5 Christmas party trends that will change your holiday celebrations this season

(BPT) – The days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are the busiest six weeks of the entire year for families thanks to a multitude of social gatherings. Chief among these celebrations is the Christmas party. With roots that date back to the Victorian era, the Christmas party has been a mainstay in American homes for decades, but in the last few years, the traditional holiday party has evolved.

From invitations to the party theme and how we organize the menu, new technology from companies like Punchbowl, and social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have had a significant impact on Christmas party trends. How does your Christmas party planning measure up?

Here are five Christmas party trends that will change the way you host and celebrate this holiday season:

1. Text message invitations

Perhaps the most significant change in party planning is the introduction of invitations delivered instantly by text. Punchbowl, a top-rated app for online invitations, recently introduced text message invitations that allow you to easily send invites to contacts on your phone. The company says it is the fastest-growing method for inviting guests to a Christmas party. Text invitations help eliminate the back and forth of group email threads, cut down on frustrating “maybe” responses from potential guests, and make Christmas party planning more seamless than ever.

2. Themed holiday parties

This season, you’ll see Christmas parties dominated by offbeat themes that offer a unique spin on the classic Christmas cocktail party. Inspired by lifestyle content on social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, holiday hosts are increasingly drawn to themed celebrations such as Ugly Sweater parties, Cookie Exchanges, White Elephant gift swaps, Christmas Pajama parties, Gingerbread Decorating events, Christmas movie watch-parties, and other quirky motifs such as llama- or flamingo-themed gatherings. Themed Christmas parties offer a twist on tradition that excites guests and also helps the host narrow the options for food, drinks and décor.

3. Popularity of the potluck

The increasing number of Friendsgiving celebrations hosted by millennials has drawn attention to the potluck trend this year, but it is a trend that goes well beyond November. Christmas potluck parties offer a cost-effective alternative to catered dinners as well as an easy means to a bountiful and varied holiday spread. Digital platforms make it easy to organize a Potluck List for a Christmas party and ensure there are no duplicate dishes, which makes it a win-win for both hosts and guests.

4. Tech the halls

During last year’s holiday shopping season, Amazon’s Echo Dot was the best-selling product available from any manufacturer across all categories on Amazon.com. So it’s no surprise that voice assistants and other smart home technology will make their mark at this year’s holiday celebrations. You’ll see party hosts use tech to save time and create the perfect ambience for every gathering. With help from Nest, Philips Hue or Alexa, they’ll regulate the temperature in the living room, adjust the lighting in the kitchen, check the cooking time for the spiral ham and queue up a jolly holiday playlist for guests.

5. The party hashtag

The party hashtag trend started in the wedding industry with couples who wanted to see all the photos from their guests. This year, you’ll see it for all types of parties, including Christmas celebrations. Guests are more likely than ever to snap photos and share them immediately on Facebook or Instagram. Holiday hosts that set up a photobooth area and share a party hashtag will see all the memories from their celebration. Bonus: A party hashtag allows guests to find and connect with new acquaintances on social media after the event.

Hosting a Christmas party this year? Start with free text invitations, choose a fun party theme, make it a potluck, use smart home tech to save time and share your party hashtag. That’s all you need for a fantastic, trend-forward Christmas celebration your guests will love.

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