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Alternative Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

by Rachel Gaddis

December 10, 2021
alternative christmas eve

‘Tis the season of parties, and that can be hard if you are in recovery and trying to avoid situations where there might be alcohol present. Not to worry; what if you host your own Christmas or New Year’s Eve party this year? There are plenty of festive, fun, and alcohol-free ways to celebrate with your friends and family! I’ve put together a handful of ideas and potential themes that could become a new holiday tradition!

And to help you get a head start on planning your party food and non-alcoholic drinks, check out our latest nutrition blog, 6 Non-Alcoholic Recipes to Toast the Holiday Season.

  1. Murder Mystery Party

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Hop online and find everything from free murder mystery plots and scripts to $75 kits (including name tags, invitations, and props) to host an evening that your guests are sure to remember! If your crew enjoys dressing up, you can assign your guests their characters in advance so they can plan to come to the party in-costume.

  1. Game Night

What are your family and friends’ favorite games? Personally, I think you could plan your game night one of three ways:

  • You could set up several game stations to allow everyone to play their favorite games, or your group could split into teams and receive points for each game they win together for an overall prize – or bragging rights – by the end of the night.
  • If you know your group would prefer a longwinded game such as poker or Monopoly, stick with playing that game for the evening.
  • For games like chess or Spades, you could host a tournament to determine who is the best player.

Here are a variety of game options depending on what your group loves:

  • Board games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Catan, Trivial Pursuit, Clue)
  • Classic card games (Poker, Blackjack, Crazy Eights, Rummy, Spades, Spoons, Hearts)
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Charades
  • Chess
  • Dominoes
  • Family Feud
  • Kid-friendly: Candyland, Sorry!, Chutes & Ladders, Mousetrap, Operation, Uno
  • Pictionary
  • Scattergories
  • Video games
  1. Movie Marathon

Your options for a movie marathon are, quite honestly, endless! You could binge a string of movies that are set at Christmastime or New Year’s, or you can always reach for a classic marathon movie series.

Christmas-theme: The Grinch, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Elf, A Christmas Story, The Santa Clause, Christmas with the Kranks, While You Were Sleeping, Little Women, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street

New Year’s-theme: New Year’s Eve, When Harry Met Sally, The Holiday, About Time, Forrest Gump, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Lakehouse

Action/Adventure seriesMission Impossible, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Marvel, DC, Rambo, The Godfather, Fast & Furious, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Batman, Mad Max, Ocean’s

Comedy series: American Pie, Austin Powers, Back to the Future, Men in Black

Fantasy series: Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, Night at the Museum

Sci-Fi series: The Matrix, Star Wars, Alien, Star Trek, Jurassic Park

  1. All things fire: Bonfires and fireworks

If the wintery weather permits, consider a night filled with fire! You can prepare soups, chilis, hot dogs, or other crockpot foods for your guests to enjoy together around the fire. For dessert, a fan favorite is, of course, s’mores!

Another crowd-pleaser? Fireworks! Let’s be real: this is a fun option for both the children and the adults.

  1. Family Home Videos

How long has it been since you dug-out your old VHS tapes and watched family home videos? If you are the sentimental type and will be with your kids, siblings, or extended family over the holidays, this is a simple, no-hassle way to laugh and spend quality time together walking down memory lane.

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