Christmas is a time to gather with friends and family to enjoy the spirit of the holidays. Unfortunately it’s also a time when the chaos of the season can render us frenzied and exhausted. There are gifts to buy, a home to decorate, cards to mail, cookies to bake, combined with harried work and maybe school schedules. It’s no wonder that most people forgo the hosting of parties; with no time seemingly left in the day. It seems the smartest sacrifice to make. But with a few creative Christmas party ideas, you can not only host a party, but have fun at it yourself.

Christmas party ideas do not have to mean a full-blown catered event smack in the middle of the holidays. Have a wine and cheese holiday cocktail party for a few hours on a Friday night. Ask everyone to bring their favorite wine; you supply a small variety of delicious cheeses, bread and crackers; light the fire; put on some holiday music and you’re all set.

Also, when thinking of Christmas party ideas think dual function. Throw a tree decorating party where guests are invited for appetizers and drinks while helping to decorate your tree. Or have a cookie swap where guests are invited to bring their favorite batch of holiday cookies. Everyone leaves with a delicious selection of holiday cookies.

Maybe the economic hardships this year can inspire you to combine community service with celebrating of the holidays. Gather friends, family, and neighbors to help serve food in a shelter or sing at a nursing home. Then come back to your house to have pizza and hot chocolate. This can be a wonderful way to teach children the true spirit of the holidays.

You can also host your party after the holiday. A Christmas party does not necessarily have to be held prior to Christmas. If it’s just too much to think about a party amidst the craziness of the holidays then hold it the week after when guests can relax with you. This could easily become a seasonal tradition that your guests anxiously await!

And you don’t need to invite hundreds of people either. Invite a few couples and make it an intimate party for six or eight.

Christmas party ideas are unlimited. If gathering together for the holidays is important to you then make it happen. A little bit of creativity and planning will create the Christmas party that no one forgets.