We love traditions. It's one reason why The Chef & The Dish connects our clients with chefs and home cooks around the world - we believe these family traditions across the globe should be shared with others through unique cooking classes.
We want to inspire everyone to create their own holiday tradition at home, and what better time to start than the holidays. If you're looking for some holiday tradition ideas - we've got you covered. Here are 15 Holiday Party Ideas to enjoy year after year. And why do just one? Perhaps you start a tradition with family (cookie baking!), and a different tradition with friends (cocktail swap anyone?).
Do you and your family have a favourite holiday tradition? We'd love to hear it - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel the World Cookie Party
We love the traditions and flavours of the world. Why not taste the flavours of the holiday year after year. Each year, select a new country and bake a cookie native to that country. Pfeffernuse from Germany, Koulourakia from Greece... Mbatata from Malawi... half the fun is finding them!
Mulled Wine Party
Nothing says the holidays than a glass of mulled wine. Each year, host a Mulled Wine Party at a different friends home. The host selects the wine region, and gets making the mulled wine. All of the guests then bring a bottle from that country. Make a game like the Alphabet Game with Christmas Songs... the winners select the bottle they want to take home, and everyone gets to enjoy mulled wine that day!
Hot Chocolate Making Party
Hot Chocolate is so easy, but there are so many different spins on this winter classic. Invite over the friends and hold a hot chocolate making party. Provide cocoa, chocolate shavings, and sugar - and ask each guest to bring something decadent for the friends to add. Each mug will be filled with something different!
Christmas Eve Breakfast
Host Christmas Eve Breakfast with your nearest and dearest. Make a truly decadent breakfast with all sorts of baked treats and holiday characters - the kids get peppermint milk and the adults get cranberry mimosas! What a way to kick off a celebration.
Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange! Ask each guest to bring over a couple dozen cookies in a cookie tin. Each person fills their tin with cookies from each guest. Awesome variety with a fraction of the baking!
Have a Fruitcake Party!
We think fruitcake gets a bad reputation. This traditional cake dates back to ancient Egyptian times, made it's way to Rome - and as with all things in Italy, the Italians made it fashionable and it spread across Europe. Why not prove everyone wrong and host a fruitcake party! Each year experiment with flavours and fruits and who knows.. you might just create something everyone looks forward to!
Gingerbread Man Decorating Party
Break out the gingerbread cookies, it's time to get decorating. Invite over the friends and the kids and give everyone the tools to make fashion forward cookies! Best cookie wins, well... a lot of cookies. :)
Lucky New Year Cake Party
There are lots of cultures who celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. One of those traditions is to bake a special cake where you hide a (well washed) coin or other trinket. The Spanish call it Spanish Roscón de reyes, the Greek bake a Vassilopita, and in New Orleans they call it a King Cake (and it's generally had at Mardi Gras). Whatever you want to call it, we just say - do it! Grab the friends and bake an elaborate holiday cake together - hide a coin in the batter, and when it’s cooled - cut each friend a slice. Whoever has the coin in their cake is bound to have a lucky New Year. Start the good luck by inviting the winner to a homemade dinner!
Holiday Pasta Making Party
Homemade gifts during the holidays are our favourite, so why not try your hand at something new! Learn how to make a different type of dried pasta every year! Bring over some friends, book a custom pasta-making cooking class with an Italian chef through The Chef & The Dish, and make a new pasta shape together. Let your fresh pasta dry, package it in a butcher paper bag or wrapped box, dangle an authentic sauce recipe from some twine, and you have a delicious, super special, and unique gift for the holidays!
Gingerbread House Making Competition
If you're going to make a Gingerbread House, it's going to get serious. Invite over the friends, crack a bottle (or two) of bubbly, and get decorating. Put a timer on, and when the alarm goes off, put all the houses on a table and invite the partners to vote for their favourite. The winner gets their own home cleaned by the losers! Now that's a way to get ready for the holidays!
Nothing says happy holidays like a big bottle of vodka. This year, start a cocktail tradition with friends. Ask each guest to bring two mason jars filled with all the boozy ingredients for a perfect holiday cocktail. Give each guest a sample of the cocktail using the first mason jar. Line the rest of the jars up and then play a trivia game - the first one to answer correctly gets their choice of which holiday cocktail they get to bring home.
After Shopping Cooking Party
Why not celebrate your productivity! Get the girls, head out for some shopping, and then hold an after shopping cooking party. Each year, set off to a different part of town to find cute little shops. Afterwards head to the nearest friends house and cook dinner together.
Holiday Centrepiece Party
Invite the friends over and provide a bunch of holiday ingredients (think cranberries, nuts, dried oranges, popcorn…) along with twine, burlap, glue and ribbons. Ask your guests to bring pine branches, mason jars, or a glass vase they'd like to showcase on this year's dinner table. After some nibbles and wine, you're bound to have something pretty to take home!
We absolutely love egg nog, and really - there aren't many times of the year you can get away with making a big pot of it. Invite the friends over and start this yearly tradition. Everyone brings an appetizer and together you make homemade eggnog.
Candy Garland Party
Nothing is more adorable than tree garland made of candy. Bring out the gummy bears, candy canes, hot tamales, and Swedish fish - invite over friends and their kids to create their own garland! Supply a long piece of waxed twine and ask everyone to bring over a bag of their favourite gummy treats. Not into candy? Why not include cinnamon sticks and dried fruits?
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Learn How to Make Turkey Cooking Class
Never screw up the turkey again. In this class, Chef Joanie of New England will Skype in to your home kitchen to teach you how to perfect the holiday classics, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all.