This friendsmas party post was originally published in 2014, and updated in 2023.
As much as I complain about the cold weather – there are a lot of benefits that come from the changing seasons. Namely? The fall and winter holidays.
Thanksgiving and Christmas season means that my friends from across the country will be all in town, and that my huge extended family will all cram into one house for feasting and partying.
This fall I’m planning a Friendsmas Party for my friends who are coming home from their new homes scattered around the country. I haven’t seen a lot of my favorite people since last Christmas, so I’m already counting down the days.
I’ve never thrown an official Friendsmas Party, but I have dabbled in Friendsgivings in the past. Plus, for years I was always the one planning events with my friends and having everyone over so it’s time that I brush off my hostess skills once more and I thought I’d share some of my Friendsmas prep tips with you.
Plan your friendsmas party well in advance
This is a big one – when everyone is home for the summer they have months of flexibility and free time so things can be more “go with the flow.” Chances are during the week or two everyone is in town for Christmas – they’ll be busy.
There are aunts who need to be seen, new nieces and nephews to spoil, and parents that need to spend some quality time with their full-grown babies.
Make sure that your Friendsmas is on their calendar way ahead of time.
Focus on food
Nothing brings friends together like great food. For my party, I’m planning a potluck so everyone will have at least one thing they love there, but if you’re feeling especially ambitious you can menu plan and prep all day before the party.
I’m a warm beverage enthusiast – coffees, cocoas, and teas are all part of my made up love language, so I’ll be going big with the cozy drinks. I personally am a coffee lover, for reasons that still perplex me, most of my friends are not. So I’ll focus on creating a cute cocoa bar.
Cocoa bar inspiration:
The little details go a long way. Making or buying hot chocolate spoons or hot cocoa bombs could help you create a fun, interactive experience for your guests. I plan on using my cricut to make decorations, but if you’re more of a buyer than diy-er, this kit looks super cute.
Consider expanding the invite list
Whenever I’m hosting, one thing that I try to be really intentional about is broadening my circle. I have my close group of friends who I’ve loved for years, but I’m also always trying to meet new people, too. Luckily my core circle of friends is welcoming and kind, so they’ll always invite new friends in with open arms.
During the holidays there’s a lot going on, and for a lot of us it’s the happiest time of the year, but for others it can be lonely. A simple invite can go a long way.
Set up central seating
This might seem like a little thing – but having a comfy sitting area set up that has adequate room for all of your guests will encourage them to all hang out in one place meaning you’ll get some great bonding.
You can turn any room into a cozy lounge with plenty of pillows, cushions, blankets, and nearby snacks.
Silly games like Cards Against Humanity and Tell Me Without Telling Me are also a great way to get everyone into one room. If you aren’t looking for a game, necessarily, this table topics deck is great for sparking conversation.
Encourage your friends to bring Tupperware
Potlucks always mean mad leftovers – and unless you want to be munching on your Friendsmas feast for the next 10 days – sending food home with your guests is your best bet.
Of course, if you do live for leftovers maybe skip this step…
You could also be the potluck hero and have some compostable to go containers on hand.
Bring your camera
One of my biggest regrets in life is the very stereotypical “not taking enough pictures” heartache. Memories fade, but images can bring you right back to the moment.
I’ve been really into my Polaroid lately, but any old camera will do.
After your Friendsmas is over go and have your pictures printed and send them to your guests – more personal than Facebook tags and it gives them a physical reminder of what’s bound to be a great night with great people.
Have fun at your friendsmas party
Come on! You know me by now and know that I had to have a cheesy ending for this. It’s easy to want to make everything perfect and put way too much pressure on yourself.
Your friends are coming in from around the country to see you – it’s going to be pretty darn great regardless if you burn dessert or if half of your friends end up bringing mashed potatoes.