Ideas for planning a unique holiday party

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Another year, another holiday party. That may easily turn out into the typical ugly Christmas function or Secret Santa gift exchange. While these are always fun, the most memorable events are those that stand out from the bunch.
Santa Clarita Valley hosts can step out of the routine and channel their holiday cheer in more creative approaches.
“Party hosting isn’t easy but with the right items you can make a really unique display,” said Elda Meguerditchian, co-owner of Boutique Rentals Los Angeles in Newhall.
Whether stopping by Boutique Rentals L.A. or other SCV stores for party essentials, unique event ideas can be achieved through some planning and a reasonable budget.
Here are tips to help organize and host a creative holiday party:

The planning
Make a list
To host a successful event, you want to make sure you have everything you need. Preparing a list can help ease the stress behind planning an event.

Shop to entertain
Food and drinks are essential features in all holiday parties. Consider purchasing ingredients in bulk, such as cookies, crackers and nuts, which can be mixed with other selections to create a visual platter. Stocking up on sodas, mixers, coffee and adult drinks also helps when its time to entertain your guests.

Preparing the venue
Keeping the party venue tidy is important but it doesn’t have to be pristine. For those hosting at home, consider keeping an empty drawer or bin available to sweep papers when guests arrive, HGTV’s party tips series suggests. If there’s a messy room, shut the lights off and close the door to keep visitors out.

Breaking traditions
Part of hosting a unique holiday party is trying something new. “(S)ometimes breaking from old traditions can save your sanity; living up to Grandma’s years of holiday handiwork is hard work,” according to H. Camille Smith, managing editor of HGTV’s website. “Keep the best, ditch the rest.”

Need some ideas? Follow this compilation of holiday party themes and games:

Ornament-crafting party
For a casual function, consider hosting a do-it-yourself theme. Select ornaments for all your guests or ask each one to bring one of their choices. On a large table, spread out supplies to create a variety of ornaments such as paint-dipped wooden pieces or pinecone elf ornaments. Don’t forget the appetizers and holiday tunes in the background.

The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Party
Who said the holidays have to be all about lights and ribbons? Try mixing Halloween-vibes by having guests arrive in costumes and carving spooky Christmas icons on pumpkins.

Guess the Santa
The game is simple but guaranteed to get your guests laughing. Without anyone else knowing, ask one of your attendees to dress up in a Santa Claus suit.

At the start of the event, have Santa come in and deliver gifts or make an announcement. Then ask the audience members to raise their hand if they think they know the person under the suit. Prizes can be offered.

Christmas from around the world
To add variety and ease the cooking portion on yourself, consider asking guests to bring an international dish. Italian, Asian and Mexican foods are among the most popular but holiday cuisines from other countries such as the Philippines, Chile or Finland can also contribute to a flavorful menu.

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