Jolly Christmas Party Themes to Bask in the Holiday Festivities

Updated October 20, 2021
Happy family decorating Christmas tree together

If you are planning a holiday party to get family and friends into the holiday spirit, deciding on a Christmas theme will help you with planning your party decor, food, and activities from beginning to end.

The Grinch Stole Christmas Movie Night

Festive Holiday Cocktail Called A Grinch Drink

Plan an evening to watch a classic Christmas movie like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, for instance. Make Grinch popcorn by drizzling green melted chocolate over popcorn, then sprinkle fun toppings for extra sweetness - mini marshmallows, heart-shaped sprinkles, or chocolate-covered candies. A green smoothie makes a great drink option for the family to enjoy while watching the movie.

If this is a casual party for immediate family only, you can plan to purchase matching pajamas for everyone in advance and have a quick photo session by the Christmas tree before the movie starts.

Ugly Christmas Sweater

happy couple in ugly sweaters at christmas market

Get guests into the holiday spirit with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Guests can either purchase or DIY their own ugly sweaters and accessorize with festive jewelry, winter beanies, ear muffs, and scarves. Have an ugly sweater contest and hand out trophies for tackiest, most original, funniest, and other different categories of your choice.

Keep the party going with wonderful appetizers, such as a Christmas tree cheeseball and crackers, delicious drinks anyone can enjoy, and holiday-inspired decorated cookies that will best fit the theme.

Secret Santa

unwrapping gifts as part of secret Santa

Bring people together with a casual Secret Santa gift exchange. Prior to the party, asks participants to write down their names with 2-3 gift suggestions at a price limit agreed on by all guests. On the day of the party, make sure the gifts are labeled with the recipient's name and not the gifter's. Once guests open up their gifts, have them guess who their Secret Santa is.

Plan exciting games and activities to keep guests happy and entertained throughout the party.

Gingerbread House Decorating

mother and daughter decorating gingerbread house

Decorating gingerbread houses is a wonderful hands-on party activity for the entire family, so why not turn this opportunity into a party? If gingerbread is beyond your baking skills, you can make simplified gingerbread houses out of graham crackers or purchase pre-assembled gingerbread house kits ready to decorate. The kit comes with what you need for the activity, however, purchasing extra candies and other holiday sugar decorations is encouraged.

Time-saver party tip: If your gingerbread doesn't come pre-assembled, skip the icing and use hot glue to put the pieces together. It will save the guests time and avoid issues with the houses collapsing while decorating them.

Presentation is key. Plan exciting holiday snacks, sweets and drinks, such as cupcakes topped with gingerbread man, hot cocoa mugs adorned with mini gingerbread houses and a holiday inspired snack board the guests can enjoy while decorating.

Wreath Decorating

hands hold up a decorative christmas wreath

Invite family and friends to channel their inner Martha Stewart and spend quality time together to decorate their own holiday wreaths. It's a creative and fun craft for DIYers and non-DIYrs alike. Guests can bring their own wreath and you can supply ribbons, a variety of holiday embellishments and tools necessary for this festive holiday craft idea.

Impress your guests with a festive holiday menu complete with a Christmas wreath veggie pizza or an impressive antipasto wreath.

Elf on the Shelf North Pole Breakfast

Christmas cupcakes with snowman and Christmas lights

If you have been doing the Elf on the Shelf tradition at home, make it special for the family this holiday season with a North Pole breakfast. Decorate your space with white pompom garlands (snowballs), decorative Christmas trees, and 3D snowflake decorations to add a winter holiday feel to it. Gingerbread pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, and white peppermint hot chocolate make a fantastic breakfast the whole family can enjoy in preparation for the elf's arrival.

Frosty the Snowman

Melted Snowman Cupcakes

Transform your house into a winter wonderland to host a magical snowman themed holiday party. Opt for a white Christmas tree and decorate it to fit your event. Set the stage with an inspiring tablescape decorated with snowman tabletop decorations, frosted eucalyptus garland, and wintery tableware.

Bring the theme to life with fresh mozzarella snowman appetizers, snowflake cupcakes, and melted snowman cookies. Consider a snowman craft to keep the kids occupied while parents socialize.

Holiday Cookie Decorating

family decorating Christmas cookies

Gather family and friends for a festive cookie decorating party. Bake your favorite sugar cookie recipe in advance and store cookies in large tins until the day of the party. Opt for a large table or kitchen counter to set up your decorating station. Display your cookies in festive trays, have decorating bags filled with royal icing and/or buttercream, candy decorating pens, holiday sprinkles, and other fun sugar decorations.

Considering the cookies are the stars of the show, serve milk for the kids and coffee or tea for the adults so they can all enjoy their own edible holiday creations.

Christmas Caroling

Group women Christmas carol

Spread joy around your neighborhood with a Christmas caroling party. Send an invitation, plan your Christmas carols list, and map out where you will be caroling ahead of time. Consider sending the list of songs along with your invitation so your guests have time to practice. If everybody's schedules permit, you can plan a final rehearsal. To take things up a notch, bring bells, cymbals, and drum sticks to keep your caroling lively and on the beat.

After caroling, invite your guests to warm up with a hot cocoa or tea at your house and have assorted cookies to share.

Tree Trimming

family with two children, decorating Christmas tree

Making decorating a Christmas tree an event and a special tradition your family and close friends will look forward to it every holiday season. Consider putting the tree up and adding string lights ahead of time in preparation for the party. Organize ornaments, bulbs, garlands, and other decorations in separate crates for easy access. If you and guests are feeling extra crafty, you can set up a DIY ornament making station and create new ornaments for the tree.

Plan a causal yet creative holiday menu featuring Christmas tree pretzel snacks, pita tree appetizers and an impressive antipasto holiday tree.

Christmas Tradition

Whichever theme you choose, consider turning your event into a Christmas tradition your family and friends will look forward to it every year.

Jolly Christmas Party Themes to Bask in the Holiday Festivities