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‘Tis the season to give back!

Looking for a different way to make your holiday season one full of the giving spirit? Why not throw a party?! Everyone loves them, and the holiday season is chock full of them: Tacky sweater soirées, Secret Santa exchanges, year-end office galas. But here’s an idea you might not have considered: a “giving back”bash.” A party for the purpose of charity can be just as fun, festive, and eggnog-filled as the rest.


If you already host family or friends during the season, why not add in a “giving back” component? And if you weren’t planning a get-together, this holiday could be your time to shine. A giving back theme livens up any party! And who knows? Your party could become a holiday tradition for years to come.


Think big, stay practical

Don’t have time to plan a huge fundraising gala? Don’t worry, not many people do these days. As you begin to brainstorm, start by gauging your energy level, resources, and availability (and factor in some extra for that inevitable holiday-time stress). Giving-inspired gatherings don’t need to overwhelm you – or cost a lot. You can scale your party however you want. There are plenty of easy, affordable ways for your guests to do good. And you’ll likely discover that guests will be more than willing to chip in and do whatever it takes to make your celebration a success. Here are some suggested party themes you might try:


Elf yourselves – Call up a local family-oriented charity and offer to wrap gifts that people have donated for children. Then, gather a group together for some gift-wrapping fun! Tell them you’ll provide the supplies and holiday tunes if they bring their favorite treats. For an extra holiday bonus, ask guests to wear their tackiest holiday sweater.


Second-hand Santas – On your party invitation, ask friends to bring gently used items or clothing that can be donated to others. Place a few big boxes at your door for guests to drop items in as they arrive. After the event, compile the donations and deliver them to a local charity.


‘Cause” it’s the holidays – This one’s easy. Pick your favorite local cause first, then ask guests to donate money. One way is to charge “admission” to your gathering. If you don’t feel comfortable specifying an amount, simply request they give whatever they feel is appropriate.


Bake sale & share – This idea involves both eating and giving! Ask guests to bake and bring their favorite holiday cookie or dessert – but to make two of everything. One will be for guests to enjoy; the other will go to a local nursing home or homeless shelter. (Check first to make sure they accept home-baked items.) After the party, grab a friend to help you deliver the goodies.  


Homemade for the holidays – Write holiday cards to military troops overseas, make centerpieces for nursing home dining rooms – the items you can create for others this time of year are countless. Find a craft idea, and then gather friends around your dining room table to get creative. Provide them with snacks as an added incentive.


These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are countless ways to get creative and have fun with charitable themed holiday parties. If you have a favorite local charity, consider contacting them first. They might have specific needs or ideas you might not have considered. Now, make your guest list and check it twice – your holiday bash is certain to be quite nice!

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