woman decorating christmas tree for party.

Christmas Party Themes 2023: 33 Fun Ideas for a Memorable Celebration

Christmas parties are a great way to celebrate the festive season with friends, family, and colleagues. With a wide array of Christmas party theme ideas available, from classical and whimsical to food-based and interactive, there’s sure to be a perfect fit for your guests and occasion. Choosing the right theme for your party can make all the difference in creating a memorable and fun experience.

As you plan your Christmas party, consider what type of atmosphere you want to create and what will appeal to your guest list. If you’re interested in hosting something traditional, choose a classical theme that showcases the best aspects of the holiday season. Alternatively, if you want to make people laugh and have a good time, opt for a funny or non-traditional theme. To make your event extra memorable, you can even incorporate elements from popular movies or have visitors wear themed costumes.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a Christmas party theme that suits the atmosphere and guest preferences.
  • Consider a range of theme options, from classical to interactive and everything in between.
  • Ensure your chosen theme is memorable and engaging for all attendees.

Classical Christmas Party Themes

Classical Christmas party ideas are traditional and timeless ways to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family.

Winter Wonderland Party

Transform your space into a magical winter wonderland by using white, silver, and icy blue decorations. Snowflakes, twinkling lights, and frosty accents will create an enchanting atmosphere. For your table setting, use white linens and incorporate accents like snow-covered pinecones or branches. Serve warming winter beverages like hot chocolate and spiced apple cider to keep your guests cozy during the celebration.

Christmas Caroling

A Christmas caroling party is a fantastic way to bring joy to your friends and neighbors. Set the scene by decorating with sheet music, hymnal pages, and vintage-inspired hardware. Hand out caroling books or create a playlist of your favorite Christmas carols to sing along with your guests. Surprise your partygoers by inviting a local choir or booking a small brass band to perform live during the celebration.

Reindeer Games Theme

Invite your party guests to enjoy a playful night of Reindeer Games with activities and decor inspired by Santa’s favorite helpers. Use antlers, red and green decorations, and reindeer-themed tableware to create a festive atmosphere. Plan games like pin the nose on Rudolph, reindeer ring toss, or a holiday scavenger hunt. Complete the theme with reindeer-inspired snacks and treats, such as reindeer trail mix or pretzel antler cookies.

Ornament Exchange

The Ornament Exchange Christmas party is a type of holiday gathering where each attendee brings a festive ornament to exchange with one another. The ornaments are typically wrapped or hidden, and then distributed randomly among the guests. The idea is to provide a fun and interactive way to celebrate the holiday season while also giving everyone a unique and personalized ornament to take home. These types of parties are popular among friends, family, and colleagues during the Christmas season.

Christmas Sock Exchange

Celebrate Christmas with friends, family, colleagues, and a sock exchange. This type of gathering allows guests to exchange small gifts and goodies in socks. The socks are then randomly distributed among guests.

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Host a Secret Santa gift exchange where guests draw names and give a thoughtful gift to the person they drew. Set a budget for the gifts to keep it affordable for everyone.

Funny Christmas Party Themes

Elf on the Shelf Theme

Make your Christmas party a hoot with an Elf on the Shelf theme. Encourage your party guests to dress up as elves, and have fun with games such as elf-wrapping contests or an elf scavenger hunt. Don’t forget to include a special corner for taking funny elf-themed photographs!

Festivus Theme

Are you a fan of Seinfeld? Then you’ll love hosting a Festivus-themed Christmas party. Based on the hit TV show’s holiday alternative, Festivus is a light-hearted alternative to traditional Christmas celebrations. Decorate your space with a Festivus pole, incorporate the airing of grievances in your activities, and challenge your guests to a feats of strength competition.

Grinch-Mas Party

Who says you have to be merry and bright this holiday season? Embrace your inner Grinch with a Grinch-Mas party. Encourage guests to dress up as their favorite character from the movie or story and serve up green-themed treats. Don’t forget the Whoville decorations!

Reverse Christmas in July

A favorite funny Christmas party theme is the Reverse Christmas in July. Guests can wear summery outfits with a festive twist, such as Hawaiian shirts with Christmas patterns and Santa hats. Play beach-themed games indoors and serve up tropical-inspired holiday cocktails. Your guests will love the unexpected twist on a traditional Christmas party!

