in the Southwest, but are rarely part of the traditional Christmas meal outside of this region.

Some of the most ubiquitous and classic items you might want to add to your Christmas meal are as follows:

• Apple cider
• Eggnog (come on, who has Christmas without eggnog?)
• Fruitcake – though maybe just for show, not actually for eating
• Gingerbread (for houses and for eating)
• Ham
• Mashed potatoes
• Pecan pie
• Apple pie
• Plum pudding
• Stuffing
• Turkey

Make the meal your own by choosing your favorite dishes from this list. Things like turkeys and hams are popular because they can roast in the oven for hours with needing much attention. Choosing smaller cuts of meat may be easier to cook, especially if you are not cooking a feast for a horde, but rather a small meal for a few close friends or family members.

The Decorations

Christmas decorations are one of the most important and most fun parts of Christmas. This is really where you get to show off your style and holiday spirit. What better way than with lights and garlands and all manner of Christmas accoutrements? Putting lights up outside is a great way to participate in your neighborhood’s show of good cheer. Even stringing a single strand of lights around the eaves of your house will brighten it! If you prefer to go all-out, you can always add more lights and even yard decorations like lighted reindeer or snowmen.

Decorating the tree is a highlight of every year’s celebrations. This is usually a family affair, with everyone helping to trim the tree. Some families use a range of ornaments that have sentimental value, while other choose a theme for their tree and stick to it. For example, you might choose red and silver to compliment the natural green of your tree. Gold is also a popular choice, but these days you can find ornaments and lights in any color. Top it off with a star or an angel and you’re done!

Christmas is a great time to deck the halls with garlands and wreaths. You can often buy real garlands and wreaths, made from leftover bows at tree yards, or fake ones (that will leave fewer needles behind) in just about any store during the season.

The Traditions

There are plenty of holiday traditions you can engage in for your classic Christmas. Caroling is one of the most fun, even if you are not exactly Bing Crosby. Bundle up with a group of your friends, take some hot chocolate and grab some sheet music for your favorite Christmas tunes. The people you drop in on will love the extra bit of cheer and you will have fun shuffling through the snow, singing holiday favorites.

Another tradition is taking a tour of Christmas lights in your neighborhood. If you live in a neighborhood that makes a display out of the Christmas season, it can be fun to drive around in your warm car and look at the lights. Many people go above and beyond, even putting music to their light show or building elaborate displays in their front yards. It may sound cheesy, but it’s actually really fun!

Hack Your Christmas Decorations & Menu: Tips for an Easier Holiday Season

Though Christmas is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”, it usually ends up being one of the most stressful, especially if you have relatives or friends descending on your home for the celebrations. We have a full gauntlet of tips to make building a fun, holiday-themed menu, while decking out your house at the same time. As a bonus, many of the food ideas double as decorations.

1. Strawberries can easily be turned into Santa. Cut off the leaves to give Santa a flat base, and then slice off the tip to make him a little hat. Use a little white frosting or whipped cream for the middle section, and then replace the hat. If you’re really feeling industrious, you can pipe a little more whipped cream or frosting onto the front of the strawberry to act as buttons, and on the tip, for the fuzzy end of the hat.

2. Make hot chocolate the easy way. Instead of trying to heat up enough water in a kettle to make everyone a glass, make a massive batch of hot chocolate in your slow cooker. It will keep your cocoa at the perfect temperature, and enable you to spend less time boiling water and more time spending time with your guests.

3. Did you know you can make French toast in the oven or slow cooker? Instead of spending most of your Christmas morning trying to flip enough French toast for all of your guests, why don’t you just use a recipe that lets you prepare it the night before and bake it in the oven—or even better, set it in your slow cooker the night before and let it bake overnight.

4. Sugar ice cream cones can become trees. Not only will these be a tasty treat, they can also act as a decoration. Dip pointed ice cream cones (pointy side down), into melted and dyed chocolate. Alternatively, put a few drops of green food coloring into some frosting and frost the cones. Use different colors of candies for ornaments.

