‘Tis the season for presents, festive dessert shots, and (our personal favorite) holiday parties. Whether you’re throwing a fancy party with your family or a more casual affair for your #squad, now is the time to start your holiday decor pinboards, stockpile entertaining essentials, and come up with a killer theme. Instead of throwing the same old party you’ve been hosting for ages, mix things up with a holiday shindig that’s totally epic this year. Check out these 35 DIYs, decor ideas, and trendy themes that’ll have your guests RSVPing YAS!

DIY Clay Words Christmas Party Idea

1. DIY Clay Words: First order of business: a steaming mug of spiked hot cocoa and a handful of frozen whipped cream “marshmallows.” Put together a hot chocolate station and spell it out with this easy clay sign. (via Oh Happy Day)

Honeycomb Backdrop Christmas Party Idea

2. Honeycomb Backdrop: If you’re looking for a colorful, swoon-worthy backdrop for your dessert table (who isn’t?), you can’t go wrong with a wall covered in honeycomb shapes. How pretty are those jewel tones with pops of gold? (via Sugar & Cloth)

DIY Snow Globe Cake Christmas Party Idea

3. DIY Snow Globe Cake: The best way to do snow globes? DIY edible versions, duh. Take your cake to the next level with a little fondant and some cheerful cake toppers. (via Brit + Co)

DIY Bubbly Balloon Backdrop Christmas Party Idea

4. DIY Bubbly Balloon Backdrop: Simple, gorgeous, and DIY — all of our favorite things! This easy balloon backdrop will transform any blank wall — and the tree! — into a breathtaking party scene. (via A Kailo Chic Life)

Jazz Up the Bar Cart Christmas Party Idea

5. Jazz Up the Bar Cart: It doesn’t get much more festive than a bar cart full of presents and gold barware. Layered garlands and mini bottle brush trees create the perfect punchy decor accents to any holiday get-together. (via Sugar & Cloth)

DIY Edible Chocolate Trees Christmas Party Idea

6. DIY Edible Chocolate Trees: Foil-wrapped chocolates will make these pretty trees the main attraction at all your holiday parties. Line them up along the mantel or use them as an inexpensive table centerpiece at your next shindig. (via Brit + Co)

Gift Wrap Holiday Party Christmas Party Idea

7. Gift Wrap Holiday Party: Grab your best girlfriends for a night of warm cocoa, must-know gossip, and holiday festivities at your house. Stock up on pretty wrapping paper (don’t forget the washi tape!) and cool DIY gift toppers for a fun gift wrapping extravaganza. (via Studio DIY)

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party Idea

8. Ugly Sweater Party: If you believe that tacky equals awesome, an ugly sweater party might be in your future. This is the one holiday-themed bash that requires zero outfit stress, because the flashier the sequins and the cheesier the baubles, the better. (via Brit + Co)

Holiday Cookie Exchange Christmas Party Idea

9. Holiday Cookie Exchange: It’s the most wonderful time of year to bake cookies, share cookies, and eat cookies. Throw a cookie exchange party where you and your BFFs can swap your fave recipes over a glass of red wine. (via Oh Happy Day)

Christmas Photo Booth Party Idea

10. Christmas Photo Booth: Creating a festive photo background can be as easy as taping candy-striped streamers to the wall. After all, the real point of a holiday shoot is to show off that red lipstick and those terrible sweaters, so don’t stress about the backdrop too much. (via Promise Tangeman)


11. DIY Disco Ball Tree: Um, yes, this disco ball tree beats vacuuming up pine needles any day. It’s bold, it’s glam, and it’s actually pretty easy to put together with this DIY. (via Studio DIY)


12. Holiday Card Party: If you’re going with good old-fashioned snail mail this season, nothing beats a sassy holiday card. Get all your friends in on the fun and throw a party dedicated to hand-lettered addresses and actual stamp-licking. (via Brit + Co)


13. DIY Giant Candy Cane: The guests have RSVP’d, the pies have been baked, and now it’s time to put together some seriously cool decor. These oversized candy canes are so rad, you might just catch your guests trying to sneak them home. (via Oh Happy Day)


14. DIY Printable Holiday Gift Wrap: Round up a group of friends for a spur-of-the-moment holiday wrap party. Make sure to get plenty of tape at the store, then warm up your printer and go crazy with this tropical-themed gift wrap. (via Studio DIY)


15. DIY Punny Tree Ornaments: DIY queens will love the idea of a holiday party based on putting their own spin on ornaments. Stock up on plain glass balls at the dollar store and let your friends have a blast coming up with holiday puns. They can then take their handiwork home at the end of the night as a fab party favor. (via Brit + Co)


