Parties are highly anticipated events come the holiday season. Office parties, gatherings with friends, and family celebrations are just some examples of the many soirees that dot the social schedules of millions of people between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Office parties might be governed by certain organizational protocols, but parties with friends and families come with no such rules. That said, holiday hosts might want to keep their guests’ expectations in mind when planning their get-togethers. While there’s always room to try something new, the following are some must-have items when hosting holiday parties.

1. Holiday foods and beverages
It goes without saying that holiday hosts will be expected to provide food for their guests. But certain foods, such as gingerbread cookies, can put everyone in the holiday spirit. And don’t forget that staple of the holiday beverage menu: eggnog. Eggnog can be made with and/or without alcohol so everyone can enjoy this beloved holiday beverage.

2. Decorations
Decking the halls is a holiday tradition, and hosts should make an effort to string some holiday decorations before welcoming guests into their homes. A Christmas tree might be the most ubiquitous decorative item come the holidays, so hosts can make their tree the centerpiece of their decor. Hang some mistletoe around the house, which also can be adorned with season-specific plants like holly and poinsettias. If kids are attending the party, a kid-friendly decoration station can even be set up to ensure the youngsters have fun and stay busy during the festivities.

3. Music
Christmas music can go a long way toward getting everyone in the holiday spirit. Utilize iTunes or music streaming services such as Amazon Prime Music or Pandora to ensure that the holiday hits keep coming throughout the party.

4. Games
Games can be a great way to keep guests occupied during the party. From a safety perspective, games that engage guests might prevent them from overindulging in alcohol at a time of year when the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says drunk driving incidents are at their highest. Games in which participants can win holiday-themed prizes might be especially enjoyable for players.


Holiday parties are highly anticipated parts of the holiday season. Hosts can take their parties to the next level by incorporating certain must-have items into the festivities.

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