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The Ultimate Holiday Party Survival Guide

Thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion.

how to throw a holiday party

Throwing a holiday party doesn’t have to be stressful! Make it simple with some of these tips in the gallery below. From apps that will assist you in planning the food, drink, music and party games to easy DIY holiday decor ideas that are inexpensive to make and will add a ton of holiday cheer to your party. Also, learn how you can preserve the memories you make by sharing photos with your guests after it’s all done!

  • Meal Planner 1 of 16

    One of the most important parts of any holiday party is the food and drink. This is where you'll want to start! The time of the party will determine what and how much food you are going to serve. The Bing Food & Drink app can help make food and drink planning a little easier. It has a huge catalog of recipes, helps you pick wine and cocktails, has a meal planner and a shopping list tool! Using your Surface tablet, you can even upload some of your own recipes you may find around the web or have saved in your recipe box.


  • Easy Appetizers 2 of 16

    I have put together some of my favorite holiday appetizer ideas that are easy to make and will surely impress your party guests!

  • Holiday Popcorn 3 of 16

    This white chocolate popcorn recipe by The 36th Avenue is a yummy treat that will look great on your party table or packaged in clear cello bags for guests to take home.

  • Party Favor 4 of 16

    Another cute party favor idea for your guests are these Christmas M&M jars by Lil' Luna. Get the instructions and free printable here.

  • Front Porch Decor 5 of 16

    Decor is another very important part of your holiday party since it will set the tone. You don't have to spend a lot of money on decor, many items can be made at home with supplies you already have, items from a thrift store, or even the dollar store. Wow your guests before they even ring the doorbell with these adorable Joy tree planters. Tutorial at The Idea Room.

  • Decorate with Ornaments 6 of 16

    A creative and inexpensive way to add some holiday cheer to your party decor is to display Christmas tree ornaments in a jar. I Heart Organizing used this large bell jar on top of a cake stand. Such a great idea!

  • Just Add Cranberries 7 of 16

    Cranberries are another easy and inexpensive holiday decor idea. Use them in a vase with flowers and holly, or in jar with a candle. See more holiday decor ideas at I Heart Organizing.

  • Paper Bulbs 8 of 16

    These DIY honeycomb Christmas bulbs will look great over your buffet or dessert table! Get the how to at Studio DIY.

  • Peppermint Decor 9 of 16

    Decorate with peppermints and candy canes! Add them to apothecary jars, a Christmas platter, or bowl! You could even hot glue the small ones to a candle for a little something extra. Photo by The Pink Peony of le Jardin.


  • Party Games 10 of 16

    If the party needs a little spicing up, try the Party Games Collections app on your Surface tablet! This app has everything from classic drinking games to new fun games!

  • Cookie Decorating 11 of 16

    Will there be children at your holiday party? You should always be prepared to entertain the kids. Cookie decorating is a fun holiday tradition that will keep the little ones entertained for a while. Here are some great tips from Bake at 350 on how to make cookie decorating with kids a little less stressful.


  • Holiday Bingo 12 of 16

    Holiday Bingo is another idea that will keep both kids and adults entertained! Get the adorable free download at Say Yes to Hoboken.

  • Holiday Music 13 of 16

    Music is a must have at your holiday party! Create a playlist on your Surface tablet or Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone beforehand using the Xbox Music app. It brings you all the music you love in one simple app. You can play and manage music from your own collection or browse and buy songs. You can also instantly stream millions of songs for free on your Windows 8.1/Windows RT device or get an Xbox Music Pass, which gives you access to unlimited music across all your devices.

  • Photo Booth 14 of 16

    Set up a fun holiday photo booth for your guest to snap pics! You can either set up a tripod with camera or you can use your phone to snap a quick pic. I love this holiday photo backdrop idea from Lovely Indeed.

  • Photo Booth Props 15 of 16

    Your photo booth is going to need props! You can get these awesome printable holiday photo props at Oh Happy Day.

  • Share Photos 16 of 16

    Sadly, the party must come to an end but you can still preserve the memories!  Share party photos with your guests using the Whip Social app on your Surface tablet, a social photo album! The Whip Social app allows you to easily share a group of photos at once. Your guests can view and interact with your 'whip' on any device instantly!


Make sure to visit Microsoft’s new website MadePossible.by  this holiday! MadePossible.by is a website dedicated to the little ways technology is making it possible to take on every day, a survival guide for the tech savvy life!  Join the conversation! Share how your holidays are #MadePossible with tech tips and tricks.

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