A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

60 Christmas Party Themes for a Merry Celebration

Whether you're hosting the family get-together, a gathering with friends or the office holiday bash, we have plenty of festive Christmas themes to keep the spirit bright

Group Of Friends Exchanging Gifts At Christmas Lunch
urbazon/Getty Images

Let these Christmas themes spice up your holiday celebrations

Who doesn’t love a holiday party? Whether you invite only close family or all your acquaintances, a festive fête can be the best way to kick off Christmas. But when it comes to decorating, where do you start? Using creative Christmas themes at your next holiday party can help you plan a get-together to remember.

With so many unique Christmas traditions, there are as many ways to celebrate as there are days in December! After all, what is Christmas without gathering your loved ones for holiday cheer, homemade holiday decorations and all the festive foods? Try combining these Christmas themes with other beloved holiday traditions, like making ornaments, curling up to watch Christmas movies or whatever unique traditions your family has created over the years. If you want to make your next party extra merry and bright, read on.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for holidays, humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.

How can I make my Christmas party special?

Christmas themes make it easier to plan your party and shop for supplies, since the holiday party games, food, activities, crafts, treats and decor all coordinate. Choosing a theme beyond simply “Christmas” can help you plan your best party yet and make it even more fun for your guests by providing memories that will be treasured long after the holidays are over. We’ve rounded up the most festive Christmas theme ideas for parties with family, friends, kids and more!

Handmade craft project from toilet tube. Creative kids DIY New year. Cute Snowman, Deer, Santa Claus for Christmas party
Anastasiaromb/Getty Images

Trash-to-treasure Christmas theme

Gather your holiday crew for this crafty activity: turning their “trash” into beloved keepsakes. The fun part about this idea is that it allows everyone to tap into their creativity. Turn tin cans into colorful pencil holders for an office desk, bedazzle mason jars to use as vases or create Christmas wreaths out of bottle caps. The ideas are almost endless. Plus the kids can join in too!

pair of red children's ski on snow
Westend61/Getty Images

Après-ski Christmas party theme

Bring the thrill and wintery escape of the mountains right to your home. Sprinkle fake snow, decorate your living room to replicate ski lounge seating and design a unique photo op that looks like a ski lift (featuring ear muffs, skates, boots and all the other après-ski essentials).

Mother hugging and wrapping her smiling daughter in a blanket on Christmas tree background. Xmas mood. Single solo parenting holidays. Family time Close family relationship. Selective focus.
OKrasyuk/Getty Images

Plaid perfection Christmas theme

Regardless of whether you have Scottish heritage, plaid has become a symbol of Christmas festivities. For this Christmas theme idea, encourage guests to wear their favorite plaid flannel shirt, slippers, scarf, mittens, socks or tree skirt (like a cape?) and cozy up together around a fire. Wrap favors in plaid wrapping paper and ribbons. For a fun activity, channel your inner lumberjack and try hatchet throwing.

Christmas presents exchanging
svetikd/Getty Images

DJ dance in your PJ pants Christmas party theme

Nothing says “party” like good tunes and comfy pants! Hire a DJ (or ask a musically inclined friend) to create a Christmas theme playlist and tell guests to come dressed in their coziest Christmas jammies. Decorate eye masks with red and green fabric markers and Christmas stickers.

Foods Ready!
SolStock/Getty Images

Eat, drink and be merry Christmas party theme

You already have the perfect recipe for a Christmas party with the old adage “eat, drink and be merry,” so why mess with perfection? Set up three party stations—one to eat Christmas goodies, the second to mix Christmas cocktails (or festive holiday mocktails) and the third to be merry with singing, dancing and games. Be sure to include at least one round of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”!

 a young woman dressed in a cozy jumper wrapping Christmas presents at home.
FreshSplash/Getty Images

Wrap and rap party theme

Got some music lovers in your circle? Make your Christmas party a different kind of wrap party! Start by providing all the supplies for guests to wrap Christmas gifts, and provide a rap playlist for them to sing along to. Decorate with pictures of famous rappers and rapper celebrity candles (yep, that’s a thing!).

Toy train under Christmas tree
olgaburtseva/Getty Images

Polar Express Christmas party theme

Send out invitations designed to look like train tickets, and tell guests to arrive promptly for departure to the North Pole. Eat “candy cane soup” (hot chocolate in a bowl, topped with candy canes and marshmallows) while watching one of the best Christmas movies ever made, The Polar Express.

Christmas tree with Teddy bear
Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images

Have a bear-y merry Christmas party theme

This is one of the Christmas themes that are perfect for younger guests—what’s cuter than a Christmas polar bear under the tree? Invite guests and their teddy or polar bears to dress up in their favorite Christmas attire, and set up a selfie station to get holiday photos together. Serve a holiday meal that humans will love, but don’t forget to include some bear-approved treats like berries and smoked salmon.

Group of young friends enjoying Christmas party at beach and eating marshmallow
recep-bg/Getty Images

Christmas picnic party theme

People celebrating the holidays in warmer climates will get a kick out of celebrating Christmas summer-style. Lay out a plaid picnic blanket, serve frozen hot chocolate with Christmas cookies and wear shorts and T-shirts in Christmas colors.

Festive volunteers packing groceries at food bank
Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images

Christmas kindness party theme

Christlike love is the reason for the season, and helping others is the real spirit of Christmas! Bring all your besties together to do an act of holiday kindness, like donating books to schools, making sack lunches for the homeless, collecting winter clothing for shelters, making fleece baby blankets for hospitals, trying random acts of kindness or volunteering at a Christmas toy drive. Make it a party by providing the supplies and some yummy holiday goodies.

Florists Designing a Christmas Wreath
SolStock/Getty Images

Wreathed in love party theme

Help your friends get their holiday decor on point this year by hosting a crafting party to make festive door wreaths. Get supplies in advance, like pre-made wreath forms, evergreen boughs, artificial holly berries, plaid ribbon, small Christmas ornaments and tinsel. Have a couple of pictures for ideas, and then let your guests channel their creativity. Add wine or sparkling cider for a festive touch.

Seinfeld Episode #04 715 1996 Castle Rock Entertainment
Getty Images/Getty Images

Festivus Christmas party theme

Festivus is “Christmas for the rest of us,” according to the famous Seinfeld episode. This holiday is for people who don’t identify with the Christian roots of Christmas but still want to celebrate some type of holiday. On the show, it’s celebrated with an aluminum pole instead of a tree and a mediocre family dinner, capped off with the annual “airing of grievances.” You can use your creativity though and create your own Festivus traditions.

Cooking Steaks and Kabobs on a Backyard BBQ in the Middle of Winter
LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Down-home Christmas party theme

Home may be where the heart is, but for many people it’s not where they are anymore. Heading to wherever “home” is for you isn’t always feasible, so bring home to you! Host a party themed around where you’re from, whether that’s a Northeastern clambake, a Midwestern hot-dish potluck or a Southern barbecue. Be sure to include holiday decorations, dishes and other traditions that make you feel at home.

Tangled Christmas lights
Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images

Light the lights Christmas theme

Hanging Christmas lights solo is a recipe for disaster (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was a cautionary tale, not an example!). Instead, invite friends over for a light-hanging party. They can help you string lights and other decorations outside your home. Celebrate with food and drinks when you flip the switch and the beautiful Christmas light display comes on. The party will be twice as nice if you then head over to their house to get their lights up.

group of friends singing christmas carols around the piano
RyanJLane/Getty Images

Christmas caroling party theme

Singing is more fun with friends, especially when you take the show on the road. To get everyone in the spirit, hand out coordinating Christmas headbands. Pick your favorite Christmas carols everyone can sing, practice a few and then head out to sing to your neighbors. Finish up with hot cider and doughnuts at your place. For a little more holiday spirit, collect donations for the food bank as you go door-to-door.

elf on a shelf in a christmas tree
smilesb/getty images

Elf on the Shelf Christmas party theme

The mischievous Elf on the Shelf is a favorite Christmas game in many households, but how much more fun can you have if you host an elf reunion? Hide elves around your home, preferably set up in silly scenes, and challenge your guests to find each one. You can hand out a cheat sheet with hints and then snack on classic elf foods, like candy canes and syrup on spaghetti.

