27. Gift Wrapping Race: Four to six people around a table get pieces of wrapping paper, tape, ribbon and a box. When someone says "Go!" the players must race to wrap the box with one hand.

28. Give each person a piece of paper. When you say "Go!" the first person to write down all nine of Santa's reindeer and yell out "Santa" is the winner.

29. Telephone Pictionary: Every player takes a piece of paper and writes a sentence or phrase at the top. Then every player passes the sheet to his or her left. The next person draws a picture of the sentence below the sentence. Then that person folds over the paper so only their drawing is visible and passes it to their left. The next receiving person examines the picture and writes a sentence describing it below the picture. Then that person folds over the paper so only their sentence is visible and passes it to their left. Continue until you get your own paper back.

30. Fill a jar with M--M's, counting how many are in the jar. Guests guess, and the person who's closest gets to keep the jar.

31. Pick an easy jigsaw puzzle that can be completed in a few hours.

32. If it's not too cold out, play football or something else to get the blood moving.

33. Make gingerbread houses. Award prizes for the most creative house.

34. Holiday Card Making Party: Provide stickers, glitter, pens, paper, markers or crayons and you're good to go.

35. Celebrate Hanukkah by preparing a Jewish-style brisket. The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, has a good recipe.

36. Vamp up your typical wine-and-cheese party by breaking out spiced wines or different kinds of apple cider for your guests to try.

37. Complete the meal by making a batch of traditional raspberry or apricot sufganiot (jelly doughnuts).

38. List as many Christmas songs/movies you can in 1 minute.

39. Volunteer. Get a group together to volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen. You'll have a great time and make a difference.

40. Toys for Tots: Instead of white elephant presents, agree on a $20 limit for a gift to give to a child in need.

41. Go caroling. Grab your old songbook, rehearse a little bit and hit the streets. Go door to door in your neighborhood.

42. Choose active games that get everyone involved. Try Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase, Pictionary and Scattergories.

43. Mystery Stocking Game. Give everyone a stocking filled with candy, plastic holly/mistletoe, nonbreakable ornaments, etc., and tie a ribbon around the stocking so that you can't see inside. Then, have teams of people feel the stocking and write down everything they think is inside. The team who guesses the most correctly wins.

44. Christmas Alphabet: Person with the best list A-Z of Christmas items wins.

45. Rudolph Race. Convince your guests to put Vaseline on their noses. One person puts a red pompon on their nose and then tries to get the ball to pass from his nose to the person's nose next to him. Continue down the line. Fastest line wins.

46. When your guests walk in, have them write a holiday haiku on an index card or slip of paper. Then post the haikus on a piece of poster board.

47. Buy a jumbo Post-It wall pad. Stick a few sheets to your wall, each with a topic. Leave markers and let people draw anything funny or silly, such as what they want for Christmas or their favorite holiday memory.

48. Form two lines. First person in each line rolls a die. When they get a six, they pass a small object to the person behind them who passes it on until it reaches the end. The person at the end of the line runs to the front and rolls the die. First team to reverse their line wins.

49. Glaze your ham in Dr Pepper. The soda imparts a sweet, fruity glaze onto the ham. Celeb chef Alton Brown recommends soaking the ham in clean water for two days (changing the water twice a day) to remove excess salt, then placing it in a roasting pan and dousing it with a liter of soda and a cup of sweet pickle juice. Cover with foil, roast for half an hour at 400F before reducing the heat to 325 degrees for three more hours, turning halfway.

50. Everyone wears a hat. The host takes their hat off at some point during the night and everyone is to follow. Last person who does (who's proabably not paying attention) gets to start the next game.

51. Instead of potatoes, use wild rice as a side dish. Toasting it in butter and then boiling in chicken stock, white wine or apple juice provides a great base for a pilaf.

52. Easy side: Roast butternut squash with some salt and butter until tender, about 45 minutes at 350F. Scoop out meat and puree with maple syrup and a little more butter.

53. Slice acorn squash in half and roast until tender. Melt butter and brown sugar in the cavity of the squash and place under the broiler to brown for a minute or two.

54. Cut root vegetables of your choice into equal-sized chunks. Roast with olive oil, salt and thyme until fork-tender and brown around the edges.

55. Winking game. Sit in a circle. Pick a detective, who leaves the circle. Then pick someone to be the murderer. Call the detective back in. The murderer kills people by winking at them. The person who is winked at then lets out a scream. The detective has three attempts to guess.

56. Make-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches: Set out your George Foreman, a spray can of olive oil, sliced breads, slices of cheese, and ham or turkey.

57. Make a peppermint stick martini. Combine 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce peppermint schnapps, 1 ounce Triple Sec and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake. Strain the mix into a martini glass rimmed with crushed peppermint. Garnish with a candy cane.

58. Make candle napkin folds. Fold a square napkin in half diagonally. Fold the long side of the triangle up an inch and flatten. Tightly roll either end until the napkin becomes a cylinder and tuck the end into the base

59. Make placemats from leftover greeting cards. Cut out six-inch circles from 10 cards. Overlap them on a piece of contact paper in a pattern of your desire.

60. Soak silverware in baking soda before rinsing under warm water. After letting the utensils dry on a clean towel, buff them with a soft cloth for a sparking shine.

61. Try the French napkin fold. Fold napkin in half diagonally and turn the fold vertical. Fold the far corner down diagonally to the right. Fold the farthest right corner toward you, pivoting at the same place as the last fold.

