Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Give Your Holiday Party a Dose of Humor with These Hilarious Christmas Movie Themes

Whether you're more like Buddy the Elf or Kevin from Home Alone, we've got a Christmas party theme for you!

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

1 / 10

Christmas celebration in the officeAleksandarNakic/Getty Images

The best Christmas party idea ever

Tired of the same old Christmas party with cold ham, ugly sweaters, the same stories, and Mariah Carey on repeat? Spice up your celebration this year with these themed Christmas party ideas based on one of your favorite funny Christmas movies. You already have a built-in activity if you want—watching the movie together—and you can get creative with themed foods, costumes, games, and decorations. Start with the ones on our list, or branch out with the best Christmas movies of all time or these other creative Christmas party themes. Trust us: Your guests will be talking about this party until next Christmas rolls around!

2 / 10

Home Alone Christmas Decorvia BaileyHornCreations/etsy.com, via amazon.com

Home Alone

You don’t have to abandon any children to enjoy a party themed around the classic movie about an 8-year-old child getting accidentally left home alone at Christmastime. Instead, get inside the mind of a child and think about what a kid’s ideal Christmas party would be like…if there were no adults telling them no!

Costumes: Christmas pajamas are so comfy that kids and adults will love wearing them as party clothes. Bonus points for wearing a robe over your jammies like Kevin.

Decor: You can follow the movie and decorate with “booby traps” like hanging pans, glitter, an iron, a bucket of paint, and feathers tied to a fan. Just skip the flamethrower!

Food and drinks: Pizza, popcorn, and ice cream sundaes (with a cherry on top!) are Kevin’s choices in the movie and are also great party foods.

Activity: Pick a favorite from this list of Christmas games for the whole family, like this version of hide-and-seek. Play “sardines,” where one person is picked to be “Kevin” and has to hide alone. Everyone else counts to 30 and then sneaks off to find him. Once they find Kevin, they hide with him, until everyone is hiding together.

Don’t forget a dose of nostalgia by hanging this sign with the iconic quote “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!”

Shop Now

3 / 10

Christmas With The Kranks Decorvia amazon.com (2)

Christmas with the Kranks

The whole premise of this hilarious Christmas movie is: What would happen if you had less than 12 hours to throw together an entire Christmas celebration? Follow the Kranks’ example and host a thrown-together holiday party with whatever you have on hand. (This Christmas party idea is perfect for natural procrastinators!)

Costumes: Create your own ugly Christmas sweaters with nothing but things you find around the house. (No cheating and buying one premade!)

Decor: Decorate as you would for Christmas, but only do each thing halfway. For instance, a tiny Christmas tree with just the front decorated.

Food and drinks: A potluck smorgasbord with whatever dish your guests feel like making with what you have on hand in the kitchen. You provide the smoked fish, just like Mrs. Krank.

Activity: Play Christmas-themed “minute to win it” games like picking up red and green M&Ms with a straw or wrapping packages with oven mitts on.

These sturdy red cups are reusable and come with instructions for 18 different games.

Shop Now

4 / 10

A Christmas Story Decorationvia amazon.com (2)

A Christmas Story

All Ralphie wants for Christmas, as everyone within earshot knows, is a Red Ryder BB gun (with which he is sure to shoot his eye out, according to his mom). This movie is set in the 1940s, which provides a great basis for the theme.

Costumes: Break out your favorite vintage outfits. Or copy one of Ralphie’s iconic movie costumes—a pink bunny, a bedazzled cowboy, or a giant snowsuit.

Decor: Two words: leg lamp. Add World War II–era decorations like tinsel and crepe paper and have a bowl of funny gag gifts by the door.

Food and drinks: Mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and Ovaltine with fudge (as in, “OH FUUUUDGE!”) for dessert.

Activity: Use water guns to shoot at stacked cups. Wear an eye patch, in honor of Ralphie.

This leg lamp is a hilarious replica of the one used in the movie.

Shop Now

5 / 10

Grinch Christmas Decorationsvia amazon.com (2)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Whether you love the new live-action version or are a Christmas cartoon purist, this classic Dr. Seuss story is one of the most delightful and imaginative Christmas movies around, and it makes for a distinctive Christmas party theme.

Costumes: Whoville provides endless costume inspiration with wacky hairdos and colorful clothes. Or go in all green as an homage to the Grinch.

Decor: Nothing could top Dr. Seuss’ original art and poetry, so print out iconic quotes and images from the book to place around your house.

Food and drinks: “Roast beast,” “who hash,” and “who pudding,” of course! The interpretation is up to you, so get creative.