Couple celebrating christmas with dogs on sofa
Capuski/Getty Images

Christmas Eve PJ party theme

New matching jammies on Christmas Eve are a tradition for many families. Wearing them to a party just means one less thing to worry about—you’ll be comfy the whole evening! Light a crackling fire, bring out the snacks and have a fashion show with your friends and family.

Christmas sugar cookies being iced, overhead view
Ryan Benyi Photography/Getty Images

Christmas cookie swap party theme

Cookie exchanges are a classic Christmas theme. They’re a great way to get everyone together and whip up elaborate treat plates without having to slave away in the kitchen for days. Have everyone bring six dozen of their signature holiday baked treat, packaged in bags of six, and everyone gets to sample and take home a bag of each kind.

Female charity team during their work by making presents
Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images

Care packages for the homeless Christmas theme

Being without a home is tough any time of year, but the holidays can make it feel especially difficult. Reach out to those in need in your community by putting together kits to hand out. Make hygiene kits with sample-size soap, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush and deodorant, or try buying toiletry kits in bulk. Or put together bags with warm socks, gloves and hats. Check with your local shelters to see what is most in need in your area.

reindeer antler ring toss games
SolStock/getty images

Rudolph’s reindeer games Christmas theme

Ever wonder what “reindeer games” Rudolph was being excluded from? Make up your own this year. You can start by playing ring toss with inflatable reindeer antlers. One person wears the antlers on their head while others throw red and green rings, and whoever lands the most wins. Snack on “reindeer poop” and reindeer brownies. Next, play reindeer races, pin-the-tail on the reindeer or reindeer trivia.

Festive cocktails with various citrus. Assortment of alcohol Christmas drinks. Pink and red sangria cocktails, champagne, pomegranate jingle and citrus tequila smash.
Svetlana_nsk/Getty Images

Christmas cocktails party theme

Host a holiday happy hour and toast the season with a warm mug of eggnog, a glass of spiced wine, some hot cider or a festive specialty cocktail. Invite loved ones to bring their favorite fancy cup, and you provide the drinks. Or use festive disposable cups to minimize the dishes and let your guests take a drink to go!

65 year old woman enjoying her present at her birthday
Lucy Lambriex/Getty Images

My favorite things Christmas theme

Oprah may have popularized the holiday “favorite things” list, but you and your friends can add your own unique gifts to put a spin on it. Invite everyone to choose one favorite thing—something unique or fun or useful they’ve discovered over the past year—and wrap it up. Swap the gifts and take turns opening them, having the giver explain why it’s their favorite. Not only will you end up with something fun, but if you do it early in the season you’ll get some great gift ideas for everyone on your Christmas list.

Bunch of colorful fabric lei or floral garland on display for retail sale
Zen Rial/Getty Images

Christmas luau party theme

Elvis had the right idea about Christmas: celebrate in Hawaii! Bring the island vibe to wherever you are by hosting a party with luau-style food—think roast pork, pineapple, rice and poi—and Hawaiian decorations. Invite guests to wear a Hawaiian shirt, and don’t forget to play the classic Bing Crosby Hawaiian Christmas song, “Mele Kalikimaka.”

