The holiday season just has a literary air about it—maybe it’s the chilly weather, perfect for curling up in front of a fireplace with a good book; perhaps it’s the many memorable holiday scenes in literature from books like Little Women and Harry Potter; or it may just be a desire to unplug from the 100th airing of It’s a Wonderful Life. Whatever the reason, books and the holidays go together like hot cocoa and little marshmallows. So what better way to celebrate the season and your book nerdiness than with a bookish holiday party? Here’s everything you need to throw the perfect holiday lit fest for you and your book nerd pals!
You can get as specific or general as you want. On the specific end of the spectrum, you could have a Harry Potter–themed Yule Ball and have everyone don their finest dress robes or a Dickensian-style fete filled with mirth and merriment. The super-general It’s a Holly Jolly Book Nerd Holiday Party theme works too—but yes, the title does need a little work. We think you can take it from here.
Get thee to Pinterest and start searching for DIY book trees—they’re super-easy to construct, and they won’t leave pine needles all over your floor. Making a DIY menorah can be a little trickier, since books and fire don’t make a great combo—unless your party theme is Fahrenheit 451. Set up holiday-themed books on end tables and the mantle, and hang some bookish ornaments from the tree to get everyone in the book nerd holiday spirit.
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Your options for party drinks—both alcoholic and non—are endless. There are so many awesome recipes for butterbeer, you can give the Three Broomsticks some serious competition. Plus, there are lots of fun lit-themed cocktail recipes like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita and The Last of the Mojitos from Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist. And for wine lovers, we can’t forget about literary-labeled wines like Ex Libris and Well Read (which is, well, red).
You can cook to the theme of your party—a nice roast beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, anyone? Or have guests contribute a fave dish from literature—like Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe or Key lime pie from Nora Ephron’s Heartburn. Or encourage attendees to come up with a book-punny dish—One Flew Over the Couscous Nest or Lord of the Fries perhaps?
Everyone loves party favors, but you don’t have to handle them for the whole crowd. Have everyone bring a wrapped book as a gift—and party attendees can either take one at random as they leave or swap them White Elephant–style. Or you can have the giver attach a “blind date with a book”–type note to the wrapped book with the genre and a brief review (that doesn’t reveal the plot), and everyone can just take the one that tickles their fancy.