Progressive Caroling Party

Have your holiday parties become dull? Do you find that even though your annual party starts at 7 o'clock your guests are ready to leave by 9 o'clock? This year, get together with your friends and neighbors and throw a party that will keep everyone on the move and having lots o' fun. Pull everyone's resources together to host the best Progressive Caroling Party that anyone has ever attended.

Caroling Party Invitations
The best element about this type of party is that there isn't one specific person or couple who is in charge of everything. Throughout the evening everyone gets to act as host as well as a guest. You can start at one house and pick up people as you carol from house to house, or have everyone meet and then travel as a group of carolers.

Your first step is to spread the word about your caroling party. Send a beautiful personalized Christmas invitation from Party411.com. Add a little sparkle to the invitation by throwing in a pinch of Christmas confetti into the envelope.

Let everyone know on the invitations where the party starts, and let them volunteer to be additional stops when they RSVP. Or you can arrange the schedule ahead of time, and include an itinerary with the invite. Make sure to mention that your guests should dress for the weather, and that they wear appropriate walking shoes. You can even roll up the invitation and insert it into a mitten, and mail it in a bubble envelope. This unique presentation will get everyone excited about the party.

Organize the Caroling Party
In my opinion, progressive parties work best when the entire crowd begins and ends the party as a group. Except for a few latecomers and stragglers throughout the evening, it's nice when everyone can stay together. Also, be sure to provide lyrics to popular carols to all of your guests, not everyone knows every verse to "Deck the Halls'. If you give them the lyrics they will feel more comfortable joining in. Include all of the classic carols:
  • Frosty the Snow Man
  • Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
  • Deck the Halls
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Jingle Bells
  • Joy To the World
  • Let It Snow
  • Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
  • Silent Night
  • The Wassail Song
  • Up On The House Top
  • Twelve Days Of Christmas
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland
Print out the lyrics to each song and put them in a binder. Your guests can carry them on their caroling rounds. If there is a chance of snow you may want to place the pages in protective plastic sheets.

Caroling Party Decorations and Party Supplies
Your house needs to be "Merry and Bright" (a Merry Christmas banner will do the trick) for this White Christmas. And don't forget to "Deck the Halls" with a Poinsetta and Holly Hanging Cascade. Your guests will feel like they are "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" when you set snowflake luminaries around the room.

Decorate your guests as well as your house, so that when the party starts traveling the decorations go with it. Who is that "Up on the Housetop"? Must be a jolly guest wearing reindeer antlers. And what about that guest with a very shiny nose... you could even say it glows (like a light up Santa hat)!  
 
Ok, all out of carol/decoration puns, but you will be fine as long as you give everyone something fun to wear... and a partridge in a pear tree (guess I had one more in me).
 
For a nice look give all the carolers a battery operated candlestick to hold.
 
Something more fun though...
You'll light up the night as well as the faces of everyone you meet on your travels!
 
Caroling Party Menu
For those of you who have never attended a Progressive Party, the basic premise is that as the evening progresses so do the courses. For example, the party starts at Elaine's house where everyone is greeted with mugs of warm apple cider and gingersnaps. People chat for a while and when it looks like everyone has arrived, the caroling begins.

Start by standing in front of the first lit house that you see. Make sure that the houses you are singing to are all lit because it is not fun to sing "Jingle Bells" to a dark house. Sing a couple of your favorite tunes at a few houses and then go to Joe's house for your next "course" (those of you braving the colder climates might consider these courses/stops "warming points"). At this point the group has probably worked up a bit of an appetite and is ready for some cheese and wine to take care of the winter chill. After a few nibbles and several sips of wine gather up the troops to venture off to the next house of victims... Um, I mean lucky listeners.

Throughout the evening you can really stretch out the courses if necessary, but I have found that this social gathering works best with a few houses hosting appetizers, a house for cocktails, a main course house, an after dinner drink house, and a home full of desserts.

To keep your guests happy and entertained, make sure to have a few icebreakers handy at the first house in case your guests aren't all close friends (and even if they are). Make sure that you have festive Christmas paper goods on which to eat, cute table decorations like Christmas confetti in festive shapes and colors. At the end of the evening you can even do what I did and dedicate the last house to eggnog, Christmas cookies, and fruitcake. Your guests will most likely be stuffed to the gills belting out, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

Caroling Party Favors
You guests will be leaving with bellies full of food and hearts full of good cheer, but you should also send them home with a party favor to say thanks for coming. Party411.com can print your special holiday message on a Christmas candy wrapper, which is a sweet way to end the party. Leave them in a basket, so people can grab them on the way out. You can even set out small single serving sized bottles of milk or bottled water to go with the chocolate (how thoughtful you are!) and even they can have personalized bottle labels.

Personalized mint tins are another unique party favor. We have lots of Christmas and winter styles, and you can personalize it with your own wording and candy choice! Or send each person home with a CD of holiday songs as a reminder of a wonderful evening and the beginning of a new neighborhood tradition.

With Party411.com, your caroling party will be a memorable event for you and your guests. Merry Christmas!