Couple of girlfriend in bathrobe doing skincare routine using facial mask and cucumber slice on spa holiday for beauty skin and treatment concept
Akarawut Lohacharoenvanich/Getty Images

Christmas spa day party theme

The holidays can be exhausting and take a real toll on your body. Invite some harried friends over for a few hours of pampering at home. Warm foot soaks, mani-pedis, face masks, cucumber-mint water and lots of venting about the in-laws’ Christmas plans are on the schedule. Send guests on their merry way with Christmas bath bombs to continue the relaxation.

nutcrackers on mantel
westend61/getty images

Nutcracker Christmas theme

You don’t have to be a ballerina to enjoy a holiday party based on the classic Christmas ballet. Serve whole nuts (with a real nutcracker) and mouse cheese on crackers. Kids can battle the mouse king with foam swords or display their dancing talents. Then everyone can watch the Nutcracker together.

homemade advent calendar with small bags and candy cane
AntiMartina/Getty Images

Advent Christmas party theme

Advent calendars—displays numbered 1 to 24 (or 25) with a toy, treat, bible verse or message on each day—are a favorite Christmas tradition for young and old. It helps little ones count down the days till Christmas and older folks focus on the reason for the season. Host a party (before Dec. 1!) where you and your guests create a DIY advent calendar.

USA, Maryland, Baltimore, Hampden Community, 34th Street, Houses with Christmas decorations at dusk
Greg Pease/Getty Images

Christmas lights road trip party theme

Take your Christmas party on the road to check out all the holiday light displays in your town. Invite a few other families, make a map and send it out with a time to meet and directions. Drive in a caravan (don’t forget to crank up the carols!) and end the evening with hot cocoa.

Family Watching Christmas Television
SolStock/Getty Images

Elf Christmas party theme

Host a Christmas movie watch party, either in person or online. Elf, starring Will Ferrell’s hilarious Buddy the Elf, has some of the funniest Christmas quotes of all time and will delight young and old viewers. Feeling more old-school traditional? You can’t go wrong with one of the many adaptations of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Put on the show, encourage people to dress up as their favorite character and break out the popcorn in a Christmas tin.

Gingerbread Christmas trees and house
xtrekx/Getty Images

Gingerbread house competition Christmas theme

Decorating gingerbread houses is fun for people of all ages and easy to throw together if you need a last-minute idea. You can make your own gingerbread, or you can buy pre-made gingerbread house kits. The easiest solution, though, is to use graham crackers. (Pro tip: Use hot glue to glue the gingerbread or crackers together before decorating. It will hold together so much better, and no one eats those parts anyway!) Be sure to have plenty of frosting and an assortment of candies. Award prizes for things like “most creative,” “most Christmas-y” and “most edible.”

The Gifts are Ready
Dzhafarov_Eduard/Getty Images

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas theme

No matter where you live, you can make your own vision of a white Christmas a reality by decorating your home in a sparkling-white snow theme, asking guests to dress in all white and serving a buffet of white foods. White chocolate peppermint mousse with salted popcorn hits both sweet and salty cravings. You can watch White Christmas if you love classic films.

Woman using her smartphone in the bedroom
luza studios/Getty Images

Virtual Christmas movie bingo party theme

If you have family spread all over, take advantage of technology to watch your favorite holiday shows “together.” Have each person contribute their favorite Christmas movie or TV episode and put one per square on a bingo card. Email everyone the bingo card to print out, then watch the movies throughout the month, marking them off as you go. First one to get a bingo gets a prize.

Christmas bauble
Isabel Pavia/Getty Images

Ornament swap Christmas party theme

Each person or family buys or makes ornaments that symbolize something about the previous year and then brings enough to share one with each guest. You go home with a whole new batch of ornaments to decorate with. This party is a great idea for family or friends who have a tradition of getting together every year, so you can watch your collection (and your happy memories) grow over time.

Stuffed Christmas stockings over fireplace
Adam Hester/Getty Images

Stocking stuffers Christmas theme

Adults often don’t get stockings filled with goodies, but you can change that. Your mission: Find a festive, ultra-comfy pair of holiday socks and fill them with treats and small presents. Have your friends or family do the same, and then host a sock party where you can exchange them by drawing names or playing a game. Finish by taking a picture of everyone in their new socks. Everyone leaves with a little more Christmas cheer—and warm toes.

