College Holiday Party Ideas: 4 Tips for Throwing a Pre-Break Gathering

December 4, 2019
Christmas tree with girl in background

As the holidays approach, you may consider having one last party before everyone heads in separate directions for winter break. Timing a party around the holidays and finals can be tricky, but it can also be one of the best stress-relieving ways to wind down and celebrate a successful semester. Use these simple college holiday party ideas to plan your gathering.

Decide Before or After Exams

There’s a lot of scheduling issues that you have to keep in mind before you plan your holiday party. Do you want to throw a small gathering before finals, and before everyone’s tied to their laptop and immersed in studying? Or would you rather celebrate after the fact—a “Yes we did it!” soiree before everyone goes home to visit family and friends? When you choose to have the party could determine how big and where you host it.

Find a time that works for your friends by using a simple online poll. You can use the “take a poll” feature on Instagram stories or send out a Facebook invite and tell people to comment with their availability. 

Pick the Location 

Once you’ve decided on a time, the next thing to pin down is where you’ll have the party. Sure, you can have it in your apartment, but don’t dismiss the option of taking the party elsewhere. A morning celebratory brunch at The Sunnyside Cafe or Moe Joe’s could be the perfect way to cap off the semester. Having it in a different locale where you can meet up with your friends means no one has to decorate, and better yet—no one has to clean up afterward. If brunch isn’t your thing, consider meeting up at Esso’s for an evening get together or one of these best restaurants in Clemson

Pro Tip: EPOCH residents can also use or reserve one of our many social spaces

Pick a Theme

You’ve picked the date and place. Now, it’s time to decide if you want to have a themed party. Themes can make it a little more fun than a typical get-together, and encourage more people to attend. Some fun holiday options could be a late Friendsgiving, an ugly Christmas sweater party, or go all out with one of the ideas from this list

If you’re hosting it at your place, you’ll likely want to have some decorations. These don’t have to be expensive, and you can make a lot of your own to save money. Use Pinterest as your guide. Simply type in your party theme, and find tons of DIY inspo. As a bonus, crafting either before or after finals can be an amazing way to unwind and de-stress! 

If you opted to have the party at a restaurant or bar, you could also make it a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange. Just ask people to bring silly, fun, and inexpensive gifts! 

Plan Food and Drink

If your party isn’t at a restaurant or bar, you’ll need to organize food and drink. This can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. For evening events, snacks and easy apps will do the trick. Alternatively, you can throw a potluck dinner party and ask everyone to bring a dish. (Hint: use your Facebook event and tell people to post their dishes, so you don’t end up with duplicates). 

When it comes to beverages, make a festive punch or signature cocktail for everyone to enjoy. (Try these cocktails or mocktails for underclassmen). For 21+ parties, you can also tell your guests to BYO-Drink. 

Don’t discount the power of holiday discounts! Take a quick glance at delivery apps like Uber Eats or Postmates; they often offer seasonal deals. Then you can get food delivered to your party and ask guests to contribute via Vemno. 

Use these college holiday party ideas to celebrate the season! 

Planning your holiday party can be fun and a great stress reliever, too. Follow these simple tips to line up the time, place, theme, and food/drink. All that will be left is to gather with friends, toast to a great semester, and enjoy the festive time of year!