Think you don’t have enough time or space to throw a memorable holiday party? Think again. Your dorm room might seem small, but it can be the perfect location for a party that will not soon be forgotten. All you have to do is get in the holiday spirit and follow these simple steps:
On the first day of partying a good host gave to me: 1 peppermint brownie
Try this recipe for Peppermint Brownies a la Mode from Cookinglight.com: these delectable treats are easy to bake in any kitchen, including the one in your dorm. If you find that you need more peppermints, just take a handful from the dining halls. Bake the brownies beforehand, then heat them in a microwave and serve with peppermint ice cream. The result: a delicious marriage of warm and gooey with cold and creamy.
On the second day of party planning a good host gave to me: 2 rounds of gift exchanges
Set up a Secret Santa where guests can control which gifts they receive. Have each invitee bring a wrapped item, then choose an order in which to open them. Once all the presents have been opened, allow guests to exchange gifts among themselves. This way, no one will be stuck re-gifting at another party.
On the third day of partying a good host gave to me: 3 types of dip — hummus, salsa and ranch
Satisfy any palate by providing an array of munchies and dip. Hummus with pita chips, salsa with tortilla chips and ranch dressing with sliced veggies offer something for guests with all appetites, and you won’t have to worry about keeping them warm.
On the fourth day of partying a good host gave to me: 4 homemade invitations
If you’re living in a double, Northwestern protocol says a maximum of four people are allowed in a room. However, if you let your party spill out into the hall or lounge, you can increase the number on your invite list. Catch your guests’ interest by crafting homemade invitations. Buy plastic bulb ornaments and decorate the outside with paint pens. On the inside, put a slip of paper with information about your party — location, time and attire — then deliver the ornaments personally.
On the fifth day of partying a good host gave to me: 5 party favors
Want to make sure your guests remember your party long after it’s over? Use cellophane and ribbon left over from the vase decorating to wrap up some pre-made and decorated sugar cookies. Then cut colorful Post-It notes into fun shapes with each guest’s name and attach to the bags for a personalized gift. Keep the extras for yourself.
On the sixth day of partying a good host gave to me: 6 frosting colors
Red, blue, yellow, green, white and, of course, purple: the combination of these colors will turn ordinary gingerbread men into a colorful batch of cookies that will make your mouth water. Get creative with your decorating and use edible beads — available at most supermarkets — for eyes and buttons.
On the seventh day of partying a good host gave to me: 7 decorative vases
Dress up your party space with an easy-to-make decoration. Buy several vases, preferably plastic and of varying sizes, and fill with potpourri pinecones and fake cranberries. These wintry accents spruce up any atmosphere. Top the look off by tying festive-colored ribbons around the vases, then distribute throughout the room.
On the eighth day of partying a good host gave to me: 8 coffee filters
They may be essential to making that pot of coffee each morning, but did you know that coffee filters are also great for making paper snowflakes? Fold the filters in half, then cut creative shapes with scissors and decorate your room and windows. It’s a simple craft that instantly transforms your room into a winter wonderland.
On the ninth day of partying a good host gave to me: 9 ounces of chocolate milk
This drink for two is a welcome alternative to hot chocolate. Fill two glasses with ice, then pour 4.5 ounces of chocolate milk and 2 ounces of cold coffee into each. Finish the drink off with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and, if you are legal, 1 ounce of Bailey’s Irish Cream per drink. Mix together, then sip and enjoy.
On the tenth day of partying a good host gave to me: 10 plastic glasses
This functional craft can be used immediately at your party. Purchase a pack of plastic martini glasses, glitter glue and stickers, then get to work decorating. Not only is this an easy project, but in the end you and all your guests will have unique glasses that can be reused later. Be careful, though, as this is a potentially messy activity: collect some newspapers and lay them down under the glass-decorating area before you start.
On the eleventh day of partying a good host gave to me: 11 holiday songs (at least)
From the Beatles to Mariah Carey, your holiday playlist needs a variety of songs to keep things upbeat. Make a playlist and put it on shuffle, then enjoy a randomized mix of tunes with your guests. Some no-fail favorites are Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” Natalie Cole’s rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song.”
On the twelfth day of partying a good host gave to me: 12 months until the next fabulous holiday party
You’ve worked hard to make your party a hit. Now sit back and relax with your friends as you celebrate the best time of the year.
Photos by anthimeria, mysza831 and eyeliam on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.