How to Throw an {Im}perfect Holiday Party for Kids

​The holiday season is HERE, guys! Can I get an amen?!

I don’t know very many moms who don’t love the holiday season; giving gifts to those they love, happy music on the radio, sappy, romantic movies on TV, and all the baked goods you can eat! The best part, though, is seeing the joy on your kids’ faces as you start (or continue) holiday traditions with them. Whether that tradition is driving around your neighborhood to look at all of the beautiful Christmas lights, baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, or the notorious Elf on the Shelf, it warms your heart to see their excitement leading up to Christmas.

​My favorite tradition that I have started with my family is throwing a holiday party for kids. We invite all of their friends, play Christmas music, do an activity, and I fill their bellies with sugar just in time to send them back home to their parents! I’ve been doing our kids’ holiday party for a few years now, so there’s some things I’ve learned along the way.

​1. Plan an activity that will take up the majority of the time the kids are there.

It’s even better if it’s something they can take home with them! This can be decorating cookies or gingerbread houses, creating their own “ugly sweaters” or making salt dough ornaments. You’ll want to have their activity station set up and ready for them when they arrive to make the decorating process easier. (I can promise you that you don’t want to bake cookies with a dozen kids running around your house!)

How to Throw an {Im}perfect Holiday Party for Kids
​2. Plan out your food ahead of time, and base it on the time of day you’re throwing the party.

Don’t want to feed the kids a full meal? Throw the party in the afternoon so that all you’re on the hook for are snacks. I like to have the food tie in with the theme of the party. For a gingerbread house decorating party I made holiday cookies, gingerbread (wo)man brownies, and even made a signature gingerbread hot cocoa!

How to Throw an {Im}perfect Holiday Party for Kids

​3. Decorate!

The best part of a party is when the kids walk in the door and see the home all decked out in Christmas decorations, hear Christmas music playing and see a fireplace glowing. If you’re like me and you don’t have a fireplace, don’t fret- Netflix has got your back! You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on this, typically the decorations you are already putting up for Christmas are enough.

​4. Don’t forget about party favors!

Little things like holiday coloring books, hot cocoa packets, holiday lip balm, and holiday candy will fit the bill. The Target dollar spot will be your best friend when shopping for party favors!

How to Throw an {Im}perfect Holiday Party for Kids
​5. Consider a Secret Santa gift exchange to really round out the holiday fun!

Make a list of all of the kids coming to your party (numbered 1 to however many kids are coming), and after a parent RSVPs, ask them to choose a number between 1 and that amount, and that’s who their child is Secret Santa for! After your main activity has been completed, ask the kids to sit in a circle, and one by one they will sit in the middle of the circle with their eyes closed while their Secret Santa brings their gift to them. Give each child one guess to who they think bought it for them, and at the end they can all tell who they were Secret Santa for!

(Note: I do recommend verifying with all of the parents that they are willing and interested in purchasing a gift for Secret Santa. Another option for this is to have each child bring a toy or book for charity!) ​


6. Have a an easy time-filler activity on hand.

Sometimes, I find that the kids finish activities quicker than I anticipate, and I’ll be left with extra time before their parents come back to pick them up. When that happens I suggest keeping coloring books and crayons on hand to keep them occupied.

​7. This is the most important tip – HAVE FUN!

It can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of decorating, baking, prepping gingerbread houses and making hot cocoa, but don’t forget that you want to remember this day too! Hand your camera off to someone else so that you can be in the pictures and fully enjoy the day that you worked so hard to create!


Just remember that a kids holiday party does not need to be perfect to be fun and memorable!

Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog postsign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox.  While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!


Free Family-Friendly Activities | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Looking for some budget-friendly fun to keep the kiddos entertained? From exploring parks to markets, and cultural spots, Cedar Rapids has a ton of free family-friendly activities for you and your little ones to...

Where to See Fireworks | In & Around Cedar Rapids in 2024

Fireworks are quintessential to ring in America's birthday celebration! You have bought your family red, white and blue outfits, sparklers are ready to light up the evening, the grill is ready to go with...

Parenting a Child with ADHD: A Mom’s Journey + Tips

Parenting is an adventure filled with unexpected twists and turns. When my child was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), it added a new dimension to this journey. It’s a path filled with challenges, discoveries,...

Father’s Day Events | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16th. And while we don't need a single day to honor Dads and father figures (we should celebrate them every day!), make Sunday meaningful, special, and fun as you...

2024 Summer Fairs & Festivals | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids is buzzing with summer fun! Think cotton candy, Ferris wheels, and games galore! From the Freedom Festival to local fairs, there's something for everyone. This list of events will be growing all...
Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox