Tis the season to be JONG-ing! Fa la la la la la la la la. As the holidays approach, the air is filled with excitement, festive tunes, and the promise of quality time with loved ones. But with a jam-packed social calendar and to-do list as long as Santa’s list, (oh, and did we mention the extra time kids are at home!?) hosting a Merry Merry Mahjong gathering can be overwhelming. We are here to help take the planning off your (full) plate so you can focus on what matters most: time with loved ones and of course plenty of Mahjong! Let’s get planning!
Step 1: Get Your Group Together (Who, What, When, Where)
Before the Mahjong tiles click and clack, it's crucial to assemble your dream team. Who are the key players? What's the date and time that suits everyone's festive schedule? Choose a cozy location that echoes the warmth of the season. Whether it's a snug living room or a festive banquet hall, setting the right ambiance is the first step toward a Merry Merry Mahjong experience.
But let’s elevate even more. Starting first with the cutest Mahjong-themed accessories. We love all things Mahji Mama's and their Holiday accessories have our hearts too. Some of our favorites? For festive cocktails, we love a good styro and these cups couldn’t be cuter. If you are serving wine, we also love these frost flex cups that are reusable and dishwasher safe on the top rack! We can’t forget to keep our hands clean while snacking (no one has time for dirty tiles) so these coordinating napkins are not only cute but also functional!
Step 2: It’s Cocktail Time, Anytime
Nothing complements a game of mahjong like a delightful cocktail. Elevate your gathering with a signature drink, adding a touch of sophistication to the festivities. For those of you who have not yet been introduced to Defined Dish (who is admittedly my girl crush), just about everything she whips up is gold. Her husband’s, Clayton, margaritas have been a staple in my house for years at this point, but these Clayton Holiday Margaritas have a few tweaks to really get you into the holiday spirit. Another option is turning to the queen of Cosmo’s herself, Ms. Ina Garten. I love whipping up her Classic cosmo’s during the holidays especially since I most often have the ingredients on hand and the hue is naturally festive with the touch of cranberry juice.
Providing non-alcoholic alternatives for designated drivers or those preferring a booze-free celebration is also a great idea! A few favorites include: Half Baked Harvest’s Christmas vacation’s Dirty Chia Cocktail (with mocktail alternative) or simply serving traditional hot cocoa.
With these drinks you will have plenty to cheers with every Bird Bam all while creating memories with every sip!
Step 3: The Best Eats to Make During Mahjong
Mahjong is not just a game; it's an event, and every event needs delicious sustenance. Keep things simple with a spread of finger foods and snacks that won't distract from the game. Once again, I turn to my girl, Alex Snodgrass aka The Defined Dish, when I need easy, delicious, and clean recipes. These Kielbasa bites with secret sauce are a staple when I host and they’re always a crowd pleaser! They’re easy to make and pair perfectly with Mahjong since they’re best eaten with toothpicks aka no messy hands to touch tiles! I’ve also had my eyes on these Cranberry brie bites which look both easy to make and easy to eat.
For those of us who struggle boiling water, Trader Joe’s is a great one-stop shop to find an array of pre-made options. These Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts are festive and delicious. I recommend putting a small bowl such as these snack crak treat cups in two of the four corners cattycorner from each other so that each player can easily snack when the nuts are calling their name.
To satisfy the sweet tooths at the table, you can also try Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes or their Triple Ginger Snap Cookies. Not only are they affordable, but they require zero prep!
Whatever you choose to serve, just remember that a well-fed Mahjong player is a happy Mahjong player!
Step 4: Mrs. Claus Loves Mahjong (Giving Gifts to Winners, Play Heads and Tails Game)
Inject some festive competition into the mix by rewarding the Mahjong maestros. Channel your inner Mrs. Claus and prepare small, thoughtful gifts for the winners. Start by getting ready for some Mahjong holiday magic with Oh My Mahjong and Joy Creative Collab Mahjong Holiday Gift Tags! These festive tags are going to jazz up your holiday gifts in style. So, what are we gifting? May we suggest our favorite tile shufflers that double as a cheat sheet and conveniently fit perfectly in a stocking, coming in two hues: pink and blue! You can’t go wrong with a little Merry Merry Mahjong swag such as our Merry Merry Mahjong hats. Another idea is Oh My Mahjong’s Cocktail Napkins. You can choose your favorite amongst our first Embroidered Napkins, Bamboo Napkins, Pagoda Napkins, or Tile Napkins. You can’t go wrong with any of the options as all are premium-quality napkins that are versatile and easy to maintain while adding a touch of elegance to your game. These napkins will impress your guests and make a unique gift for friends and family who appreciate style and tradition.
In conclusion, hosting a Merry Merry Mahjong gathering is not just about the game; it's about creating lasting memories during the most wonderful time of the year. So, whether you're a seasoned Mahjong pro or a first-time player, use this guide to make your gathering unforgettable. Fa la la la la, let the Mahjong festivities begin! May your tiles be lucky, your company be cherished, and your holiday season be truly magical. Happy JONG-ing!