Hands giving christmas gifts
Ridofranz/Getty Images

White elephant Christmas exchange theme

Have a strange gift left over from last Christmas? Did you pick up a silly souvenir over the summer? White elephant parties are a great way to have a laugh, share a gift and make good memories over the holidays. Part of the fun is hearing all the stories behind the gifts. To make it more than a re-gift, ask everyone to include a $10 gift card of their choice along with their funny, strange or interesting gift item.

victorian high tea pot being poured into a tea cup for christmas
jsolie/getty images

Victorian high-tea Christmas party theme

There’s just something so charming about a Victorian Christmas—a rosy memory of more innocent times. Host a traditional holiday tea party by bringing out the best china and cloth napkins. Serve Christmas petit fours and cookies with mint tea or hot chocolate in fancy cups with saucers. You can provide festive hats or ask guests to bring (or make!) their own. Give everyone their own Victorian-style teacup as a party favor.

Boston terrier Christmas
Genevieve Morrison/Getty Images

Merry Pet-mas Christmas theme

Pets deserve some Christmas love too! Round up your pup’s best furry friends (and their owners), and invite them over for snacks and an outdoor romp. Encourage guests to wear their favorite holiday sweater. Send each guest home with a doggie gift, like red (and green!) tennis balls and an advent calendar for dogs.

Felt Avocado Christmas Ornament
cuppyuppycake/Getty Images

Craft your own ornament Christmas theme

Making Christmas ornaments is a creative and fun way to spend time together. Even non-crafty folks can get a kick out of a glue gun and some glitter, especially if eggnog is involved. Look up several different ideas and have supplies and directions ready for guests. Let them sip, chat and create a few fun ornaments to take home and hang on their Christmas tree.

Overhead view of girl creating valentines crafts and cards
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Sneaky Christmas heart “attack” theme

Take the party to your loved ones this year by doing a holiday-themed “heart attack.” Cut out hearts and snowflakes from wrapping paper and write a cheery or loving Christmas message on them. Then grab a bag of adhesive bows, and head to their home. Attach the decorations to their door, add a bag of Christmas candy or a plate of cookies, ring the doorbell and run! Or stick around to chat from the porch. This is a great Christmas theme to cheer up relatives who may be homebound during the holidays.

Yulia Naumenko/Getty Images

Virtual Christmas toast party theme

Looking for simple, stress-free Christmas themes? Set up a Zoom party and ask guests to bring their beverage of choice and a holiday toast to share with the group. It can be funny or serious or sweet. Catch up with loved ones all over the globe while toasting one another and the holidays. To make it a little fancier, you can send out a bottle of your favorite wine or a care package with disposable champagne flutes and chocolate.

Group Of Friends Playing Charades After Enjoying Christmas Dinner At Home
monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Christmas trivia night theme

Did you know that Christmas dinner used to be illegal in the United States? Or that wreaths have a secret meaning? Take everyone’s favorite pub game and turn it into a fun holiday party by hosting a Christmas trivia night, either in your home or online.

christmas cake recipe written in an old recipe book
triffitt/Getty Images

Holiday recipe exchange theme

Do you have the best cinnamon swirl bread? Is your great uncle’s cheeseball so good it’s considered a main dish? Does your best friend have a holiday leftover casserole that makes you drool just thinking of it? Host a Christmas recipe exchange party by asking each guest to bring one of their signature dishes, along with printouts of the recipe to share. Guests can taste each dish and leave with a whole new menu of tried-and-true favorites.

Friends having barbecue on a snowy day
StockRocket/Getty Images

Firelight Christmas party theme

Bonfires aren’t just for fall. If weather permits, light up a yule log and have friends and family over to drink hot cocoa and sing carols around the fire. Add a s’mores bar, pop popcorn over the fire or try a magic color-changing fire pack, and you have the perfect recipe for a cozy, intimate Christmas gathering.

giving books for christmas,books as christmas gift,christmas present,reading,literature,education,making a gift concept, copy space
thomas-bethge/Getty Images

Christmas Eve book party theme

Get all those little heads snug in their beds by reading a favorite holiday story. Invite friends and family to share their favorite Christmas book by bringing a wrapped copy and trading. Make it an event by serving foods from popular holiday books, like sugar plums, “roast beast” and chestnuts.