62. Spur family memories with an heirloom photo tablecloth. Print scanned vintage photos on T-shirt transfer paper. Place images on a tablecloth and iron on.

63. Slide pineapple chunks and kiwi or orange slices on toothpicks for stylish drink skewers.

64. Grab glass enamel paint and make festive holiday glassware.

65. Wrap a thin piece of rope, string or yarn around itself to create coasters. Glue the end of the ring to the outside of the wrapped circle. Paste it to a piece of cork or cardboard or leave as is.

66. Rim martini glasses in melted white or dkrk chocolate. Refrigerate until you're ready to use.

67. Pick up a rotating cake stand like the Trim 'n' Turn from A.C. Moore for $9.

68. Throw leftover slices of pie or cake into decorated carryout boxes for a delicious dessert party favor.

69. Fill small plastic martini glasses from a dollar store with holiday candies and wrap them in colorful tissue paper for party favors.

70. Send guests home with merry music by tying party favors with ribbon and small sleigh bells found at a crafts store.

71. Get Formal: Set a formal dinner table complete with all nine pieces of flatware and teach everyone the silverware trick: Start on the outside and work your way in.

72. Decorate with flameless candles, around $5 from retailers like Crate -- Barrel. You can put a twinkle in everyone's eye without going up in flames.

73. Make deviled eggs for the family to munch on during the game.

74. For an easy and different holiday side dish, place one-inch-thick slices of white onion in a baking dish and brush with a slurry made from 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and curry powder, plus a couple tablespoons each of vegetable oil and water. Pour extra marinade and a little more water onto the onions and roast at 400F for 40 minutes until soft. Remove, baste onions in their own juices and sprinkle sugar on top. Broil the onions for 10 to 15 minutes more.

75. Don't trust the pop-up thermometer in your bird. Instead, use a digital probe and remove it when it reaches 160F.

76. Buy a folding table to accompany unexpected guests. You can always throw it in front of a couch when chairs fill up.

77. Pull out an old holiday decorating favorite: potpourri. Embellish and freshen the room at the same time.

78. After removing the pulp from citrus fruits for dessert or homemade punch, salt the peels for green air fresheners. The salt absorbs odors while the peel releases citrus scents.

79. If you're having a small gathering of close friends and family, wrap gift tags around the flatware at the table with each of your guests' names. Everyone will feel special and cooperate with your seating arrangement.

80. Toss broccoli and cauliflower in olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Roast until deep brown.

81. Simple yet elegant salad: blanch white and green asparagus tips until just tender and roast for a moment; set aside. Whisk champagne vinegar with minced shallot, Dijon mustard and chopped tarragon then mix a few drops of white truffle oil. Blend in extra virgin olive oil to finish the vinaigrette; marinate asparagus in dressing. Serve with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and slices of prosciutto.

82. Make bags of holiday trail mix to give to guests as a parting gift. Combine dried cranberries and apricots with pecans and butterscotch chips.

83. Buy a vanilla bean to make holiday desserts. After scraping out the seeds for your famous ice cream base, nestle the pod into your sugar pot. The bean's essence will soon permeate your sugar to give you a delicious vanilla sugar.

84. Stick the names of holiday-related characters on everyone's back. Guests try to guess who's on their back with hints from a partner.

85. Substitute holiday karaoke for caroling at your holiday party.

86. Print out party information and wrap it around a candy bar for an enticing party invitation.

87. For a colorful, inexpensive centerpiece, drop each flower of a bouquet into a shot glass and place them all in the middle of a round dinner table or align them down the center of a long table.

88. Play holiday bingo. Design cards with wintry images instead of numbers.

89. Let your guests decorate their own cookies for dessert. Place bowls of frosting, sprinkles and other decorative sweets along the sides of the table and circulate guests around to make their own cookie creation.

90. Make stuffin' muffins by preparing your normal stuffing recipe but baking it instead in a greased muffin pan.

91. Instead of russets, use Peruvian purple potatoes for your spuds. They look great and add a healthy dose of antioxidants.

92. Add more mayo and plain yogurt to your cranberry mustard for a unique coleslaw dressing.

93. Don't like Brussels sprouts? Blanche them in salted boiling water and slice in half. Brown garlic and diced sweet sopressata in a pan with a some butter and olive oil. Toss the sprouts until the edges curl up.

94. Give the kids a toast with a mock champagne punch. Boil a cup each of water and sugar, cool, and add a cup of white grape juice, 2/3 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Chill. When ready to serve, add a cup of cold ginger ale.

95. Perk up your potatoes by cutting them into small, equal-sized chunks, coating them in olive oil, salt and onion powder and roasting at 400F or until crispy outside.

96. Reinvent oyster stuffing as a haute appetizer for your holiday party. Combine saut?ed bacon, shallots and celery with cornbread, chopped parsley and melted butter. Top each oyster liberally with the stuffing and roast for about 5 minutes.

97. A colorful salad: Combine roasted beets, mandarin oranges, chopped toasted hazelnuts and crumbled feta. Serve with olive oil, balsamic and a little of the syrup from the can of oranges over watercress or arugula.

98. Mix blueberries or cranberries into your favorite cornbread batter.

99. Costume your pet as the holiday party mascot.

100. Invent your own holiday tradition get friends to celebrate with you.

101. Don't stand the heat of the kitchen alone. Assign dishes to family members and have a potluck.

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