House and Home

Holiday Parties to Get Your Girlfriends Into the Spirit of the Season

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now that we've survived the turkey feast and family gatherings, it's on to the holiday season! If you're feeling a little scroogey transitioning into the cold month of yuletide and mistletoe, get some help from your friends. After all, the best part of the season is spending quality time with the people you love — a sentiment that can get lost in the crowds at the mall.

We've rounded up some of our favorite holiday party ideas fit for girlfriends that will have you ready to go door-to-door Christmas caroling (well, or something like that). Check them out below and feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

Christmas movie marathon: Grab some cozy blankets, gather round the tree, and get your Christmas movie marathon on! We especially love the oldies but goodies like "White Christmas," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story."

Gift-wrapping party: Dressing your holiday gifts becomes a group effort when you host a wrap party. Have everyone bring a roll of wrapping paper, scissors and tape, and their favorite gift-wrap accessories, then turn on some holiday music and get wrapping!

Cookie recipe swap: Get started on your holiday baking with a cookie recipe swap party. Have your guests bring copies of their favorite cookie recipe for everyone, along with the cookies already made for a tasting. Then bake a batch (or two) together and decorate them as a group.

Decor-making party: Have your favorite crafting buddies over to make some holiday decor. Everyone ends up with their own DIY project to dress their home. Scour sites like Pinterest for some fun holiday crafts.

Cocktail-mixing party: Test out your holiday drinks on your friends by hosting a cocktail-making party. Bonus points if you make it only hot cocktails!

Ornament-making party: Round up the girlfriends and make some easy DIY ornaments for a tree with handmade flair. We love this porcelain ball decorated with paint markers and this glitter polka-dot one.

Card-making party: Stamps, glitter, blank cards, and some creativity are all you need to make your own holiday cards. Have everyone bring their fanciest scrapbook materials — and the sky's the limit on what you can come up with.

Holiday accessories party: This time of year means lots of festive soirees, and instead of buying new baubles, save some money by making your own. And the more the merrier! Invite your friends over to get the creative juices flowing.

Homemade gift-making party: Another thrifty idea is to DIY your gifts this year, which could be anything from edible goodies to friendship bracelets. Either pick a theme so that everyone can make the same gift, or have each guest bring her own materials and just keep each other company while you all work (with some holiday music and cocktails, of course).

Gingerbread house contest: Have a little friendly competition this season with a gingerbread house contest. Use pre-baked gingerbread house kits to keep it simple and stock up on the icing and candy. Have a blind vote for the winning team or individual or call in a third party to choose the winner.

Party dress swap: We love the idea of a fashion swap party to trade clothes you don't wear anymore with your friends. But take it a step further by making it party dresses only — everyone leaves with a frock they can don at this year's holiday parties. It's a win-win!

Pink elephant party: Throw a girls-only "pink" elephant party. Have everyone bring a regifted present — hopefully nothing they received from fellow guests at the party! — and the wackier the better. Then play one of the many gift exchange games out there to see what people end up with. Keep with the pink theme by serving cosmos and other matching treats.

Helping-hands party: One of the best ways to get into the spirit of the season is to give to others. Invite the pals over to put together goodie bags for the homeless by having everyone bring a different item, bagging up the essentials, and then going as a group to pass them out. Or it could be as simple as having all your guests bring a toy for a local toy drive then dropping them off together before grabbing peppermint mochas together.