5. Stir up your hot cocoa. While plain hot chocolate is great, you can add an additional flair to the drink by creating stir sticks or spoons. One way is to put marshmallows on the end of candy canes. Dipping plastic spoons in melted chocolate is another way to put a twist on this classic drink. Spooning out individual portions of whipped cream and then freezing them will cool down too-hot drinks and make each glass of cocoa easier to prepare.

6. Make Christmas-themed pancakes. Did you know you can use cookie cutters to shape your pancakes? Put the cookie cutters in the pan when you are ready to pour your first pancakes, and then fill them about half way. By the time they are ready to flip (when the bubbles pop and don’t refill themselves) the pancake will be solid enough you can remove the cookie cutter.

7. Build a graham cracker house. If you’re not a fan of gingerbread, or just don’t want to spend all day making it, build your houses out of graham crackers instead. They’re more readily available and make smaller houses. Top them off with candy accents.

8. Use a glass to print shortbread cookies. If you don’t have any shortbread stamps but still want to share this holiday classic with your friends, use the bottom of a fancy glass to stamp each cookie. Find one with a star shape for a true Christmas-y effect.

9. Making a popcorn garland? Use dental floss! Instead of using embroidery floss (which is expensive) or yarn, use dental floss. Popcorn will be less resistant and less prone to breaking if you use the waxed variety, and if you don’t intend on ever eating the popcorn, you can use a mint-flavored brand, to give you tree a unique minty scent.

10. Use a waffle iron to make cinnamon rolls. Making cinnamon rolls or waffles for Christmas can take a long time. If you combine the technology of a waffle iron with the easy of canned cinnamon rolls, you get easy, delicious cinnamon roll waffles that are as easy as putting the rolls into the iron, clamping down, and eating when they are golden brown!

11. Turn powdered sugar donuts into snowmen. A little bit of orange and black frosting will transform powdered donuts into an army of snowmen. Use the black for the eyes and mouth and the orange to make a carrot nose. These are great to make on Christmas Eve and then break out on Christmas morning.

12. Make elf donuts. If your kids (or you) still enjoy leaving cookies out for Santa, why not leave something for his hardworking elves, too? Making elf donuts is as easy as getting a box of cheerios and decorating them with chocolate, sprinkles, and powdered sugar.

13. Egg cartons make great ornament storage. If you have a bunch of people at your house, you’ve probably already stocked up on eggs. Who doesn’t like a hardboiled, scrambled, or fried egg in the morning? But what to do with all those empty cartons? Once the festivities are done, use them to store your ornaments!

Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful. A few preparations beforehand and the holiday will be a breeze! Hack your Christmas menu and decorations with a few of these easy tips and you will be rocking around the Christmas tree in no time. The holidays should be fun, and they can be again!

Want to go big for the holidays?  Tent Rentals, Party Equipment Rentals & Event Rentals in Philadelphia can be found here:

Christmas, the most wonderful time of year!

Christmas is our favorite time of year here at Parties2order! With all of our beautiful Christmas decor, wonderful tableware and party supplies, you can’t go wrong here! We have all kinds of gift ideas as well as unique decorating ideas to make your friends and family happy and your home look stunning!

Unique Party Decorations for Christmas

Let’s start with the snowmen obsessed, because I know there are a lot of you snowman obsessed folks out there.. and how could you not be? Snowmen are adorable!

Our small standing holly snowmen are the cutest characters you’ll ever see! You can choose between the three, each with different looks. If you’re looking for something that can be used all Winter long and not just for Christmas, these adorable Fleece ski bum snowmen are perfect!

Continue Reading Christmas, the most wonderful time of year!

How to Throw the Ultimate Christmas Party

Christmas Reindeer Decorations

It rolls around every year—it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful, especially if you are trying to throw a great Christmas party. You want it to be something unique, not just the same party as last year or the same party that everyone else is throwing. Luckily, we have ten great party themes that no one else will be using, that will enable you to throw a fun and unique Christmas party. Our ideas even come complete with Christmas decorations and ways to ensure that you have the best possible party!

1. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

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The ugly holiday sweater is a winter staple of the older generation. You’ve seen them—with their dorky prints and silly characters. They don’t fit well and they look terrible on everyone. That’s what makes this party fun! Not only does it eliminate the anxiety about what to wear to the party, it creates a communal, comfortable atmosphere perfect for mingling and holiday fun!

Either encourage your guests to hit the local thrift stores (or department stores), to pick up an ugly holiday sweater, or do it yourself and have a selection for guests to choose from when they walk through the door. If your friends are a crafty bunch, the focus of your party could even been making ugly sweaters! Grab a few sweatshirts and go crazy with tinsel, ribbon, and fabric paint.

2. The “Summer” Christmas Party

If you live somewhere that is hit hard by winter weather, December is just about the time when everyone starts craving some warmer weather. Make your party a beach party. Crank up the heat a little and encourage bathing suits and talk of the beach. Plan a fun luau and try to forget that the weather outside is frightful!

3. A Tree Decorating Party

This idea is perfect for newlyweds and young people who are living on their own for the first time. While the holidays can sometimes be lonely when you are away from your immediate family, you can still evoke the sense of family and holiday fun by planning a decorating party with your friends. Set up your tree and then have everyone bring decorations. Play holiday music, lay out the cookies and milk, and have a great time hanging your ornaments. Plug in the lights and talk about your favorite holiday traditions.

4. Cookie Swap

Nothing is more iconic for Christmas than a plate of Christmas cookies. You always leave them out for Santa, but what if he’s bored of the same old cookies you leave him every year? A cookie swap can help you freshen up your offerings. Even if you’re beyond believing in the jolly old elf, a cookie swap can help you switch up your own holiday indulgences and is a great way to pay tribute to the Christmas traditions of your youth.

5. Wrapping Party

Even if you’re a pro wrapper, wrapping presents by yourself can be lonely. And if you’re among those of us who aren’t so skilled with the paper and tape, wrapping usually results in a mini meltdown. Instead of going it alone, call together your friends and wrap your presents together (preferably, not the ones you’ve purchase for each other). With a little help from the craftier among your group, you’ll come out with a pile of perfectly wrapped presents and a few new memories.

6. The Holiday Movie Festival

Image Courtesy of TBS

You’re probably going to binge-watch holiday movies and holiday-themed episodes of your favorite television shows anyway—so why not do it as a group? Set up a couple different viewing venues or crowd in front of one scene and vote on what to watch. For added fun, make everyone take a shot of peppermint schnapps (or eggnog) whenever someone dressed as Santa appears.

7. Twelve Days of Christmas Food

Assign each one of your guests a different day from the twelve days of Christmas and invite them to bring their best dish that has to do with that theme. It could be a desert, a main dish, or an appetizer but it has to apply! Then, gather together and sample the offerings. If you want to make sure you have a balanced meal, make sure to assign a course along with the day.

8. Christmas Karaoke

Everyone loves singing and hearing Christmas music! You can host a great karaoke party right in your home, with just a few simple decorations and Christmas party supplies. Pick up a karaoke machine and laugh and dance and sing as you and your friends belt out holiday classics. Take some time creating your playlist, with a mix of new and old Christmas favorites, or pick a theme.

9. Re-Gifting Party

Everyone inevitably gets at least one gift that just isn’t right for them. Do you return it? Do you throw it out when no one is looking? No! You encourage your friends to bring it to your re-gifting party. Someone else is bound to want it—either for real, or as a gag. You can even employ the White Elephant or Yankee Swap method to keep the party moving.

10. Christmas Dress-Up

Remember when you were young and your parents would stuff you into that holiday-themed dress to attend the annual Christmas party? This is like that—but the adult version. Have everyone dress up in their fanciest dress or as a beloved Christmas character and start the mingling. If you’re feeling adventurous and it’s not too cold or snowy to be out on the town, you could even turn it into a pub crawl.