Throughout these funny Christmas party themes, you can add even more laughter by incorporating an Ugly Sweater theme. This gives your guests the opportunity to showcase their most outrageous holiday attire, adding an extra layer of fun to any of these festive celebrations. Remember, the goal is to keep the atmosphere light-hearted and entertaining for everyone involved.

Christmas Luau Party

A Christmas Luau Party is a fantastic way to bring the tropical atmosphere to your holiday celebrations. It combines the traditional elements of a Christmas party with the vibrant, colorful, and festive elements of a Hawaiian Luau.

  • Transform your party venue into a tropical paradise by incorporating bright colors, floral patterns, and tropical elements like palm leaves, tiki torches, and leis. Don’t forget to add some Christmas elements such as lights and ornaments to tie the theme together. You might consider using giant pineapple paper lanterns as a whimsical addition to your décor.
  • Your menu should include a mix of traditional Christmas foods and Hawaiian-inspired dishes. You can serve dishes like teriyaki chicken, pineapple glazed ham, and Hawaiian macaroni salad. For drinks, you can offer tropical cocktails like Mai Tais and Pina Coladas alongside more traditional Christmas beverages such as eggnog and mulled wine. Don’t forget to provide some tropical fruit as a refreshing snack, like pineapple and mango.
  • Encourage your guests to dress in Hawaiian attire, like floral shirts and grass skirts. Incorporate Hawaiian party games, such as a limbo contest or hula dancing lessons, to keep everyone entertained. You can also include a fun twist on classic Christmas activities like a tropical ornament-making station or a white elephant gift exchange with Hawaiian-themed gifts.

Food-Based Christmas Party Themes

Cookies and Milk Theme

Who doesn’t love Christmas cookies? A Cookies and Milk theme is perfect for a cozy and delightful holiday gathering. Encourage your guests to bring their favorite Christmas cookies to share, and provide a variety of milks for everyone to enjoy. You can serve classic whole milk, almond milk, oat milk, or even flavored milks like chocolate and eggnog. Decorate your space with cookie-themed ornaments, and don’t forget to put out plates, napkins, and cookie cutters as festive table decor. Provide festive packaging for guests to exchange and take home their cookies.

Christmas Brunch Theme

Nothing says holiday spirit like a warm and delicious Christmas brunch. Invite your friends and family to enjoy a leisurely morning or afternoon get-together with a Christmas Brunch theme. Plan a menu that includes classic brunch favorites like eggs, bacon, and toast, alongside festive options like gingerbread pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and cranberry mimosas. Set up a buffet table with holiday-themed serveware and linens for an elegant and cheerful atmosphere.

Christmas Appetizers Theme

For a more casual and lively gathering, a Christmas Appetizers theme can be a hit. This theme invites your guests to indulge in a variety of festive bites, from cranberry salsa to mini quiches, and everything in between. Offer savory options like stuffed mushrooms, as well as sweet treats such as mini dessert cups. It’s a great way to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences, and it allows your guests to mingle easily while they enjoy the delicious offerings. Be sure to decorate your space with cheerful holiday lights and colors to create a warm and welcoming environment for your appetizer-filled Christmas celebration.

Hot Chocolate Theme

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm cup of hot chocolate after braving the cold. Party and make your own homemade hot chocolate to celebrate the season. Provide an array of toppings such as marshmallows and Andes mints, allowing everyone to personalize their mug to their liking.

Movie Themed Christmas Party Themes

A movie-themed Christmas party is a fun way to watch your favorite movie and bring together friends and family for a festive celebration. Here are some ideas for movie-themed Christmas party themes:

A Christmas Story Theme

Celebrate the holidays with A Christmas Story theme by incorporating iconic elements from the beloved movie. Decorate with items that evoke the film, such as leg lamps, BB guns, and pink bunny costumes. Serve themed foods like Chinese takeout and sweet treats inspired by the movie, like Lifebuoy donut soap rings. Encourage guests to dress as their favorite characters for added fun.

Charlie Brown Christmas Theme

A Charlie Brown Christmas theme party is a wonderful idea that brings nostalgic feelings to your holiday celebrations. For decorations, you can use iconic characters from the movie, such as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and their tiny tree. Add some colorful lights and you’re all set. Serve up themed snacks like Snoopy’s doghouse cookies and Peanuts popcorn mix. Encourage your guests to dress up like their favorite Peanuts characters, adding extra fun to the party.