16. White Elephant Gift Exchange: Skip the grand festivities in favor of a cozy night in with the people you love. Order in pizza, break out the Trader Joe’s wine, and get ready to share some hilariously weird and wacky gifts. (via Brit + Co)


17. DIY Giant Paper Snowflakes: Skip the bad weather and fake your own blizzard this season. Roll out a massive sheet of white paper and get your scissors ready to make gigantic lacy paper snowflakes. (via Oh Happy Day)


18. DIY Candy Cane Treat Box: Peace, love, and peppermint! Every party needs a good favor, and these candy cane gift boxes are a breeze to put together. Fill ’em with chocolate truffles dunked in pink chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy cane. (via Brit + Co)


19. DIY ’90s Throwback Tree Ornaments: Our sources say these are the ornaments your party needs to be wicked cool. Instead of Santa or reindeer, turn your tree into an homage to everything awesome about the ’90s, including Koosh balls (‘member those?). (via Aww Sam)


20. DIY Giant Ornament Balloons: While mini decorations are pretty adorable, there’s no denying the appeal of a super-sized ornament. Let these beauties bounce across the floor, bunch them together for a photo shoot, or hang them on your porch — they’ll rock the party no matter where you put them. (via Studio DIY)


21. Tree Decorating Party: Turn your tree lighting into the main event. Invite your entire squad over for coffee and cocktails, then get your decorating on by DIYing a few baubles. Bonus points for getting your friends to untangle your string lights for you. (via Brit + Co)


22. DIY Advent Calendar: Marble backdrop? Check. Teensy packages full of goodies? Check and check. Congrats, you’re well on your way to counting down to Santa’s arrival in style. (via Brit + Co)


23. DIY Christmas Light Balloon Garlands: String ’em on the tree, hang them across the mantel, or use them as a photo booth prop — seriously, these light bulb garlands can do it all. The best part is that you can totally customize the dye job to go with your unique color palette. (via Studio DIY)


24. DIY Confetti Cannon: It’s not a party until the confetti shows up. Pop the bubbly, then pop these rad DIY confetti cannons to kick off your bash in style. (via Brit + Co)


25. DIY Blendo Ornaments: This teal, pink, and red take on holiday decor is simple and chic. Dress up your tree with gold stars, red ribbon, and soft sage leaves for an extra pop of texture. Then follow this DIY to recreate the soft pastel ombre ornaments. Ooh, magical. (via A Kailo Chic Life)


26.Holiday Happy Hour: Decking out your bar cart for the holidays can be a snap. Hang some swag and swap out your wine glasses for something gilded to show off your signature Christmas cocktail. (via Brit + Co)

27. Christmas Tree Cactus: Everyone will be saying Feliz Navidad once they catch a glimpse of your cactus dressed in pom-pom fringe. You won’t even need a tree as long as all your plants have some festive flair. (via Sugar & Cloth)

28. Cupcake Gift Tags: While you’re wrapping gifts, why not make some one-of-a-kind gift tags using the leftover baking supplies? Don’t forget to raid the scrapbooking aisle at your local craft store beforehand to stock up on all kinds of cool embellishments. (via Be Crafty)

29. Pink Gingerbread Car: Don’t pass up a chance to put a fresh spin on this party staple. Extra credit for pimping your ride with gum drops, candy wheels, and sugar dust. (via Studio DIY)

30. Cardboard House Christmas Village: The pre-made houses can get kinda pricey when you’re trying to create a vignette of epic proportions. But if you make them yourself, you can get more bang for your buck and create details your guests will love. (via Julep)

31. Modern Holiday Christmas Tablescape: Hosting a festive dinner among friends is a great way to enjoy the season. Set the table in non-traditional colors for a modern and chic vibe. (via 100 Layer Cake)

32. Retro Ranch Printable Ornaments: Adding these DIY ornaments is like a blast from the very fashionable past. Give them a little bit of dimension with cotton ball snow drifts and bottle brush trees. (via Modern Kiddo)

33. Metallic Eggnog Cups: It’s time to give that punch bowl set you found at the thrift store a new lease on life. The metallic paints are fun without making the cups look like something you purchased exclusively for Christmas. (via Design Improvised)

34. DIY Flamingo Snow Globe Ornaments: Forget about snowmen and reindeer — you and the girls need more flamingos with scarves on your craft to-do list. (via Club Crafted)

35. Spiced Citrus Cocktail: Whip up a signature cocktail for the evening. The whole squad is gonna be #turnt on your bevvie of choice, so you might as well make it a fun one. (via Better Homes and Gardens)

If you’re throwing a holiday party, make sure you’re following us on Pinterest for tons of decorating ideas, DIYs, and tasty recipes.

(Additional reporting by Ariel Garneau)