It’s days before your holiday party and you’re wondering why you ever agreed to host family, friends (and their kids!) when gifts need to be purchased, errands ought to be ran, the house needs to be cleaned and, well, the list goes on. Sound familiar? The key to stress-free holiday party planning is to plan smarter, not harder! That’s why we’ve combined all the essentials you need to leave your party guests raving, from quick-prep holiday party snack recipes to kid-friendly DIY decorations and games. Pick your favorites and gear up to host the best party of 2018!
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Savory Holiday Party Snacks & Appetizers
Salty and sweet, this bruschetta recipe from Floating Kitchen combines seasonal flavors and nutritious veggies in every bite! Butternut squash has a surprising amount of filling fiber while staying low in fat. Plus, it’s packed with Vitamin C, A and B6.
With just two simple steps, less than ten ingredients and a total prep time of ten minutes, there’s few reasons not to make these addictive, savory Chile Lime Almonds from Creme de la Crumb. While chili and lime isn’t a traditional holiday flavor combination, the kick will add a nice variety of flavors to your holiday spread and give guests a boost of heart-healthy fats.
These Antipasto Skewers from Inspired by Charm combine everyone’s favorite charcuterie ingredients onto one easy-to-grab, hard-to-resist skewer. No more crowding around the charcuterie board, guests can enjoy a grab-and-go mix of heart-healthy olives, vitamin-C rich grape tomatoes and a variety of meats and cheese.
KA-ME Original Rice Crackers
Crackers are a staple of any holiday party, the canvas for a perfectly elegant appetizer – but not all crackers are created equal. Our favorite is KA-ME’s Original Rice Crackers. They boast an impressive amount of authentic Asian flavor, offer the perfect crunch and, most importantly, they’re Certified Gluten Free and Non-GMO Project Verified. Want to take your KA-ME rice crackers to the next level? The possibilities are endless, but we love their recipe for an avocado and scallops cracker topping.
Vegan Rob’s Asparagus Chips
Looking for a holiday party staple that can delight vegan and non-vegan friends alike? Vegan Rob’s Asparagus Chips are Certified Vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and kosher! Their mini wave shape is perfect for pairing with your favorite dip and the added boost of algae protein will leave guests feeling satisfied.
Sweet Holiday Party Snacks & Appetizers
The sweetest things in life are the simplest – and Cranberry Almond Joyfuls are no exception! Their dark chocolate medallions are crafted with 60% cacao and topped with sweet cranberries, roasted almonds and pink Himalayan salt for the perfect sweet and salty treat. Plus, they’re Non-GMO Project Verified, Fair Trade Certified and only 65 calories per piece! Each medallion is individually wrapped, making it the perfect party favor or mini indulgence.
These Sweet Potato Pumpkin Spice Truffles from 24 Carrot Kitchen combine one of the holiday’s staple flavors with nutritious, vitamin-rich sweet potato! Each morsel tastes like a bite of sweet potato pie, but don’t feel guilty! These truffles are vegan, paleo and gluten-free.
Apple and cinnamon is a classic flavor duo during the holiday season. Thanks to these Healthy Mini Apple Pies from Erin Lives Whole you can now enjoy warm, inviting apple pie guilt-free! These mini pies are made from wholesome natural ingredients like apples, almond flour, and coconut sugar and the crust is gluten- and dairy- and refined sugar-free.
Meet your new favorite holiday mashup: pumpkin pie and coffee cake combined! This recipe by Perchance to Cook is paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free, highlighting natural holiday spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. While the recipe yields one sheet of coffee cake, it can be easily split into rounds for a set of perfect bite-sized treats.
Don’t let ‘flourless’ fool you, these Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies from Food to Feel Good are perfectly moist, using almond butter to add an extra boost of protein and healthy fats. Plus, with fresh ginger, orange zest, and molasses these cookies are bursting with nostalgic holiday flavor. You’d never know it, but these decadent cookies also steer away from refined sugars and they’re paleo, gluten- and dairy-free!
Fresh Holiday Party Snacks & Appetizers
With a total prep time of 20 minutes and absolutely zero baking required, these Mini Hummus & Roasted Red Pepper Phyllo Bites add a pop of color to any holiday spread while keeping guests satisfied with fiber-rich hummus and flavorful roasted red pepper. Did we mention that two of these bites are only 67 calories?
This Skinny Greek Yogurt Layer Dip from Well Played by Erin tastes far from ‘skinny’ with bold Mediterranean flavors and the perfect amount of creamy and crunchy layers. With protein-rich greek yogurt, refreshing tomatoes, cucumber and more, this is every pita chip’s favorite dip.
