Lets face it, Christmas parties are way more fun when someone shows up wanting to be the life of the party. And we just so happened to put together a list of essentials that will help you stand out at this years party. From what to wear to what to give as a hostess gift, we have you covered with ideas. And all are packable, (or can easily be sent to your destination) so rest assured you won’t need to figure out how to get it there.
1. Tipsy Elves Sweaters
Gone are the days of scouring picked over racks at thrift stores for what you can hope will pass as an ugly christmas sweater. Tipsy Elves makes Christmas sweaters that are outrageous and hilarious. The company’s slogan is “Not your momma’s Christmas sweater” and you may not want to show up to your aunt’s super conservative Christmas dinner in one, but for a fun time that will have everyone laughing, we highly recommend browsing their catalog. One of our all time favorite women’s sweaters from the collection is the green-and-white striped Stocking Stuffer Ugly Christmas Sweater, featuring a useable stocking stitched down the front. Use it to carry around your favorite holiday party favors or even a full bottle of wine. For men, check out the Drinking Game Christmas Sweater.
2. Fizzics Waytap
Another way to come ready to impress is with the Fizzics Waytap. This is a personal beer dispenser that steps up the taste of beer by creating a thick, creamy head with a draft quality taste. It’s compatible with all beer styles and 12 to 25 oz cans and 12 oz bottles. We loved testing this out, because we could see curiosity spark, a line form and just like that we became the party’s favorite bartenders. Good thing its so easy to use, so everyone was able to pour their own fresh beers. And even better, this doesn’t require CO2 or Nitro canisters, one less thing to have on your mind to pack.
3. Cocktail Cans
Canned cocktails aren’t something you regularly see at parties, which is why we are huge fans of this easy way to class up a party. Check out this diverse selection of cocktail cans: they’re gorgeous, ready-to-drink cocktails. To add a little Brazilian spice, check out the Novo Fogo Sparkling Caipirinha ($3.99 per can). The first of its kind in a can, it is made from organic products and is fresh, natural, flavorful and carbonated, which makes it very easy to enjoy and looks festive when poured into a champagne flute. Another option is Half Seas Cocktail Cans ($16-20 per 4-Pack). These are elevated versions of classics like the Daiquiri, Paloma and Bramble. We also like the Slow & Low Rock and Rye 100ml Cans ($3.99 per can), which features a proper 88 proof bar cocktail using a historic recipe in a can. Finally, wine lovers will want to check out the Stella Rosa Pink Aluminum ($4.99 per can), which is an 8.5 oz aluminum single-serve can of semi-sweet, semi-sparkling wine in fun & flirty packaging.
4. Herb& Lou’s Infused Ice Cubes
Another sure-fire way to add class to this years party is with infused ice cubes. Herb & Lou’s Infused Ice Cubes make crafting a cocktail a cinch and the packaging turns heads too. To best enjoy, after the cubes are frozen, peel back the foil, grab a cube and drop in bourbon, whiskey, tequila or vodka. And don’t worry- your drink won’t dilute as the cubes melt. There are three types to choose from: Clyde (think peach cosmo) Cecile (think watermelon cucumber marg) and our favorite, Cooper (think blood orange-Ginger Old Fashioned). We love that with these, we can stay conversing instead of playing mixologist while still enjoying a drink that kicks up flavor.
5. FrutaPOP Ice Pops
Speaking of booze, another great way to bring something out of the ordinary is with alcohol-infused ice popsicles from FrutaPOP ($60 for 12). Yes, it’s called a poptail. They are made from real fruit and juice with no added sugars- so anyone mindful of ingredients can indulge without worry. They come in a number of flavors including Apple Cider Bourbon, Pear & Apple Cider Sangria, Sparkling Pear Prosecco, Cranberry Mojitos or Cranberry Rum Punch. All poptails contain less than 5% ABV and are available for purchase online — in this case, we’d suggest you ship it directly to the house where you’ll be partying.
6. Cocktail Farty
Holidays can be awkward, so introduce some laughter into the party with a game that will easily break the ice. The Cocktail Farty ($19.95) is the ultimate get-to-know-you card game. It’s designed to get people talking and laughing. We’ve played with ages 8-80 and by the end of the night the entire family was giggling. The game consists of 150 cards containing really great get-to-know-you questions, including some explosive questions that add some color to the night via potty humor (nothing x-rated; this family friendly and family funny). Even the packaging is clever, designed to look like a roll of toilet paper — and at only 16 oz, it’s easy to pack!
7. ManCan Stainless Steel Growlers
With ManCan you can showcase your favorite craft beer without the worry of checking bottles. These stainless steel keg style growlers are made with brewery grade 304 stainless steel (the same steel used to make kegs) which means that even when flying, your beer is staying contained. They are also indestructible with a leakproof cap that keeps in CO2 and seals out air, which keeps beer fresher longer and preserves the flavor.
ManCan has a line up of products but there are two to narrow in on for travel. The first is the Picnic Keg which holds 128 oz of beer, which is the way to go if you have extra space in that checked bag. If your gathering is smaller and free space in your suitcase more limited, bring the Grab ’n Go Growler which holds 64 oz. of beer. Either way, you will show up with something everyone is talking about. And you will be the life of the party- at least until the beer runs out.
8. Polaroid Photo Booth Kit
Another way to liven up the holiday party or family gathering this season is with the Polaroid Photo Booth Kit, which is a light, backdrop and accessory kit (note the camera is not included) that allows you to set up an in-house DIY photo booth for the night. The kit includes more than 30 props and a festive backdrop, and allows you to customize photos with erasable markers and photo frames to make sure you score the perfect group shots.
And finally there is chocolate, which is a universally accepted hostess gift. One of our favorite brands is Chocodiem, which is a Belgium artisan chocolatier that makes truffles so gorgeous that giving this as a gift is one way to guarantee you will be invited back to next years party. Not only do they look good, but they taste even better. And it’s easy to see why- the truffles are handmade in small batches with locally sourced products from nearby New Jersey farms which is where shop is set up.
The hardest decision the host will have to make is which truffle to try first. Some flavors that stick out the most to us are Caramel with Himalayan Sea Salt, Pearl Truffle with a Dark center, Hazelnut and Belgian Rocher. The handmade, ultra premium chocolates come in a variety of sized boxes and flavors and can be ordered online. We also love their hot chocolate mix for something with a longer shelf life, because lets face it, the truffles may be gone before the party is over.