love to party! I love hosting. I love people and I love having people over to our house. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. However, I am not a cutsie-crafty-pintresty-kind of gal. I am WAY too cheap for that 😉 This is the time of year many of us are thinking about, or planning Christmas parties. I wanted to share with you 8 tips that help me stay sane this time of year, and have helped throw hundreds of SIMPLE parties. Christmas parties are my favorite, so I will focus on Christmas parties in general but the tips could work for any time of year. The key is to keep it simple and focus on good food and structuring the party so your guests have a fun time. I don’t stress about having the perfect house, or making things look super cute. Who has extra money this time of year to throw fancy-shmancy parties? Not me 😉 Just be yourself and throw a party that gets people together to enjoy this special time of year–and no matter what you do it will be success!
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So, here is how I throw our Annual Adult Christmas Party without ANY fuss and headache 🙂
Cost of the party…under $25
*Invitations: EVITE–not as personal, but totally easy and free 😉
*Don’t stress about the food yourself. We have each couple who comes bring an appetizer or dessert to share with everyone. I usually will make 3 or 4 that I double and make extras of the month before. I then freeze them until the day of the party, which cuts down on prep time the day of the party. If you have enough people coming to your party, you will have plenty of food to feed the whole group.
*Decorations–don’t go crazy, keep it simple. No one really cares and they add up quickly if you’re not careful. Some key things I make sure I have are cute plates, napkins and cups. They set the color scheme for the event and help make things look nice.  After that, a nice tablecloth and centerpiece and you’re good 😉 Once the food is on the tables no one really will be noticing the decorations.
*White Elephant–who doesn’t love a good white elephant party? We do this every year and it is the highlight of the party! We laugh so hard our face hurts. The bigger, crazier the better. This year the big hit was a huge candy dispenser (the kind you see at stores). It was hilarious that everyone was fighting over it. Have each person who comes to your party bring a white elephant gift wrapped. We all draw numbers, make the rule that each gift has a maximum steals of 3 and then it’s frozen. You can also play this game with dice if you have less people.
*Ugly Sweater Contest--not a necessity but it sure is funny 🙂 We have a small gift for the winner.
*Charity–there isn’t a better time of year than Christmas to work together for a good cause. In our neighborhood we started 6 years ago the tradition of NOT doing neighborhood gifts. Instead, we all donate to a local cause. This year we all rallied together for a family who lost their father. It was amazing to see people’s generosity and it felt good to all of us to help someone in need. 
*Christmas Questionnaire–My husband is a huge Excel and Powerpoint fan and always has an annual questionnaire. He just has about 30 random Christmas questions/trivia that people have to answer. We then have prizes for the winners (candy bars, small monetary gift cards, etc.). It’s fun to see people get competitive and have a fun time trying to remember all the answers to simple questions that we should know but forget (like ‘On the 9th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me_____). Simple questions like those get people laughing and talking and makes for a simple game/activity.  
*Make it a tradition. Starting traditions in a neighborhood are important. It gives people things to look forward to and it brings unity to your community. Pick a certain weekend that works for you, that you can do every year. The Saturday after Thanksgiving so far has worked perfectly for us. It’s fun that we all look forward to this party now each year. You may only have a few people the first time you throw a party. But each year, it will get bigger and bigger. We are now up to just shy of 45 people and it is a blast! The more the merrier is my philosophy 😉
With these simple methods, this Christmas party is a synch to plan and throw. Other than cleaning my bathrooms (my least favorite thing to do), this party can be planned in less than an hour.  Merry Christmas!