Do you love hosting parties? Love decorating? Love holiday festivities? Perhaps you have a big family and it’s always hard to decide where to spend the holidays. If any of these apply to you, then why not start a Thanksmas party tradition?
What is “Thanksmas”?
Thanksmas is a gathering usually held shortly after Thanksgiving but it can be held anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, or even the New Year. The motivation behind having one is usually to get family and friends together who might not otherwise get to see each other on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Why throw a Thanksmas Party?
Thanksmas is a great occasion to bring family together. With a big family, expanded by in-laws, you may have many Thanksgiving or Christmas day invitations vying for your RSVP. Having a Thanksmas party is a great way to see those you won’t be able to see on Thanksgiving or Christmas. But, there are certainly other reasons to throw a Thanksmas party. Perhaps you’ve never hosted a big dinner and want to try your hand at throwing a dinner party without all the pressure of the holidays, or maybe you just can’t get enough of the holidays and love decorating and cooking. Whatever the reason, starting a Thanksmas tradition is a great way to create more family memories for you and your family to look back on.
What to Serve
You can, of course, serve whatever you please! If you prefer Thanksgiving fixings then put together a menu with turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Or have a more Christmas-y menu featuring ham or maybe even a goose, followed by eggnog and Christmas cookies. Or combine your family’s usual dishes from both holidays. You might even plan a menu that’s not traditional at all (BBQ, anyone?). There are no rules when starting your Thanksmas tradition. So if you don’t even want to do a lot of cooking make it a potluck affair and have everyone bring a dish.
Need some inspiration? Try these seasonal recipes perfect for your Thanksmas menu:
Drinks: Festive Fall Drinks | Holiday Drinks to Warm Your Hands | Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte
Sides: Scrumptious Thanksgiving Starters | Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes with a Twist
Sweets: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Spiced Up Fall Recipes| Maple Cinnamon Animal Crackers | Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins | Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake | Pumpkin Almond Spice Loaf | Super Easy Apple Cake
Here are a few ideas you might enjoy incorporating into your new tradition.
- Keep it casual and serve food buffet-style. Encourage casual, comfortable dress.
- Plan on cooking the main dish, such as turkey, ham, goose, or a fish. Ask guests to contribute the side dishes and desserts.
- Don’t plan a formal sit-down meal. Instead, make it a cookie swap, dessert and coffee, or cocktails (& mocktails) and hors d’oeurves.
- Have a Cajun-style Christmas celebration with a bonfire and deep-fried turkey.
- Have your Thanksmas gathering be a Sunday brunch.
- Follow brunch with a group volunteering project that both the adults and kids can take part in.
- Have guests bring canned goods or other non-perishables to donate to a food drive.
- Suggest guests bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a holiday toy drive.
- Hold a Thanksgiving and Christmas themed scavenger hunt for the kids.
- Put up your Christmas decorations for the occasion, but leave your Christmas tree undecorated. Let all the kids at the party decorate the tree.
- Set up a white elephant or secret Santa gift exchange.
- Have an arts and crafts project for the kids. Set up in a different room with an adult to help out. Let kids make Christmas cards or presents for their parents.
- Exchange and open gifts. Seeing the excitement in a child’s eyes as they open their presents is one of the greatest parts of gift giving. Consider letting the kids open gifts early from family they won’t see on Christmas.
- Gather everyone together at the end of the evening and serve hot cocoa and candy canes. Kick off the Christmas season by having a reading of The Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, or any favorite Christmas story.
Check out Daily Mom’s Guide to Christmas
for more holiday articles and gift guides!
Photo credits: The Whimsical Photographer