Guacamole may be considered a summertime snack, but why not enjoy its heart-healthy benefits year round? This festive twist adds antioxidant-rich pomegranates for a burst of flavor that not only tastes delicious, but looks perfectly festive on any holiday table.
If you’re interested in impressing your holiday guests, look no further than these Spicy Ahi Tuna Avocado Tartare Bites from Jeanette’s Healthy Living. Not only do they look beautiful and gourmet, but the ahi tuna adds a boost of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.
Refreshing, low-calorie and perfectly handheld, these Salad Roll-Ups from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen are gluten-free with zero cooking required. While the base is a wrap of prosciutto and mixed greens, it’s easy to make these uniquely your own. Add nutrient-rich ingredients like avocado, carrot slices and tomato for even more flavor.
Baked Holiday Party Snacks & Appetizers
Spinach is an nutrient-rich vegetable with high amounts of iron, cell-boosting folic acid and immunity boosting Vitamin C. Combine it with protein-packed artichoke and you’ve made a tasty, nutritious dip that’s warm and comforting. This Healthier Spinach Artichoke Dip from My Sequined Life adds one surprising ingredient to achieve its creaminess that’s far healthier than, well, cream.
While you may be tempted to buy a bag of pita chips from the store, these Homemade Baked Pita Chips from Joyful Healthy prove that it’s well worth the at-home effort. It may even be simpler than you think! With just six clean ingredients you most likely have in your pantry, you can easily make delicious, crunchy pita chips at home that will have every guest asking where they can buy them.
Sweet potato and cranberries aren’t just staple holiday ingredients, they’re also packed with feel-good benefits! Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene which our bodies digest into Vitamin A. Cranberries, on the other other hand, are rich in bacteria-fighting proanthocyanidins (PACs) as well as a long list of vitamins and minerals. These Sweet Potato Crostinis from Sweet Peas and Saffron combine the two in a deliciously festive finger food.
You may have heard of cauliflower wings but these Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Bites from The Whole Bite take on the crunch and flavor of chicken nuggets. Crunchy and cheesy with less calories and fat, these bites are vegetarian friendly and harness the benefits of cauliflower in every bite. Think gut-friendly fiber, inflammation-fighting antioxidants and metabolism-boosting choline.
Perfect for getting all the holidays in one bite, these Cranberry Sweet Potato Turkey Poppers from Unbound Wellness combine nutrient-dense ingredients and festive flavors in fun, poppable bites. Made with simple, clean ingredients (less than 10!), it’s never been easier to whip up a crowd-favorite holiday party snack.
Holiday Party Activities
This game only requires a wreath, bucket and marshmallows! Set your timer for one minute and see how many marshmallows your guests can make into the wreath. Perhaps the winner gets to take home an extra gift?
A classic holiday melody transformed into a fun guessing game! We all know the trick of shaking a gift to find out what’s inside. In this fun twist, wrapped boxes are filled with different quantities of jingle bells. Each guest must shake the boxes and take their guess of how many are inside.
For those that love the hunt, this Christmas take on an Easter classic is perfect! All you’ll need is candy canes of various sizes and a party group that’s ready to do some searching. Up the fun by placing canes indoors and outside and assign a special gift to the reigning winner.
This festive 3D display may take a little more assembly, but it will be well worth it! Party guests will have the chance to poke a hole into tissue-covered mini cups and find a secret holiday surprise inside. Stock the ‘tree’ with mini gifts, sweet treats or gag gifts.
Waiting for the clock to strike midnight? Pass the time with classic game of bingo! This free printable from Capturing Joy uses festive black and gold colors and new year motifs to create an elegant and celebratory bingo game.
Easy Holiday Decorations
Super-sized holiday decor is the easiest way to grab guests’ attention and get them in the holiday spirit! Not to mention they make a perfect photo shoot prop! These DIY Giant Ornament Balloons from Studio DIY are insanely easy to make even for those that aren’t the crafting type. Set up a few around your holiday party with colors that match your seasonal theme.
Larger-than-life decor takes on another festive form with these Giant Holly Decorations from Sweet Paul Mag. If you can hang red balloons and cut leaves from giant sheets of green paper, you’re already a pro at making this holiday wall art! Create a slew of holly as a backdrop for your photo booth, dinner table or appetizer bar.
No celebration is complete without a dance party, and no dance party is complete without a disco ball! Lucky for us, this DIY Disco Ball from How Was Your Day makes it easy to up the sparkle at any holiday party in just a few simple steps. Hang it near your makeshift dance floor and prepare to dance the night away.
What recipes, tips and tricks have helped you plan rave-worthy holiday parties? Let us know in the comments below!