4 First Apartment-Appropriate Christmas Party Ideas

Deciding how to spend your first Christmas away from home can be a big task, as you might not be able to participate in all the same Christmas traditions you did when you were a child. To start your own traditions with new friends, here are four great first apartment-appropriate Christmas party ideas.

Potluck Christmas dinner

Cooking food can be one of the most stressful parts of hosting a Christmas party, so why not let your friends help? Try planning a Christmas dinner, potluck style, by inviting your friends to each prepare a dish to bring. Offer to cook a ham, turkey, or another main entree yourself as the host.

One way to do this is to write out a list of classic Christmas dinner appetizers, sides, and desserts. Send this as a sign-up list to your guests so that you know all your bases will be covered for the meal. Alternatively, invite each of your guests to prepare their own dish, whether it’s something that reminds them of their childhood Christmases or just a fun new recipe they want to try.

Christmas movie theme

Christmas movies are one of the most beloved parts of the holiday, so try planning a Christmas-movie-themed party this year. Ask your guests to wear costumes or ugly sweaters inspired by their favorite Christmas movie, and even consider throwing an ugly Christmas sweater contest.

For dinner, serve iconic foods from classic Christmas movies like hot chocolate from The Polar Express, A Christmas Story’s Chinese roast duck, or even mac ‘n cheese and cheese pizza from Home Alone. Finish off the night by watching one of the group’s favorite classic Christmas movies or a new one from this year. Some great options include the new Apple TV movie Spirited, starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, or the third movie in the Christmas Story franchise, this year’s A Christmas Story Christmas.

Hot chocolate bar

No party can be complete without great food and drinks, and what Christmas treat is more iconic than hot chocolate? For a unique experience at your first apartment Christmas party, set up a hot chocolate bar with different flavors and mix-ins for your guests to enjoy.

Mix up a classic hot chocolate, a dark hot chocolate with less sugar, and a white chocolate hot chocolate. Consider making a batch with oat milk or another alternative milk if you know you have guests who are lactose intolerant or vegan. Keep each hot chocolate mix warm in a crockpot or kettle. Be sure to set out some fun toppings or mix-ins like whipped cream, peppermints, cinnamon, or hazelnut spread.

Gift-wrapping party

For a fun and simple party with minimal preparation, host a gift-wrapping party with your close friends. This is great if you don’t want a huge event with lots of people, just invite some friends and tell them to bring wrapping paper and any Christmas gifts they still need to wrap. Buy some simple Christmas treats like eggnog or cookies and milk, throw on some Christmas music or a classic holiday movie, and you’re good to go!

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