1. Home
  2. Design Ideas

Christmas Eve Ideas for a Festive Gathering

Are you hosting a Christmas Eve gathering this year? Or perhaps you’re spending time with a small group of your nearest and dearest and you want to make the night a special one! Chances are gifts will be given and received, so make sure you create a warm, joyful setting for your guests. Below you will find a collection of festive ideas that will take your evening to the next level, thanks to a little bit of creativity and a LOT of holiday flair

Deck the Halls

If your friends and family are gathering at your place, make it special by decorating for the occasion. But decorating for the holidays doesn’t mean transforming your home into a picture-perfect greeting card version of Christmas. Stay true to your style. If you’re hosting, you get to set the tone for the night! Start with a festive wreath on the door. We’re loving the sparkly look of this DIY Disco Ball Wreath from A Beautiful Mess:

Disco ball wreath from A Beautiful Mess
Disco ball wreath from A Beautiful Mess

It can be helpful to set a color palette for the evening. Consider the items you already own, and use them as a source of inspiration. But don’t hesitate to add a few new decorations for a dash of color variety. We’re currently inspired by the mint and pink pastel palette featured at CB2 this season (as shown in the two images that follow)…

Delicious holiday style in product photography from CB2
Delicious holiday style in product photography from CB2

Let your palette infuse the decorations, as well as your spread of goodies and treats. More on edibles later in the post…

Enchanting holiday sweets in a photo by CB2
Enchanting holiday sweets in a photo by CB2

Since your Christmas tree will be the focal point of the night, have fun decorating it, and give it a special twist. Not into the traditional red, green and metallic decorations? Take your tree in a different direction: one that reflects your personality and design style. This DIY Floral Tree from Design Love Fest makes a big statement with silk flowers.

DIY floral tree from Design Love Fest
DIY floral tree from Design Love Fest

If you want to give your tree a new look for the party, you can craft a batch of DIY ornaments, a cost-effective way to create a custom look. How fun are these DIY Rudolph Ornaments from Studio DIY?! Glass ball ornaments, red baubles and craft foam get the job done. [photo by Jeff Mindell]

DIY Rudolph ornaments from StudioDIY
DIY Rudolph ornaments from Studio DIY

The gold tree below (featured at Emily Henderson) was created by Orlando Soria. Would you ever build your own Christmas tree? This one was crafted from cheerleader pom poms!!! Check out the entire post, which includes two more amazing DIY tree ideas that reaffirm the delightful power of creativity:

Festive gold Christmas tree
Festive gold Christmas tree

When it comes to decking the halls, you can’t go wrong with a festive garland. In this next photo, Laura from The Band Wife decks out her tree with the help of a gold garland:

Gold garland and tree decorating featured at The Band Wife
Gold garland and tree decorating featured at The Band Wife

Don’t forget the value of a beautiful centerpiece! The lovely number below is one of our own original creations. Check out the full post, which includes two additional centerpiece ideas using berried branches.

Christmas centerpiece with roses and berries
Christmas centerpiece with roses and berries

Delicious Treats

From floral centerpieces to food centerpieces, we now shine the spotlight on unforgettable edibles, starting with this croquembouche from Camille Styles. What’s a croquembouche? A tower of cream puffs! Don’t hesitate to have your party food double as decorations! Check out the full post for details…

Croquembouche from Camille Styles
Croquembouche from Camille Styles

It’s always nice to offer one special signature delight at your gathering, and we’re seriously tempted to try out the recipe for these Jasmine Green Tea Meringues, created by Betty Liu for Say Yes:

Jasmine green tea meringues from Say Yes
Jasmine green tea meringues from Say Yes

Offering edibles can be as simple as setting out some store-bought goodies from your favorite bakery or market (or even the grocery store). Feel free to make these Color Dipped Gingerbread Cookies from scratch, or purchase cookies pre-made and embellish them with the color and gold sprinkles. Check out the full recipe at Studio DIY.

Color dipped gingerbread cookies from Studio DIY
Color dipped gingerbread cookies from Studio DIY

You can also craft a delicious dish from a few simple ingredients, such as bread, cheese, pear slices and thyme. Below we see a plate filled with Blue Cheese and Asian Pear Crostinis. Get the recipe at Camille Styles:

Crostini recipe from Camille Styles
Crostini recipe from Camille Styles

Don’t forget about the beverages! Even if the food is store-bought, a special drink can help set a festive tone for the evening. Give this Mix and Match Mulled Wine a try. Not only is it easy to make, it can be prepared in big batches! Details at A Beautiful Mess:

Mulled wine from A Beautiful Mess
Mulled wine from A Beautiful Mess

Consider having a dessert drink on hand as well, such as this Creme de Menthe Hot Chocolate from Food & Wine Magazine. It’s instantly festive and super simple to create:

Creme de menthe hot chocolate from Food & Wine
Creme de menthe hot chocolate from Food & Wine

Don’t hesitate to set up a bar cart filled with holiday drink ingredients so guests can help themselves! The lovely holiday bar cart below is styled by Brittni Mehlhoff of Paper & Stitch:

Holiday bar cart styling from Paper & Stitch
Holiday bar cart styling from Paper & Stitch

Eye-Catching Gift Wrap

Whether a gift exchange is an important part of your Christmas Eve or the gifts simply serve as a focal point in conjunction with your holiday tree, make them count by wrapping them with care! For a few simple gift wrap ideas using everyday items, check out our recent holiday DIY post. Basic supplies such as printer paper and paint pens make wrapping affordable and festive!

Get creative with your gift wrap
Get creative with your gift wrap

Add a garland to your gift with the help of card stock and string. The DIY gift wrapping strategy below was created by Amy of Homey Oh My! Sometimes the most eye-catching designs also happen to be the most minimal!

Star garland gift wrap from Homey oh My
Star garland gift wrap from Homey Oh My!

Layering gift wrap to create colorful designs is another unique wrapping strategy that will make an impact at your holiday party. A variety of clever ideas awaits you at Design Love Fest:

Unique gift wrap ideas from Design Love Fest
Unique gift wrap ideas from Design Love Fest

We at Decoist wish you and yours a Happy Holiday Season!

Liked the story? Share it with friends.

What do you think?

Booking.com