Sparkling New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Champagne isn’t the only thing that’s sparkling at this New Year’s Eve party! The party planners at celebrations.com chose our Shaped to Celebrate New Year’s Eve party invitations as the starting point for their retro and sparkly New Year’s Eve party ideas.

New Year's Party Ideas

The invitation’s muted colors and star accents provided the color palette and sparkly theme that carried throughout the party, from the aqua table runner to the shimmery silver gray accents. Silver beads and ornament-size disco balls were sprinkled about to add to the party dance theme. And a do-it-yourself cake stand embellished with glittery 2013 decals was an inexpensive way to give the serving table a New Year’s theme. With candles lit, it was all very glamorous.

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Gathering Holiday Party Theme Ideas

Pinterest.com holiday partyOur new favorite resource for creative ideas is Pinterest.com. Whether you’re planning a holiday party, a wedding or a kitchen renovation, it makes browsing the Internet for ideas much easier and a lot more fun.

Instead of bookmarking, or worse, printing the ideas you love, you can ‘pin’ them to virtual bulletin boards on Pinterest.com. You can organize ideas by event, style, theme, or project, quickly go back to the source pages for recipes or how-tos, and even share all your ideas with friends. This makes it super easy to plan a party!

To show you how fun it is, we created a Pinboard to help us plan a holiday party using our Sketched Pinecones Holiday Party Invitations for inspiration. First we logged in to our Pinterest account and searched for “pinecone holiday décor” to find decorating ideas other people might have pinned. We re-pinned any images we liked, adding them to our Pinecone Party Pinboard.

Adding the “Pin It” tool to our toolbar allowed us to widen our search beyond Pinterest.com and pin images wherever we found them, crediting our sources and linking back to the details as we went. Quickly the theme began to come together, incorporating the cool aqua color, white feathers and pinecones in different ways. We found lots of DIY decorating ideas we loved, then searched for winter party food and beverage ideas, and pinned those, too.

Now that we have our party all planned, we can share the link with friends. If you have an account, you can follow our Pinboards at pinterest.com/peartreegrtngs and make comments, as well as create your own boards. If you like it, pin it. It’s that easy!

Christmas Ornament Exchange Party

Christmas Party InvitationLast year, when we were decorating our Christmas tree, I noticed that our ornament collection was looking a little sad. Several were chipped or broken. The once shiny metal ones were tarnished, and the glass bulbs were cloudy. The collection has gotten smaller, as broken ornaments were not replaced. The ones that survived the toddler years are, for the most part, made of felt, metal or plastic.

Of course we have added quite a few beloved ones: the plaster-of-Paris snowman that weighs about three pounds and makes the tree lean to whichever side it’s on. The thumbprints that say, “Thumbunny loves me,” made in preschool, and the “My first Christmas” ornaments, to name a few. Still, it might be time to add to the collection.

I’ve always wanted to have an ornament exchange party. Pear Tree has the cutest tree-shaped, die-cut Christmas party invitations that would be perfect for an ornament exchange. Or maybe I’ll suggest it to my girlfriends when we’re talking about gift exchange party ideas this year.

I’ve never been one for themed Christmas trees, with matching ornaments and trendy color schemes. Christmas ornaments just don’t have much meaning when you buy a dozen at a time. I love walking into a store that has thousands of ornaments and walking out with just one—the perfect one, carefully chosen for the friend who will think of me every time she hangs it on her tree.

Thanksgiving ideas with a modern twist

Thanksgiving InvitationOur friends at celebrations.com have created a thanksgiving feast to impress even the stuffiest of guests. Using our Elegant Gratitude Thanksgiving invitation as their inspiration, the decorations, table settings and menu incorporate simple, natural elements with a modern twist of elegance.

Thanksgiving IdeasUsing a centerpiece of wheat stalks (find out how to make it yourself at celebrations.com) they anchored the display in a bed of leaf sprigs that echoed the invitation, supplementing the display with nuts, pumpkins, artichokes and acorns. Metallic coatings on the leaves add a touch of modern elegance.

Thanksgiving decorations

Chairs at the table were draped with tea towels featuring an ivory and brown artichoke pattern and tied with an organza ribbon. Place settings of yellow and orange plates were topped with pumpkins serving as place cards. The menu was kept to traditional favorites, but ended with a surprise: pumpkin parfaits instead of pie. Spiced nuts, also used in the salad, were sent home with the guests in decorated jars.

Thanksgiving treats

Finally, to help stimulate conversation at the table, a basket of conversation starters was passed around. Pear Tree Greetings’ Thanksgiving mini note cards, pre-personalized with the words “I am thankful for…” are a perfect way to get the conversation going.

For more Thanksgiving ideas, keep reading our blog. Or shop our collection of Thanksgiving invitations to get started planning your own feast.

Fun Christmas Party Ideas: Cookie Exchange

Christmas cookie exchange partyA Christmas cookie exchange is one of those fun Christmas party ideas that puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Hmmm, could it be because you leave with dozens of cookies to eat and lots of new recipes to try?

I have to admit, I had an ulterior motive to hosting my first Cookie Exchange. I like baking cookies, but don’t have the patience to bake more than one or two varieties. Hosting a cookie exchange would guarantee me lots of different kinds of cookies, and enough to last through the holidays!

The idea is pretty simple. You invite friends and ask them to bring cookies. Lots of cookies. Enough cookies to give half a dozen or a dozen to everyone attending. As the hostess, you get to set the rules (number of guests, amount of cookies to bring, how to package them, etc.) and you should communicate this information in your Christmas party invitations.

There are different ways to do it, but I invited eight guests, and asked each guest to bring eight-dozen cookies, all the same kind. It sounds like a lot, but most of my guests agreed that it was a lot easier to double or triple a single recipe than to make dozens of different kinds. Adding to the fun, I also asked each guest to create a recipe card for the cookies they made, and to bring enough copies for each guest to take home.

My guests arrived with large boxes and trays of cookies, and we set them all around my table. I provided each guest with an empty holiday cookie tin and wax paper for layering. (Lined boxes or plastic containers would also work.) We shared wine, hors d’oeuvres, and funny cookie-baking stories, but the highlight of the evening was parading around the table, filling up our cookie tins.

I expected the Christmas spirit, but was surprised by the feeling of sisterhood that developed. It felt like an old-fashioned quilting bee, where the women of the village join forces to create something we could never have done on our own. Everyone went home happy, with eight different kinds of cookies, a tin to keep them fresh, and recipes to try next year—in short, a very successful, very satisfying party.

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