Nightmare Before Christmas Theme

Host a spooktacular holiday event with a Nightmare Before Christmas themed party. This theme combines the gloominess of Halloween town with the joy of Christmas town, making it a unique and exciting choice for your celebration. Decorate your space with themed items like Jack Skellington and Sally ornaments, Oogie Boogie garlands, and Zero the ghost dog balloons. Serve drinks like the Jack Skellington Punch and Sally’s Patchwork Treats to keep the theme going throughout the night. Don’t forget to encourage your guests to dress up like the movie’s iconic characters!

A Christmas Carol Theme

Decorate your party space with Victorian-inspired decorations, such as wreaths, candles, and greenery. You can also use props from the story, such as chains and ghostly apparitions, to create a spooky atmosphere. Set the mood with Christmas carols and music from the movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol.

Plan a menu that includes traditional Victorian holiday foods, such as roasted meats, pies, and puddings. You can also serve hot cider or mulled wine to warm up your guests. Set up a screening of one of the movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol, or have a reading of the book by Charles Dickens.

Consider having a costume contest with prizes for the best Victorian-inspired costumes, or have a scavenger hunt based on the story. Maybe play some Victorian-era games, such as charades or parlor games, to keep your guests entertained.

Christmas Movie Marathon Theme

A Christmas Movie Marathon theme party is perfect for those who love to cozy up and spend some quality time watching classic holiday films. First, set up a comfortable viewing area by arranging plenty of seating and providing blankets and pillows. Then, curate a selection of your favorite Christmas movies like Elf, A Christmas Story, A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Love Actually. Decorate your space with movie-themed items, such as film reel garlands, movie posters, candy canes, and popcorn buckets. Offer your guests a buffet of cinema-style snacks, like popcorn, candy, and hot chocolate to create an authentic movie experience.

Interactive Christmas Party Themes

DIY Advent Calendar Theme

If you want to add a creative twist to your Christmas celebration, consider hosting a DIY Advent Calendar theme party. This theme allows all attendees to design and assemble their own advent calendars. Provide guests with a variety of materials such as cardstock, envelopes, and decorative items to customize their creations. Encourage everyone to share their ideas, and you’ll end up with a collection of unique, personalized advent calendars to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Wreath Making Theme

Crafting enthusiasts will love a Wreath Making themed Christmas party. Invite your guests to create their own festive wreaths, using an assortment of materials like grapevine, wire, and foam bases as well as an array of decorative items such as ribbon, berries, foliage, and ornaments. Provide guests with guidance and wreath-making tutorials, and let their creativity take over. At the end of the party, everyone will have a beautiful, handmade wreath to take home and display in their homes.

DIY Ornaments Theme

A DIY Ornaments themed Christmas party is perfect for those who love to get hands-on with their holiday decorations. Set up a crafting area stocked with clear glass or plastic ornaments, paints, glitter, and various embellishments. Encourage your guests to create their own unique designs, and watch as the ornaments come to life. This creative party theme not only offers a fun activity, but also gives attendees a memorable keepsake to cherish for years to come.

Gingerbread House Decorating Theme

Unleash your inner architect with a Gingerbread House Decorating party theme. Provide your guests with pre-built gingerbread houses or gingerbread house kits, and an assortment of decorative materials like frosting, candies, and edible glitter. Guests can work individually or in teams, and you can even incorporate friendly competitions, such as “Most Creative Design” or “Best Structural Integrity.” This interactive theme provides an enjoyable and festive atmosphere, perfect for people of all ages.

Christmas Around the World Theme

Celebrate Christmas around the world with various traditions and customs. The party typically includes decorations, food, music, and activities that represent different countries and their unique holiday traditions. For example, guests may enjoy German gingerbread cookies, Mexican hot chocolate, and Italian panettone while learning about the history and cultural significance of these dishes. Additionally, the party may include games, crafts, and other activities that highlight the diversity and richness of Christmas celebrations around the world. These types of parties are a great way to learn about and appreciate different cultures during the holiday season.

Escape Room Theme

A DIY Christmas Escape Room kit provides a genuine escape room experience by challenging players to search for clues, gather information, and unlock boxes by using everyday household items, instead of just solving a paper puzzle. Etsy has sellers offering escape room games with family-friendly storylines. In one shop, players will find that Mrs. Claus has hidden Santa’s list and other items, hoping to persuade him to stay and celebrate Christmas Eve with her. So, the players have to find the missing items within an hour to save Christmas and ensure that Santa can deliver all the toys on time.

Murder Mystery Theme

Bring an air of mystery to your Christmas party with a murder mystery. One Etsy store has a Who Killed Santa’s Elf murder mystery for guests to solve.

Board Game Theme

Having a board game Christmas party theme is a fun and interactive way to celebrate. Choose a variety of board games that are appropriate for different age groups and skill levels and ask  guests to bring their favorite board games to add to the collection. Decorate your party space with festive holiday decorations, such as Christmas lights, garlands, and ornaments and provide snacks and beverages that are easy to eat while playing board games like finger foods (chips, popcorn, and cookies). Set up different game stations throughout the party space, each with a different board game. Make sure to have enough tables and chairs for everyone to play comfortably. You can create a tournament or competition with prizes for the winners to add a fun and competitive element to the party or consider having a white elephant gift exchange or a gift swap where guests can bring board games as gifts.

Christmas Karoke Theme

Encourge friends and family to wear their favorite Christmas sweater and get ready to party it up with the Christmas Karoke holiday party. Rent a karoke machine or hire a DJ and create a playlist of Christmas songs that your guests can sing along to (you can also ask your guests to suggest their favorite holiday tunes). Consider a karaoke competition with prizes for the best performances or have a sing-off between guests or teams.

Sip and Paint Theme

Celebrate the season with festive drinks and a little art work for adults with a sip and wine Christmas party. The party typically features a holiday-themed painting session led by a professional artist or art instructor. Consider a winter landscape, a Christmas tree, or other festive images. Play some holiday-themed music in the background to add to the festive atmosphere and encourage guests to dress up in holiday attire, such as festive sweaters or Santa hats.

Costume Themed Christmas Party Themes

A costume themed Christmas party is a fun idea to invite friends and dress up in the parties theme.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

An Ugly Christmas Sweater Party is a fun and casual way to celebrate the holiday season. To host this event, ask your guests to wear their tackiest, most over-the-top Christmas sweaters. Encourage creativity by awarding prizes for categories such as “ugliest,” “most inventive,” and “best DIY”.

To add more excitement, organize games and activities centered around the theme, like a holiday-themed trivia or scavenger hunt. Don’t forget to decorate your venue with festive ornaments, and provide a photo booth or backdrop where everyone can show off their outrageous outfits.

Christmas Costume Party

A Christmas Costume Party offers a unique twist on traditional festive celebrations. In this theme, encourage your guests to dress up as their favorite holiday characters, such as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves, reindeer, or even well-known figures from popular Christmas movies.

To make your party truly memorable, organize a costume contest and give out awards for categories like “best couple costume,” “best individual costume,” and “best group costume”. Additionally, consider having themed food and drinks to complement the costumes, like elf-inspired snacks or Rudolph-inspired cocktails.

Remember to have fun and enjoy the festive atmosphere this holiday season by incorporating these unique costume themed Christmas party ideas into your celebrations.

Non-traditional Christmas Party Themes

Offer your guests an unforgettable non-traditional holiday experience that will create lasting memories.

Christmas in July

Tired of chilly winters? Bring some warmth to your holiday celebrations with a Christmas in July party. Transform your space into a fun beach-themed event with summery holiday decorations. Create an inviting atmosphere with sandcastles, inflatable palm trees, mistletoe leis, and beach balls as ornaments. Serve refreshing summer-inspired drinks like tropical punch, sangria, and mojitos, along with your traditional Christmas food. Don’t forget to incorporate classic Christmas music with a summery twist to complete the festive ambiance.

Christmas Slime Party

Add a unique and quirky touch to your holiday celebration with a Christmas Slime Party. This is a fantastic choice for families with kids, as it provides a fun and interactive experience. Set up a DIY slime-making station filled with various types of slime, food coloring, and glitter. Don’t forget to include festive mix-ins like snowflakes, mini Christmas trees, and Santa hats for added holiday cheer.

Organize slime-themed games and challenges, such as a Slime Relay Race or a Slime Sculpting Contest, to keep the guests engaged throughout the party. You can also offer Christmas-themed slime favors to leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Christmas Party Theme

Here are a few tips and entertaining hacks to consider when selecting an appropriate theme for your Christmas party.

