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Christmas is just around the corner. Between all of the office parties and luncheons, make sure to take a little time to celebrate with the girlfriends who keep you sane! Here are some fun party ideas to help you start with planning.

Favorite things party: This party is great for a small group of friends. Each guest chooses something that they use and love and buys enough to give one to each person who attends. Set a budget for the items. There are no rules as to what kinds of things to buy. It just needs to be something that you love. Some ideas would be a favorite book, favorite mascara, favorite candle or even bottle of wine. Alternately, if you have a large group of girls that you would like to invite, instruct each to bring three gifts and draw names so that each person goes home with three gifts. For food, ask each guest to bring a favorite appetizer or dessert.

A progressive dinner party: This is a great party if you have a lot of friends in your neighborhood or close by. For this party, guests travel to different houses for each part of a meal. You will need 3-4 friends to host. House 1 will serve appetizers and cocktails, House 2 could serve a first course soup or salad, House 3 will serve the entree including side dishes and House 4 is responsible for dessert. If you only have three hosts, simply eliminate the first course. Each host is responsible for providing drinks that coordinate with their dish. If traveling by car, be sure to have designated drivers! Plan to be at each house for 45 minutes to an hour.

The Amazing Christmas Race: I threw a party like this for my teenage son one year, but it could be equally fun for adventurous adults. Inspired by the show, “The Amazing Race,” teams must complete tasks as they race around the neighborhood. Buy bandanas or t-shirts in different colors to separate teams of two to four. You will want to have around eight stops. We recruited neighbors to host stops, but you could have stops in public places- a bookstore or library, a park or grocery store. You will need to prepare clues for each stop and recruit someone to hand out the next clue when a task is complete. There are a lot of ideas online to help you host this sort of party, but here are a few task ideas to get you started: untangle a mass of Christmas lights, make and deliver Christmas cookies for residents at a nearby nursing home, eat a piece of fruitcake, model an ugly Christmas sweater (take a picture), go Christmas caroling at a specific house or restaurant, put together a Christmas puzzle.

A crafting party: I will admit that I am woefully without talent when if comes to arts and crafts. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy crafts that don't require a lot of skill. I once went to a party where we used chalkboard paint to create countdown to Christmas plates. Learn to make wreaths, create holiday cards or design ornaments. Craft supplies can be expensive, so there is nothing wrong with asking guests to pay a craft fee. Serve lots of snacks and drinks, play Christmas carols in the background. You can get a jump on your holiday decorating and have fun with friends at the same time.

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