2023 guide to holiday party ideas and planning considerations

Holiday Party Ideas and Planning: 2023 Guide

The calendar may have just turned to fall, but whether you are ready for it or not, holiday party planning season has already begun! That’s right, even as the leaves are just starting to change color, the best holiday party planning pros know that getting started now can be the key to a successful office holiday party, family event, or anything in between! While you don’t need to have everything figured out this far in advance, the sooner you start thinking through what your event will need and look like, the easier the entire holiday party planning process will be.


Whether you are organizing your office holiday party or figuring out what to do with all of your crazy relatives for Thanksgiving or Christmas, we have you covered. Let’s break down holiday party planning into the key stages to help you set your calendar, explore some clever holiday party ideas to incorporate into your event, and even give you a checklist to help manage your to-dos and make sure your holiday party bash is a smashing success.

The Three Key Stages of Holiday Party Planning

Whether your holiday party is personal or professional, it’s helpful to think about holiday party planning as a four-step (or stage) process. In each stage, you’ll have some important tasks to complete, but by dividing the planning process this way, you can both ensure that everything gets done and lessen the planning burden on yourself or your collaborators.

Stage 1: Holiday Party Ideas and Brainstorming Time (September)

That’s right, we’re already in Stage 1! But that’s why you are here checking out this guide. Even though it feels like it’s still early fall, getting a jumpstart on holiday party ideas and brainstorming now can give you ample time to deal with actually finding the venue, vendors, and event software you’ll need to get into the nitty gritty of hosting an office holiday party or family event. Here are a few things to add to your “checklist” during Stage 1:

Stage 2: Holiday Party Logistics and Event Software Time (October/early November)

The leaves are falling, the air is getting colder, Halloween decorations are going up, and you’re already starting to see those Thanksgiving and Christmas displays in stores! That means it’s time to move into Stage 2 of holiday party planning, where you begin implementing all of your plans – and finding out where you might need to adapt and adjust!fellow stakeholders to get your holiday party budget approved, and with an updated guest list count, take another pass to make sure costs are still in line with expectations (and to identify where you still have room to spend on things like swag bags or vendor options).

Stage 3: Holiday Party Season is Here (late November/December)

The trees are almost bare and the first snowflakes might even be falling. Travel plans are being finalized, airports are crowded, the stores are full of crazed holiday shoppers – and your big holiday party is right around the corner. It’s time for Stage 3 of holiday party planning, otherwise known as – the final countdown:


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