Twelve Clues of Christmas scavenger hunt theme

If you like getting creative with your Christmas theme ideas, transform the popular Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” into a fun family scavenger hunt. Hide holiday knickknacks inspired by the song (like golden rings or a bird toy as a stand-in for the turtle doves) throughout your house and backyard with a clue to the next surprise. The first person who solves the clue gets the gift! Just make sure you leave the clue behind for the other players so they can proceed to the next stop of the hunt for an opportunity to get a gift. Count your presents at the end of the hunt, and whoever has the most wins!

Peter Billingsley In 'A Christmas Story'
Archive Photos/Getty Images

A Christmas Story party theme

If you’re a superfan of A Christmas Story and know every line by Ralphie and Scut Farkus, then this is one of the Christmas themes you should try out! Make it an old-fashioned 1940s Christmas by serving candies like black licorice, candy buttons and Bazooka bubble gum alongside a refreshing, antique glass bottle of Coca-Cola. Incorporate accents from the movie in your party decorations, like a life-size leg lamp or tinsel on your Christmas tree. Play a game, inspired by Ralphie’s little brother Randy, to see who can eat a plate of mashed potatoes without any hands. Don’t forget to oink like a pig when you’re done!

Father and son singing and playing music
mixetto/Getty Images

Christmas “Carol-oke” party theme

Grab your karaoke machine or hit up a karaoke bar and belt your lungs out to your favorite Christmas songs. Try to see which friend can croon like Bing Crosby or hit the high notes like Mariah Carey. If you have a portable karaoke machine, walk door-to-door in your neighborhood to, in the words of Buddy the Elf, “spread Christmas cheer for all to hear.” No matter how tone-deaf you are, you can still practice your “carol-oke”!


Christmas around the world potluck theme

Nothing helps you embrace another culture more than eating their food! This party’s concept is simple: Each guest claims a country, researches the Christmas cuisine and cooks it for everyone to taste. Try risalamande, a traditional Danish rice dessert made with cream and almonds, or a linguine dish with mussels to kick off an Italian Christmas Eve tradition called the Feast of Seven Fishes.

Beautiful or ugly: green Christmas sweater with decor balls
Zoltan Tarlacz/Getty Images

Decorate your own ugly Christmas sweater theme

Put a new twist on one of these popular Christmas party themes and design your own ugly Christmas sweaters. Ask your guests to find an old sweatshirt to bring to the party. Then head to a craft store for fuzzy pom-poms, sparkles, fabric paint, felt, buttons, scissors, hot glue and some mothballs for that rich “grandma” scent. Spread all the craft supplies out on the dining room table or living room floor, and you’re all set! Remember, the tackier the sweater, the uglier … and the better! Try adding some friendly competition to the mix with a contest for “Prettiest Ugly Sweater.” If that all sounds like too much work, buy an ugly sweater pre-made.

Taylor Momsen And Jim Carrey In 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'
Archive Photos/Getty Images

Merry Grinch-mas party theme

Take a trip down memory lane with a Dr. Seuss–themed “Grinch Dinner and a Movie” night. Cook a Sunday rib roast for a special rendition of the Whos’ favorite roast-beast, put your hair up in a wacky Whoville style and watch both the classic Grinch cartoon and the live-action movie starring Jim Carrey. Bonus points if someone dresses up as the Grinch.

Santa's Grotto
SolStock/Getty Images

Santa’s workshop Christmas theme

Do Santa proud and dress up as him and his elves for the day. Ask people to bring a toy over to donate to their local toy drive and get out the wrapping paper, bows, bags and tags to decorate the gifts. Play the famous song “We Are Santa’s Elves” from the movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the background to get you and your busy elf friends inspired to give back to the community.

Typical swedish scandinavian christmas food smörgåsbord
knape/Getty Images

Twelve courses of Christmas dinner theme

A 12-course feast fit for a belly as big as Santa’s may be one of the best Christmas party themes. Make a list and designate appetizers, entrees and desserts for your guests to bring. Some festive dishes include spinach-stuffed tomatoes, pizza shaped like a Christmas tree or a candy cane, cranberry walnut salad, roasted turkey, maple-glazed ham and Christmas cookies, of course.


