6 Friends party ideas to celebrate the special people in your life

We’ve all heard of and likely celebrated Friendship Day, and Galentine’s Day is a delightful shift away from February 14’s focus on romantic love. But Friendsmas? I can honestly say that I hadn’t heard of the holiday until this year. Maybe that makes sense: Before the pandemic made it impossible for us to gather and welcome large groups into our homes, many of us traveled long distances to be with our families. But just as COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives over the past two years, it has also changed the way we view the holiday season. While I feel grateful to be able to spend this time with loved ones, I am also more aware of how grateful I am to have close friends that I consider family.

It’s something to be celebrated, and there’s no better way to do it than by throwing a Friendsmas party. To get started on the all-important work of throwing the best Friendsmas party you’ll ever have, I’ve put together all the ideas you need to make it a reality. Here’s the truth: Every day can be a party when you’re around yourself with the people you love. It’s important to know that you don’t have to wait until the holidays to fall in love with your friends. I am all about making special, cherished moments a part of my everyday life. You can also create an amazing party environment with the help of some beautiful party supplies.

Sharing a little gratitude with friends throughout the year can help all of us build strong relationships consistently. Though I hate to admit it, life is still busy. Between work, family, and personal issues, creating and maintaining friendships as an adult can be challenging. That’s why I wanted to throw a Friendsmas party this year. There’s nothing better than bringing your friends together for a gathering that focuses on just a few things: eating, laughing, and letting them know how much they are loved.

featured image of michelle nash

Without further admonishing my friends, it’s time to party.

Read through for all the Friendsmas party ideas that will make you want to celebrate the holiday for years to come.

6 tips for throwing a party to celebrate friends festival

  1. Be intentional about your guest list.
    While many of us are vaccinated and feel comfortable participating in larger gatherings, it’s important to remember that not everyone is the same. As you’re sitting down to compile your guest list, identify a few of your closest friends who you want to make sure are present. Have an honest conversation with each person individually about what they are comfortable with. If even one of your friends wants to keep it small, respect their feelings. If all of your dearest friends (and you!) are fine with throwing the party a little bigger, you can start expanding by a few invitations.
  2. Choose a time frame that fits your schedule.
    The holiday season is full of fun and festivities, but all those holiday parties can quickly add up. Are your weeknights booked, but are weekends still open? Organize an early get-together on Saturday or Sunday to accommodate everyone’s even busier-than-usual schedule.
  3. Make the dish easy, but festive.
    This tip is absolutely important. While we love spending hours in the kitchen preparing impressive party-worthy creations, many of us just don’t have the time. Make things easier on your own by choosing a few simple or pre-made recipes. You can even work in some discs and discs just assembled with just a trip to the store. Whichever route you take, know that while food is an enjoyable part of any gathering, everyone there is spending quality time together. In other words, do what you can to make your party as stress-free as possible.
  4. Reminder! You can organize somewhere that is not your home.
    Just because you’re the host, doesn’t mean the venue has to be your home. You can rent an Airbnb for a change of scenery or reserve a table at one of your favorite local restaurants.
  5. Serves non-alcoholic beverages.
    In the spirit of making all your guests feel at ease, serve up a few no-frills options alongside your party’s signature cocktail. This can be as simple as pouring out a splash of water or a sparkling bottle of kombucha. If you want to take it to the next level, mix up one of our favorite mocktails for a bit of fun.
  6. Get a few games ready or gather your party around an activity.
    If you want to go the active route, try some of these great ideas. Depending on where you live, you could all pack up and go for a snow walk in the woods. When you return, warm up with hot chocolate or bourbon cocktails below. Another option is to invite a local florist to take you and your friends for a wreath-making class. When planning and choosing a festive activity, make sure it’s something all your guests will enjoy. Want to throw a party with games instead? See below for inspiration.

