Holiday cheer is in the air and it’s to throw your most epic party of the entire year with your very own Friendsmas party.  If you’re like us, you’ll probably be attending several fun holiday parties from now through New Year’s Eve.  Everyone else’s party will pretty much be the same, but this is the year that your party will be the one everyone remembers for the next decade.  Throwing a memorable might seem overhelming at first, but chance favors the prepared if you have the right plan.

We’ve thrown a few epic parties in our time and some of have been more ellaborate than others.  Ellaborate doesn’t have to be expensive or overwhelming to be successful. Whether you’re veteran party host with the most, or a novice who has no clue on where to begin, we’ve designed a simple guide with the essential ingredients for a successful friendsmas party.


Friendsmas Party Venue

Party Venue

Whether you want your party atmosphere to be luxurious or casually moderate, it’s important to have a space large enough to accomodate all of your guests comfortably.  If your guest list is big and you live in a condo or an apartment, your community’s resident lounge might provide enough space for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.  For homeowners that don’t wish to host their party in their own home, consider hosting you party in a neighborhood community if there’s one available.


The Guest List

Your guest list should always include your closest friends or family who will enhance the party. Instead of sending a mass e-mail invitation to everyone, enlist one of your best friends to help with the guest list and create a prviate event page on Facebook.  It will allow you to trade messages and allow everyone to keep track of the individual items they’ll be bringing to the party.


Party Beverages

Cocktails and adult beverages are the life blood of just about any respectable holiday party.  We partnered with a few of our favorite local beverage distributors to create a few inventive and tasty cocktails that everyone would easily enjoy.  Goodpop, natural frozen popsicles provided several boxes of their best flavors, so we made a few tasty poptails with Nine Bannded Whiskey and LIVE Soda, which was the most popular and easiest to drink cocktail of the entire party.  Please remember to drink responsibily and be sure to collect everyone’s keys as they enter the party.

Cocktails and Poptails

Our Goodpop poptail was one of our favorties, but we also enjoyed other tasty cocktails curated by our friend @ATXpartygirl featuring a few other local favorites like 512 Tequila, Westernson Vodka, Stillhouse Whiskey and her infamous Snowflake Horchatta.

Cameron Hughes Wine

Cocktails are fun, but wine is always essential to the success of any respectable party.  We partnered with Cameron Hughes Winery to enjoy a few select bottles of their new releases.  With Cameron Hughes, there’s no expense spared in their Iconic-level winemaking.  Everyone’s favorite was the 2014 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s sumptuous and suave on the nose, boasting a gorgeous mélange of blackberry, cherry, cassis, dark chocolate and mint underpinned with graphite and mineral wrapped in lavender florals. The palate is juicy and succulent, with red and black fruit and a finely knit but resounding kirsch/mocha punch, perfect for nearly any holiday party.

Tender Belly Ham - Friendsmas

Party Food

Drinks may be the life blood of the party, but food is what will keep everyone full and happy.  If you’re planning a potluck style party, this is the easiest way to ensure everyone will contribute.  Maintain a listed menu on your Facebook group page, listing the primary dishes, side items, desserts and beverages to ensure everyone doesn’t cheapen out and only bring their favorite bag of potato chips.

PRE Brands Beef

We We have a lot of meat eaters in our group so we partnerd with PRE Brands Beef company, Tender Belly Ham and local favorite Evan and LeRoy BBQ to help us cater to our most carniverous party eaters. PRE Brands provided us with several packs of 100% grass-fed beef which was smoked and grilled by Evan and LeRoy BBQ.  The beef was outstanding and flavorful and easily everyone’s favorite food of the party.


tender belly ham 2

Tender Belly – Holiday Ham

Tender Belly’s 100 percent Berkshire, naturally uncured, spiral cut hams will have have holiday guests begging for more. The intramuscular fat marbling, natural cure and sweet honey glaze make for one of the best ham experiences anyone has ever had.  The ham comes pre-glazed and wrapped in foil so consumers only need to throw it in the oven, warm it to the desired temp and serve.


Aviary Cheese Board

Antonelli’s – Charcuterie Board


Schlotzsky’s – Catering Platters

Believe it or not, Schlotzsky’s is locally based in Austin and can easily handle any of your catering needs for your holiday party.  The large sandwich trays, pizzas, wraps, desserts are delicious and perfect for any event.


MezzeMe - Ashlyn Allison


Mezze Me, the fast-casual global eatery that highlights organic, locally sourced Mediterranean cuisine sent us a few platters and pita sandwiches to help us celebrate the party.  Mezze Me, which translates from Turkish to “my appetizer,” serves distinctive Euro-Mediterranean dishes in a personalized, Austin-centric way.  So if you’re looking for something other than a typical hummus and crackers platter, call MezzeMe to see what options they may be able to provide for your party.



Your holiday party desserts should always be fun, tasty and sweet enough to make everyone believe they shouldn’t be eating it.  Just tell everyone, “It’s the holidays, these calories don’t count!”.  Here’s a few of our favorites!


Holy Roller Cinnamon Rolls

Holy Roller – Cinnamon Rolls


Dessert Cocktails with Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee


Chocolate Pizza


White Elephant Games

Close out your Holiday Party with a few games and the always popular, White Elephant Game.  It’s always been the best way to exchange gifts with your best friends, but be sure it has a theme and a few ground rules before you play.  Try a re-gifting theme, which allows everyone to bring a gift they might have previously recieved in the past.  If you want to spice things up a bit, consider a wine and liquor re-gifting theme which allows everyone to walk away with a new bottle your favorite (or least favorite) alcohol.

About The Author

Hayden Walker
Editor In Chief

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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