  1. Be creative: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with a unique and creative theme that will make your party stand out.
  2. Consider the audience: Think about the guests who will be attending the party and choose a theme that will appeal to them. For example, if the party is for families with young children, a Santa’s workshop theme may be a good choice.
  3. Choose a theme that is easy to execute: Make sure that the theme you choose is easy to execute and won’t require too much time or effort to plan and decorate.
  4. Keep it simple: Don’t overcomplicate the theme or decorations. Sometimes, simple is better and can still create a festive and enjoyable atmosphere.
  5. Incorporate traditional holiday elements: Consider incorporating traditional holiday elements, such as Christmas trees, wreaths, and ornaments, into the theme to create a classic and timeless feel.
  6. Make it interactive: Consider including interactive elements in the theme, such as games or activities, to keep guests engaged and entertained.
  7. Consider the venue: Choose a theme that is appropriate for the venue and space available. For example, if the party is being held in a small apartment, a large-scale winter wonderland theme may not be feasible.
  8. Shopping for Party Supplies: When selecting a Christmas party theme, consider the availability of party supplies. Make sure to choose a theme that has easily accessible decor and props. This ensures that you can quickly find the necessary items for your theme without going through much hassle. Shop for theme-specific items and essentials such as Christmas lights, or opt for DIY decorations.
  9. Decorating for the Party: The decor chosen for your party will help set the mood and atmosphere of the event. To create an unforgettable experience, ensure that your chosen theme is consistent throughout the entire celebration. This includes decorations like Christmas lights, table settings, and even hanging ornaments. Incorporate themed pieces tastefully and refrain from overcrowding your space to maintain a visually pleasing aesthetic.
  10. Community Considerations: Your guests’ preferences and cultural backgrounds are essential considerations when choosing a theme. Select an inclusive and universally appealing theme to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Additionally, take note of any community guidelines or policies when planning your event, especially if it’s a public gathering or held in a shared space. Be considerate of your friends and family and mindful of your guests interests in a gift exchange if applicable.
  11. Beverage Choices: No party is complete without drinks! For your Christmas celebration, offer a variety of beverages to cater to the tastes and preferences of your guests. Depending on your chosen theme, you can serve traditional holiday drinks like eggnog or hot cocoa, or opt for something more sophisticated like wine or cocktails. Always have non-alcoholic options available so that everyone can enjoy and partake in the festivities.
  12. Food choices: Match food selections with the party theme and ask guests about any allergies up front. Look for food options that aren’t messy or expensive. Consider casseroles, finger foods, cocktails/mocktails, and a few desserts. For a more formal sit down dinner add a turkey, ham, and sides that you enjoy.
  13. Be flexible and be present: Enjoy your guests and your party.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique corporate Christmas party themes?

For a corporate Christmas party, consider themes that are both enjoyable and professional. A Winter White Affair can create an elegant atmosphere with white and silver decorations. Other options include a Casino Night, a Masquerade Ball, or a Hollywood Red Carpet theme to add some glamour to the event.

Which Christmas party themes are best for a family gathering?

Family gatherings call for inclusive and fun themes that appeal to all ages. A Christmas Tree Decorating Party allows everyone to participate in trimming the tree while enjoying your favorite Christmas songs and movies in the background. You can also try a Gingerbread House Building Party or a Festive Pajama Party for a more casual and cozy atmosphere.

What are some funny and creative themes for an adult Christmas party?

To make your adult Christmas party more entertaining, consider themes that encourage laughter and creativity. Options include an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, a Christmas Movie Trivia Night, or a Christmas Karaoke Party that lets guests showcase their singing talents.

What are suitable themes for a Church Christmas event?

Inspire a sense of community and festive spirit with themes that align with your church’s values. A Nativity Scene Reenactment gives attendees the chance to participate in a meaningful portrayal of the Christmas story. Other options include a Caroling Party or potluck-style Angel Feast, where guests contribute dishes and share in fellowship.

How can I choose an engaging theme for a school Christmas party?

When planning a school Christmas party, consider themes that are age-appropriate and engaging for students. A Christmas Craft Party can involve making festive ornaments, cards, or decorations. Alternatively, a Santa’s Workshop theme, with games and crafts inspired by the North Pole, can create a fun and magical atmosphere for the children.

What are some memorable holiday party ideas for various contexts?

To create a memorable holiday party for any context, think about your guests and the overall atmosphere you want to achieve. A Nostalgic Christmas theme can transport guests to a cherished time from their past, while a Winter Wonderland theme sets the tone for a magical and enchanting evening. Whatever theme you choose, aim for a cohesive and engaging experience that fits the occasion and resonates with your attendees.

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.