Cookies & Caroling Holiday Party

When 'tis the season, why not gather a group of your friends together for a fun night of cookies and caroling. It's a super easy way to celebrate the holidays, with a party plan that practically throws itself.

Ask your friends and neighbors over for a post-dinner party and invite them to bring a batch of their favorite holiday cookies to share along your caroling route. No pressure about bringing homemade ... store-bought selections are just as welcome. Let people know you'll be having light snacks and drinks while you decorate cookies and have a brief rehearsal before heading out for the night.

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Be sure to decide on your caroling stops before your guests arrive, and check in with the people at the different locations to make sure they'll be there ... and so they're prepared for your arrival. Think neighbors houses, local businesses and places like nursing homes, hospitals, senior centers and homeless shelters.

You also want to know the song list in advance. Print out lyric sheets for your guests to carry in their pockets, and include non-denominational songs so everyone feels included.

Since your house will likely be decorated for the holidays, that part of the party's set. Here are a few ideas for other supplies you might like to have on hand:

  • Plastic table cloth for easy cleanup after cookie decorating
  • Holiday-themed paper plates & napkins
  • Santa hats and holiday scarves for your guests to wear
  • Jingle bells work great to add a festive mood, and help keep track of the kiddos
  • Cookie decorating supplies like tube frosting, sprinkles and tiny candies
  • Hand warmers for guest to tuck into their gloves
  • Disposable hot-bev cups for warm drinks on the go
  • Battery-powered candles to add a festive glow and light the way

You'll also want lots of plain cookies for decorating, but don't worry about doing tons of baking. Grab a few tubes of sugar cookie dough or even a few bags of pre-made sugar cookies or gingersnaps. This isn't about being America's best baker; it's about having fun with your friends.

What to serve?

Keep things light and simple with a cheeseboard and crackers or a platter of crudité. Set up a drink station where guests can serve themselves beer, water sodas, wine and perhaps some eggnog. Be sure to include hot drinks as well like coffee, hot cocoa and tea, and maybe even mulled wine or wassail, a delicious warm spiced cider.

Greet your guests with a tray of santa hats, scarves & jingle bells they can wear and direct them to the cookie decorating station. For setup, simply display all the supplies on one end of a table and empty trays on the other. Be sure to leave space where your guests can work on their creations. 

When you're done with your masterpieces, hand out your song lyrics and do a quick run through of all the songs. When everyone's re-familiarized themselves with the old tunes, invite them to divvy up the cookies and candy into the boxes and tins, and bundle up for the walk.

Pass out hand warmers and candles, then go forth into the night to spread love, holiday cheer and some delicious cookie goodness. After an hour or so, invite your guests back to your place to warm up with a mug of wassail or cup of coffee, and enjoy the rest of the cookies cozied around the fireplace (or yule log video, as the case may be.)

Really, it's such a fun way to get together with your friends and do something special for the holidays. You might even like it enough to start a new annual tradition!

Do you have another holiday party tradition in place? Tell us how you make the season special in the comments below!