Here comes Christmas. Traveling to relatives, opening presents, dealing with sugar cookie fueled children, and drunk uncles. Yep, it's going to be great!

Before diving into the busiest 48 hours of the year (December 24th and 25th), I believe in hiring a babysitter for an adult night out, or in. Moms and dads need a break before loading the mini van with crock pots and gifts on Christmas morning.

Theme parties are becoming more and more popular. If you hit on the right theme, people will adore and praise you for the wonderful time they had. Here's a few ideas to get us started:

The Progressive Christmas Party:

Everybody travels to one couples house to kick off the night for appetizers. The next house will feature the main course. Turkey, ham, and sides. make sure to have a few bottle of wine handy. The next stop features the dessert bar. Pies, cakes, fudge, and brownies. Depending on the couples participating you could spread these stops out through the evening. The last house features songs, karaoke, and cocktails.

It's a great way to see everybody's home for the holidays and spend time with friends. Just make sure you watch the cocktails through the night. We don't want your last stop to be jail. I'm told it's not as nice as your friends house.

The Candle Couple Party:

Oh no! Someone must not have paid the electric bill! (Or so your invitation could say). Everyone invited couple must bring a candle or two. Every room should then be lit with candles only. It's a great way to unplug from all social media and engage in conversation the old-fashioned way. By speaking to a real person.

Candles can also set a beautiful atmosphere and the glow goes really good with a bottle of your favorite wine.

White Elephant Party:

Everyone has received a gift that was just destined to be re-gifted. Gasp! Yes, it's true. Even me. I'm sorry, Craig, but that Billy Bass was never going above the fireplace. It was a nice thought, though. These are the things to bring to the popular white elephant party. Just wrap 'em and bring 'em. Who knows...that person might think it's really cool and useful.

Just make sure the person you are giving a gift to isn't the one who gave it to you in the first place. That could be embarrassing.

Comfort Food Potluck Party:

Forget all the fancy hors d' vores, lobster, and $70 cheese that smells like feet. I'm from the midwest and love comfort foods. I've even crashed a funeral once for the scalloped potatoes. Every guest must bring a baked hot dish, casserole, lasagna, slow cooker, soups, etc. Now that's good eatin'!

The Ugly Sweater Party:

This type of holiday soiree has actually taken off the last few years. It's the one night of fashion where you don't have to be embarrassed because every one has an ugly sweater on. Need some inspiration? Gladly. Here's 12 of the most hideous sweaters on the planet.

Holiday Card Portrait Party:

Everyone brings a digital camera and takes pictures through the evening. Download all of the photos onto one disc or SD card and watch a slideshow of the nights spacial moments later on the big screen television. Get ready for a multitude of laughs. You might even get that one perfect shot for the Christmas card.

Toy Drive Party:

Everyone who attends your party must bring a toy to donate to local toy drives for the needy children, such as the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Or, Miracle on 41st Street in Sioux Falls. It's a great night to give and know your helping out our most precious of all gifts: Children!

Holiday Karaoke Party:

This one might be bit bold for some. Set up a karaoke machine and load it with Christmas favorites. This party has the potential to go late in the night. I know I'd need a few drinks before attempting "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". Scratch that... not enough scotch in the world.

Caroling Party:

I should point out that a caroling party does not work in September. You will get a visit from a nice officer. However, late December is the perfect time to go door to door and spread holiday cheer. Plus, a flask of warm brandy fits nicely in the inner pocket of an overcoat. Just sayin'...

Hot Cocktail Party:

On a cold winter's night, it's great to be gathered with friends and enjoy a warmed up beverage. Dropping a few red hots or cinnamon discs in your favorite liquor is a special grown-up treat.

So, get a babysitter for the night or send the kids to grandma's house. Just please don't be a Billy Bob and have the hot alcoholic drinks served to your guests by your children. Not cool. Enjoy a little adult fun to get ready for the hustle and bustle of the coming holidays.




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