5 genius holiday party themes to delight your Toronto friends

Nov 15 2018, 8:01 pm

Winter: that time of year when the days are shortest, overindulgence is at its highest, and the parties are in full swing.

If you’re one of those people that loves throwing a good party, the prospect of hosting something unique in an already saturated calendar can seem daunting. But there are several things you can do to make sure your next bash is more lit than Rudolph’s red nose.

The holidays can often put a strain on your credit card bill, but when it comes to hosting parties, a lot can be done with a little DIY and budget-friendly party supplies. Check out local thrift stores like Value Village®, and you won’t have to spend a ton of money to have a fabulous festive gathering. With locations in South Scarborough and Danforth and on Queen and Bloor Street, there’s bound to be a store nearby.

The possibilities are endless, but we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of our favourite holiday party themes for the season!

Ugly sweater party

Ugly sweater party/Shutterstock

Yes, it’s been done before, but it’s a holiday classic for a reason. Who doesn’t love to bust out a truly ridiculous sweater to amuse their friends? Plus, since ugly sweaters don’t get that much love the rest of the year, it makes total sense to buy one second-hand and save it from going into a landfill.

Make your party stand out by going even further with a twist on this classic theme, such as 90s or cat lady-themed sweaters. Alternatively, motivate guests to turn the sweater-wearing into a contest (judged by the host, of course) in which the ugliest sweater wearer receives a prize.

Yankee Swap


The great part about a Yankee Swap gift exchange is that it can easily be integrated into any party theme. Ask your guests to bring a wrapped present to your party, making sure to set a price limit in advance. Then, once everyone has gathered with their presents, give your guests a brief rundown of the rules and let the unwrapping and swapping begin! You never know what gift you’ll end up with, but you can guarantee that fun will be had by all.

Winter crafternoon

Let your inner Martha Stewart shine by hosting a holiday crafternoon. Pick an easy craft, like building a gingerbread house or crafting a paper snowflake chain, grab the supplies in advance, then get your friends together and get to work. The materials don’t have to break the bank, either — many stores sell pre-made craft kits for a great price. Check out Value Village®’s Super Savers Club™ to find out how to save even more on your party materials.

Hot chocolate pajama party


Who says pajama parties are just for kids? Get cozy and invite everyone over for a pajama party, complete with a hot mug of chocolatey goodness. By stocking up on things like candy canes, cinnamon sticks, and toffee bits ahead of time, it’ll be easy to assemble a hot chocolate bar for when your guests arrive. You should also consider picking up some inexpensive mugs for your flannel-clad festivities, and let your guests keep them as party favours.

Retro ski party

Onesie enthusiasts and après ski aficionados, this one’s for you. A retro ski-themed bash will be sure to delight party guests, even if they’ve never hit the slopes. Prepare for the big night by thrifting neon 80s snowsuits, vibrant headbands, and wild patterns — the more colour, the better. You’ll even be able to bring the party outside with all your pals bundled up in their retro ski finest.

Hosting a holiday party is a great excuse to get all your friends together and out of the Toronto cold, and you don’t have to shell out much cash to make it a success! Plus, themed parties are a more intimate and memorable way to celebrate the season than grabbing a drink or a bite to eat, so hunker in and keep the good times rolling.

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