Host a Holiday Girls Night In (Ideas & Themes)

Host a holiday girls night in with these ideas and a well appointed bar cart. Serve a signature cocktail and appetizers for an easy way to entertain, or host a festive ladies Christmas party and serve a delicious dinner. Whether you serve a full meal or simply stock the bar cart it’s always better with girl friends!

host a holiday girls night in

Host a Holiday girls night in and serve Christmas party appetizers. Choose a theme from any of these ideas. 

8 Themes for Hosting a Holiday Girls Night In

December 1 is the beginning of holiday party season. On our party list is a Ladies Night with white elephant gift exchange, a Toys for Tots drive, our annual Christmas cocktail party, an ugly sweater party, and of course a New Years Eve party. Phew! I can’t wait!

You know how I love a monthly girls night in. And December brings a unique opportunity to host a Christmas themed ladies night.

I’ve hosted or attended many holiday girls night parties and there are several themes and ideas you can choose from. I’m sharing some of my favorites with you, along with my tips for hosting with a Christmas bar cart.

PARTY TIP: Follow my best tips for decorating your Christmas tree to create the right mood for a holiday party.

Whichever theme you choose, this party bar cart will work for any of them.

ladies holiday party ideas

1. Host an Ornament exchange

I love the simplicity of this theme.  You can buy an ornament for $5 or less and everyone gets to add to their collection.  

  • My tip for this? Since everyone decorates their tree differently, keep the ornaments neutral. Clear or white goes with everything!
  • We did this years ago and the host read a funny holiday story. Every time a specific word is said, you pass your ornament to the left or right. Whatever ornament you’re left holding at the end is the one you keep.
  • As the host reads the story or poem aloud, every time the word “left” is said you pass your ornament to the left. When the word “right” is said you pass your ornament to the right. When the word “gift” is said you skip the person beside you and pass to the next person on your left.
  • You can download and print our White Elephant Christmas story here.
  • Continue to the end of the story or poem and whatever ornament you’re left holding is the one you keep.

Here’s another printable option using The Night Before Christmas as the story.

diy stir sticks in glasses

2. Host a Secret Santa gift exchange

This obviously requires early planning so everyone has a secret person to buy a gift for. At the party you open your gift and try to guess who your secret Santa is.

The key is to have everyone put their gift in a brown paper grocery bag so they all look alike. Of course it can be wrapped up pretty inside the bag.

HOSTESS TIP: Get holiday gift box ideas & tips, and find out what to put inside.

3. Host a Gift Wrapping party

A gift wrapping party can make the chore of wrapping presents a lot more fun. Invite the ladies over with their pile of gifts and everyone can wrap and have a rap session at the same time.

  • The best way to do this is to let everyone bring their own wrapping paper, scissors and tape.
  • The host can provide gift tags and drinks and snacks.
red and white roses in glass vase

4. Host a Chinese Gift Exchange

I don’t know why it’s called that but it’s the traditional game where everyone brings a wrapped gift valued at $10-$20 dollars.

  • Guests draw a number out of a hat and get to pick their gift in that order. For instance the #1 would pick a gift first, unwrap it and show it to the group. Person #2 can either pick a new gift or steal #1’s gift. If #1’s gift gets taken she picks a new gift immediately, and the turn then moves on to #3, and so on.
  • The rule we put in place is that a gift can only be stolen 3 times. The third person gets to keep it.
  • If someone takes your gift so you have to pick another one, you can’t immediately take the gift back. You have to pull from the unopened gifts or steal someone else’s gift.  
  • The last caveat to this game is that #1 not only picks the first gift, but also gets to pick the very last gift too.
  • Some people like to do this game with gag gifts or white elephant gifts, but I really prefer it to be geared towards desirable items. I think it just makes for a better feeling at the end of the night.
mini biscuit-sandwiches
carrot and celery sticks in mini glasses with dip

5. Host a Chic Cocktail Party 

A ladies night cocktail party is always in style for girlfriends. And setting everything up on a cute bar cart is so on trend and smart too.

The beauty of a bar cart is that it can be rolled into your party space so friends don’t have to miss out on any of the fun when they go for a re-fill.

  • Serve food that’s easy to prepare ahead. Here I made up mini glasses of veggies and hummus, and mini ham & biscuits with cranberry & cream cheese spread. Check out our list of easy party appetizers for girls night in for more ideas.
  • Sweets include mini chocolate pies and peppermint Oreo truffles.
  • Place trays around the room for guests to set down their glass or food where needed. I set this up in my front sitting room because I consider that “my” room to relax and chat with the girls. A mini tree is set up here with some retro-inspired ornaments from this Christmas tablescape.

6. Host a Donation Drive

This is a great way to give back to the community. Collection drives combine fun with the real meaning of Giving.

  • Choose a favorite charity or cause and have guests bring donations.
  • The hostess can provide food and drinks for the party, and take the donations to the proper place.
  • Some popular ideas for the holidays are Toy Drives, Food Drives, and Coat Drives.
oreo truffles and mini pies on stands

7. Host a Cookie Exchange

Everyone loves a cookie exchange party!  If you’re the host I suggest you serve some savory bites so it will balance out all that sugar.  

  • Put together a beautiful Christmas themed cheese board to add to the table.
  • You’ll need to coordinate what everyone will bring so there aren’t 5 different sugar cookies.
  • Ask the bakers to bring copies of their recipe to share with the group.  
  • I think a good rule of thumb is to bring 4 times the number of cookies as you have guests.  This way each guest can taste 1 or 2 at the party, and take 1 or 2 of all the varieties home.
Christmas party for ladies night

8. Favorite Things Party

Most of us love to share our favorite finds with our girlfriends and this party is perfect for that. Host a small gathering of 10 or less, because you’ll be buying gifts for each person.

Set a price limit within the group and everyone brings their favorite item to give to each guest. So you may be buying 10 of the same thing to give out, and you’ll also be receiving 10 new items.

It’s a great way to introduce your friends to awesome new products.

Party Details

Create a focal point for your ladies night holiday party.

  • I created a focal point around this bar cart I recently found for $40 at a thrift shop. Its sleek, retro-modern design can be rolled into whatever room you’re setting up the party in. The top tier is set up with drinks, while the bottom holds snacks.
  • I found the glitters letters at Walmart for $1 each, and tied them on to ribbon for a fun festive “Cheers” banner.
  • Add monogrammed drink markers with glitter letter from the craft store. You can see all the instructions to make your own drink stir sticks here. They’re so easy to do!
  • You’ve heard of the “KISS” philosophy for entertaining, right?  Keep It Simple, Sweetie!  Serve up one signature drink. in this case, sparkling margaritas.  They’re the only margarita with BUBBLES! so they are a nice alternative to champagne. I even tied in the green and peach colored bottles with green & orange veggie sticks.
  • A tight bouquet of roses dresses up the cart and adds a bit of elegance.  Tie a coordinating ribbon around the vase to pull it into the decor.
  • I used my vintage floral frog to hold a drink name tag. I spray painted it bronze to match the metallic decor. Just another detail to add color and interest.

There you have dozens of ideas and tips for making your Holiday Girls Night In hassle free.  What’s your favorite type of holiday gathering to host?

If you like this post, PINShare, or sign up for our Newsletter at the top of the page. And don’t forget to follow CAH on Instagram or Facebook. Cheers!

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts


Comments are closed.