How to Host a College Christmas Party

When throwing a great college Christmas party, a host should remember three things: the more the merrier, everyone is not comfortable with the same things, and awkward silences make for awkward parties. That being said, check after the jump for some advice about throwing a killer College Christmas party everyone can enjoy.


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    Give guests plenty of time to plan for the party. Let your friends know about the event at least one week before it occurs. If mailing out invitations, make sure that they are in the mailbox 10 days before the party. An easy way to invite college friends is by creating a Facebook event. Tell those invited to bring friends. This is a good way to meet people and to make your guests feel comfortable. Have a few close friends help you host the party so that they can invite their other groups of friends as well. This can also work with roommates.
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    Give the party a theme. Themed college parties allow guests to get dressed up and excited for the event. Cheesy sweater parties are popular at Christmastime. Guests can find sweaters at resale shops, cheaper retail venues, or even in the closet of a friend or parent. Painting sweatshirts is another option for the more creative guests. To avoid awkwardness, make sure that everyone knows the theme of the party.
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    Get lost in the spirit. Before setting up anything for your party, turn on some Christmas music and get into the spirit of the season. Wrap trees and shrubs in the front of your house with indoor/outdoor lights. This is not only festive, but will make it easier for guests to find your house in the dark. If possible, add a wreath to the front door. If not, tie a large Christmas ribbon around the door to look like a gift. Inside the house, place garlands on any mantles or unused countertops or on top of high cabinets. If a stair rail is present, twist garland around it in a candy cane-type pattern. Decorate each garland with gold beaded garland, ball-shaped ornaments and candy canes. Tie a bow at each end of the banister. On the main table in the house, place a Christmas tablecloth and centerpiece.
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    Prepare food at the right time. When preparing food for your party, be sure to make it at the right time. Give yourself plenty of time to get the dish ready, but not enough time for it to get cold or melt. Start by preparing foods that will take some time to make. Cookies can be baked up to one day ahead of time and still taste fresh. If you do make them early, remember to keep baked goods covered so that they don’t become stale. Put chips and crackers into decorative bowls or baskets near the dips with which they will be eaten. Keep cold dips chilled until the last minute, and wait to make hot dips until a few minutes before the party. Fruit and vegetable trays should also be kept cold until just before the party begins. Individually wrapped chocolates can be placed in decorative bowls and mugs throughout the room as decoration and for eating.
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    Keep the drinks simple, tasteful, and decorative. Chances are, not all of your guests drink alcohol and some of them will not even feel comfortable around it. To avoid offending any party-goers, consider eliminating alcohol completely from the menu. Use alternatives such as punch, hot cocoa, and soda. Be sure to keep an ice chest near the punch and any other cold drinks being served in case guests want their beverages iced.
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    Set the mood for the party with a Christmas mix. Music is an absolute must at the party. Be sure to make a lively Christmas mix ahead of time that can be played through a CD player or off of an iPod.
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    Show that the party is about the guests, not the hosts. When guests arrive, greet them each individually. If you do not know the guest, try to spend a few minutes getting to know them. Offer guests something to drink and tell them to make themselves at home. Introduce your friends to someone you think they do not know and help get conversations started. Wait until the last guest leaves to start cleaning up so that they don’t feel unwelcome. When everything is cleaned and put away, sit back, relax, and smile because your party is a success!


  • The best way to serve drinks is to keep them on the kitchen counter with an ice chest below. This will make spill cleanup easier and will make it simple for guests to find the drinks.
  • If a television is present, play a classic Christmas movie on mute as background entertainment.
  • Poinsettias make simple and attractive centerpieces that can cost less than $7 and last quite a while if watered.
  • For hot cocoa, pour powdered hot chocolate mix into a decorative bowl. Add a measuring scoop that is proportionate to the size of your cups. Allow guests to make their own hot drink by keeping hot water nearby in a teakettle or coffee pot or in a pot on the stove. For richer hot cocoa, add powdered milk to the hot chocolate mix before guests arrive.
  • Keep music on while you clean up to make the job happen more quickly.
  • To make a flavorful punch, mix one bottle of lemon-lime soda with one bottle of cranberry juice. Make sure to chill the punch with plenty of time left before the party. When the party begins, add frozen strawberries to the bowl as tasty and decorative ice cubes.
  • If you don’t have time to make a music mix or don’t have the means of playing your mix, find an online station that will play Christmas tunes from a computer.
  • It is ok to spend time with your close friends at the party, but do not leave any guests out of the conversation.
  • People are more likely to go to a party if someone they know will be there. Guests are more likely to stay if the party is crowded because they will feel less awkward if everyone is not out in the open.

Things You'll Need

  • 25–50 yards (22.9–45.7 m) of Christmas ribbon
  • Enough garlands to cover any mantles, banisters, and unused countertops
  • Christmas lights
  • Ball-shaped ornaments
  • Beaded garland
  • A Christmas movie
  • A mix of Christmas music or a computer with Internet connection
  • Festive dishes for serving
  • Disposable plates, cups, and napkins
  • Punch bowl with ladle
  • Poinsettia, tablecloth, and any other Christmas decorations
  • 2-dozen candy canes
  • Cookies
  • Tortilla chips
  • Queso
  • Serving crackers
  • Different dips to be served with crackers
  • Veggie or fruit tray
  • Assortment of chocolate candies with Christmas-colored wrappers
  • Snack mix
  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Cranberry juice
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Hot chocolate mix

Article Info

Categories: Campus Life | Christmas Parties