It’s game time

  1. Give a little
    Everyone loves getting a little something special during the holidays. Set a spending limit (I recommend $20 to $25) and have a little fun with the classic White Elephant game. You and your friends can choose numbers from a bowl that will determine the order in which gifts are picked. Limit one to two thefts per person. Instead, you can let guests show off their skills and ask for all the gifts to be homemade. This can range from homemade artwork to homemade cupcakes or even a small poetry collection. Who doesn’t love a gift from the heart?
  2. Break the board or card game
    While we like to keep things festive and not encroach on game night territory, I’m always willing to keep a few of my favorites. Just make sure the games you choose involve the whole team. Bonus points if you play a game that helps people get to know each other a little better. Try Hot Seat, The Hygge Game, or Nine Shapes if you’re looking for people’s enneagrams.
  3. “Sipping if…”
    Order a bowl of cards with holiday-themed sayings like “You hate cake,” “You started listening to Christmas music in mid-October,” and “You haven’t bought your partner a present yet.” (Get more details here). Start with a full glass (non-alcoholic beverages are welcome) and ask guests to choose a card. If that statement holds true for you, take a sip. I guarantee you will laugh at even a few questions.

Recipes that your group of friends need

Drinks: Bourbon Champagne Cocktail from Fed + Fit

Why we love it: Unless the temperature is below 40 degrees and it’s suitable for me to wear my favorite winter sweater (ideally, there’s snow on the ground), you won’t catch me drinking bourbon. Well, December has arrived and I’m looking forward to every possible way to warm up – whiskey included. This drink is spicy, sweet and above all special. Perfect fit for a Friendsmas party.

Hero composition: It’s not a party without the prosecutor. If you want to change things up, swap out for champagne or another sparkling wine instead.

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Appetizer: Tarte Soleil

Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a good cheese board? Try this upgraded version that will really leave your guests in awe. Puff pastry made for Piece of Resistance This appetizer is supposed to be simple. Prepare your pastry, make a few strategic cuts that will create a sun-like design, place your wheel in the center and bake. Surround your Tarte Soleil wherever you want and make sure to get in on it quickly — trust me when I say it’ll go fast.

Hero composition: Scattering apricots on top of your shirt before baking adds a welcome touch of sweetness to this savory masterpiece.

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Extras: Radish Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic

Why we love it: This is a classic flavor combo that never gets old and never disappoints. The combination of beets, shallots and apples brings a little pop of color for a time of year that can feel a little too monochromatic. Plus, you can cook the beets and make the dressing two days in advance, so you don’t have to worry about tossing this salad together at the last minute.

Hero composition: It’s hard for me not to call goat cheese the standout ingredient in every recipe for this dish. But the ice cream and its tangy flavor can’t be beat.

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Main course: Macca cauliflower pumpkin and cheese from spicy cream

Why we love it: This mac and cheese has a lot going for it. It’s pre-made, vegan, veggie-filled and will satisfy any crowd. Pumpkin Béchamel makes it suitable for cold weather, and melty cheeses (cheddar and gruyère) mean it retains the appeal of your favorite old fashioned recipes. It’s also easy to double, so if you have a lot of guests and want to make an extra dish, you’re all set.

Hero composition: My life changed as soon as I started adding mustard to my béchamel. It’s the secret ingredient that will give any white sauce just enough. This recipe calls for sizzling English mustard, but you can swap in Dijon for a similar, albeit less spicy, flavor.

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Dessert: Mint Hot Chocolate Cake

Why we love it: When I’m with friends over the holidays, there’s nothing I love more than ending the evening with a gorgeous and festive cake. This formula will give you exactly that. Arranged atop a minimalist cake plate (Camille and I have the same one from Target!), your cake will win the hearts of all your guests. Nothing says “I love you. I am grateful to you. Please be my friend forever”. rather than serving slices of this stunner.

Hero composition: I absolutely love to decorate dishes and desserts with a little bit of what diners can expect to taste. Topping the whipped cream with some crushed pepper does the trick.

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