Between Daylight Saving Time ending and your family bickering over plates of dry turkey, the holidays can feel a bit bleak. That’s why we’re here to help you throw the perfect holi-gay party to brighten the season. Get ready to deck the halls and spike some eggnog. Here’s what you’ll need to throw a merry and bright holiday bash and make the Yuletide gay.
Punchbowl drinks are an easy way to serve a crowd. Here are a couple of ideas to please the masses.
Rosemary’s Santa Baby
(Modified from @erekav on Instagram)
1 bottle of prosecco (or sparkling grape juice for a mocktail!)
8–10 ounces grapefruit vodka
15 ounces orange juice
5 ounces blood orange juice
36 ounces tangerine-flavored sparkling water
⅓ cup rosemary simple syrup
Arils from half a pomegranate
Fresh rosemary sprigs
1 blood orange
Begin by making rosemary simple syrup ahead of time:
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add 2–3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and simmer for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow the pot to sit at room temperature for at least one hour. Strain and refrigerate.
In a festive punchbowl, combine prosecco, vodka, fruit juices, sparkling water, and simple syrup. Make sure pomegranate arils are membrane-free and add them to the bowl. Slice blood orange into thin rounds and either add them to the bowl or set them aside for guests to garnish their drinks.
Who Spiked the Eggnog?
In a pinch, turn to a classic. Run to the store, grab your favorite eggnog, and you’re halfway there!
You can always eyeball this recipe and adjust to taste, but start here:
Combine half a gallon of eggnog, 1 cup of your favorite amaretto liqueur, and ½ cup of your favorite rum. Grate cinnamon and/or nutmeg (or cardamom if you’re feeling fancy) over the top of the pitcher.
The Holi-gay Playlist
No party is complete without music. Save yourself the mid-party stress and create a playlist ahead of time. Here are a few suggestions:
Every holiday playlist needs a classic or two, and nothing screams Christmas quite like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You.” This is best played around the time all of your guests have arrived, so they can break the ice by screaming the lyrics to one another.
Popdorian’s “Coming Out For Christmas” is a festive new single reminiscent of an ’80s holiday hit. It’s best paired with a song everyone knows the words to: Taylor Swift’s rendition of “Last Christmas.”
Once everyone’s knocked back a glass or two, put on some danceable Christmas songs like RuPaul’s “Show Me That You Festive,” The Vivienne and Tia Kofi’s version of “Jingle Bell Rock,” or “Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You)” by Kelly Clarkson.
As the party winds down at the end of the night, Kasey Musgrave and Troye Sivan’s “Glittery,” “two queens in a king sized bed” by girl in red, and “Christmas Is” by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus are chill, festive tunes to say your goodbyes to.
Deck the Halls
No party is complete without a little kitschy decor. Instead of recreating Whoville in your foyer, check out these decorations:
Rainbow Disco Ball Ornaments
Yassify your Christmas tree with these disco ball ornaments from World Market. They come in sets of 12. $12.99, WorldMarket.com.
Set a pair of these nutcrackers alongside your drink bowls or on your coffee table. You can find them at your local Target.$12.00, Target.
Pink Christmas Banner
Hang this banner with or without the bottom string to remind everyone it’s okay to let loose during the holidays. This sign is also available in green and red if you’re willing to shell out a couple extra bucks.$15.99, Amazon.com
No party is complete without snacks. To keep it simple, arrange a snack table with things like:
A fruit and veggie platter
Snack-sized holiday themed candy bars
Pillsbury Christmas tree sugar cookies
Spinach artichoke bitchin’ sauce and tortilla chips
A classic charcuterie board
If you have extra time, check out this recipe for some crowd-pleasing cookies:
Mexican Tea Cakes
(Recipe from TheSpruceEats.com)
Also known as sand cookies and similar to Italian Wedding Cakes, these delicious shortbread cookies are a hit at every party, and they’re super easy to make!
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pecans, finely chopped, optional
Cream butter with 1/2 cup powdered sugar until well blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla, then add flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Add nuts, if using. Chill overnight.
Once you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the cookies to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes. The cookies should not brown on the top, but instead, just become very pale golden on the top and lightly golden on the bottom. Place on a wire rack to cool and roll in confectioners’ sugar to cover.