Christmas in July party theme

Throw a beach bash in the middle of winter! Grab some beach balls, blow up palm trees, display tiki torchlights and blast the Beach Boys. Enforce a dress code that includes tropical button-ups, hula skirts, sunglasses and flip-flops. For those of you who already live by the beach, throw a cozy Christmas party. Make a fire pit in the sand for a batch of s’mores and invite everyone to wear their favorite earmuffs and mittens.

Woman painting small pine cone. Christmas time.
D-Keine/Getty Images

Holiday craft and sip Christmas theme

‘Tis the season for a good ol’ homemade crafting session! Christmas is the best time to hone your inner crafter and make wreaths, wrapping paper and ornaments. Peruse Pinterest for clever, easy DIY craft-spiration and have guests bring their favorite holiday beverage to sip on while they work away.

Father and son sledding in park on snowy winter day
PhotoAttractive/Getty Images

Winter Wonderland Christmas theme

This one is easy! All you need is snow, a pair of snow pants and a mug of hot cocoa with mini marshmallows. Host a snowy day of fun outside for your kids and their friends, filled with sledding, snowman building and snow forts.

Christmas Charity Buskers
SolStock/Getty Images

Christmas costume party theme

Halloween isn’t the only time of year you’re allowed to dress up like a kooky character. Christmas can be a legitimate excuse too! Tell everyone to come as their favorite Christmas character, like Buddy the Elf, Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty or Ebenezer Scrooge. Throw a costume contest where guests get to vote on “Cutest Christmas Couple” or “Best-Dressed Santa.”

Group of multi racial friends celebrating Christmas in large rustic kitchen
10'000 Hours/Getty Images

Christmas chef party theme

Take the idea from the cooking competition Master Chef and give it a holiday twist. Get seasonal ingredients—the stranger, the better—and hide them under two boxes. Divide guests into two teams, set a timer and challenge them to create Christmas appetizers out of what’s in front of them. Then everyone gets to taste-test.

group of friends having christmas brunch in winter
Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Christmas brunch party theme

Evenings during the holiday season fill up fast, so a quick Christmas brunch may be exactly the break your friends need in their social calendar. Make reservations at a restaurant, or set up a mimosa bar at home!

Christmas charcuterie table scene over a white wood background
jenifoto/Getty Images

Charcuterie and appetizers Christmas theme

People mainly come to holiday parties to talk, hang out, catch up with loved ones and have fun. So keep the food simple by putting out a charcuterie spread and some Christmas appetizers. Mix and mingle with your loved ones without having to worry about serving a meal.

kids making slime at home during a christmas party
10'000 Hours/getty images

Christmas slime party theme

This Christmas theme is perfect for tiny guests. Kids love making their own slime, but adults will also get a kick out of the “it’s cold but not wet” craft. Provide the basic DIY slime ingredients (white school glue, saline contact solution and baking powder) plus some festive extras like red and green food coloring, snowflake glitter, shiny beads and plastic stars. Provide a small plastic Christmas tub so everyone can take their creation home. Take it to the next level with a metallic DIY slime kit.

Woman online learning painting skill. Adult asian female oil drawing on easel in kitchen. Following remote art course concept. Improving knowledge at home. Relaxing leisure activity. Artist creative occupation. Mixing colors on palette, copy space
Natalia Gdovskaia/Getty Images

Wonderland painting Christmas theme

For a quieter holiday evening, host a painting party. You can hire a local artist and choose a Christmas scene, and they will provide all the supplies. You provide the guests, drinks and perhaps some mood music.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health, lifestyle and fitness expert and teacher. She covers all things wellness for Reader’s Digest and The Healthy. With dual masters degrees in information technology and education, she has been a journalist for 17 years and is the author of The Great Fitness Experiment. She lives in Denver with her husband, five kids and three pets.