Activity: Replicate the Grinch’s famous undecorating scene by dividing into two teams and seeing who can take apart a decorated Christmas tree and unwrap boxes the fastest. Then you can sing the best Christmas songs while holding hands around the empty tree, just like in the movie.

These punny Grinch-themed pillow covers will make all your guests laugh, and you can break them out every Christmas for years to come.

Shop Now

6 / 10

Elf Christmas Decorationvia amazon.com (2)

Elf

A Christmas party centered around childlike joy, elves, Santa, and family is one Buddy would definitely approve of. You can make it a yearly Christmas tradition the whole family will love.

Costumes: Unleash your inner elf and don your best pointy hats, striped socks, and funny shoes!

Decor: Red, green, and sparkles are your theme! Add some fake snowballs for ambiance.

Food and drinks: According to Buddy, “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Stay true to the spirit with a dessert bar full of festive treats—and maybe some spaghetti topped with syrup.

Activity: Answer Elf movie trivia, or play the Elf Card Scramble game together.

And, of course, no Elf party is complete without a life-size cardboard cutout of Buddy himself!

Shop Now

7 / 10

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation Decorationvia amazon.com (2)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It’s the ultimate “everything that could go wrong, went wrong” Christmas adventure, as the hapless Clark and his extended family desecrate every single holiday tradition. It’s funny because everyone seems to have a similar Christmas story where everything went sideways. Reenact your family’s “worst Christmas ever,” or use the Griswolds as an example.

Costumes: This ’80s movie is the perfect excuse to wear giant sweaters, big bangs, and ski parkas.

Decor: For this Christmas party theme, hang as many strings of lights as you can find, arranged into elaborate displays, both indoors and outside. This is not the time to be subtle with your Christmas decorations. To that end, don’t forget the plastic Santa!

Food and drinks: Serve a charcuterie board with plenty of different jellies (to represent the Jelly of the Month club).

Activity: Take a cue from the scene where Clark gets stuck in the attic and watches old family movies, and pull out some of your own family classics to laugh (and cry) over.

Honor the hero (?) of the movie with this assortment of “Clark Cups” chocolate.

Shop Now

8 / 10

Muppets Christmas Carol Decorationsvia NevaStarr/etsy.com, via amazon.com

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Muppets and Dickens are a match made in comedy heaven when you have Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, and other familiar favorites acting out the classic Christmas story.

Costumes: Pick your favorite Muppet and go crazy! Or dress up in Victorian-era clothing like the live actors in the film.

Decor: Flickering candles and lanterns, crystal bowls, lace tablecloths, fresh pine boughs, strings of cranberries, and other vintage decorations will set the Dickensian mood.

Food and drinks: Go authentic with mince pies, Christmas pudding, and negus, a hot drink made from port, sugar, lemon, and spices.

Activity: Bobbing for apples is a classic Victorian holiday game that the Muppets play as well. Give it a try—it’s trickier than you may think!

Your guests will love these beautiful replica vintage ornaments, and you can use them for years to come, even when you’re not throwing a party around one of your favorite Christmas movies for kids.

Shop Now

9 / 10

The Santa Clause Movie Decorationvia amazon.com (2)

The Santa Clause

Christmas magic turns a skeptic father into Santa Claus himself, much to the delight of his Santa-believing son. Host a Christmas party where not everything is as it seems.

Costumes: In the movie, anyone who puts on the official Santa suit becomes Santa Claus, so invite guests to wear their favorite version of a Santa suit—classic red, Hawaiian, or something of their own invention.

Decor: Santa’s workshop is as real as your living room, and a few elfish decorations will make the magic come alive.

Food and drinks: As Scott evolves into Santa, he is magically drawn to eating copious amounts of food, including ice cream, fries, and extra dressing (which he drinks). Offer a buffet of Santa’s favorites—in reasonable portion sizes.

Activity: Organize a treasure hunt in which participants look for different pieces of Santa’s costume. The team who puts together a full Santa first wins.

Show that you’re a true believer in Christmas magic and the Big Man in Red with a pair of “Santa’s Favorite” socks. And, of course, make sure to make your home merry and bright with the best Christmas tree ideas.

Shop Now

10 / 10

Night Before Christmas Decorationsvia amazon.com (2)

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Not everyone loves Christmas, and that’s OK, too! For a less conventional but still festive Christmas party theme, go with this movie theme that blends Halloween and Christmas.

Costumes: Invite guests to dress up as Jack Skellington or Sally or any one of the fanciful and creepy characters. You can even go as kidnapped Santa.

Decor: Pull out some of your Halloween decorations and mix them in with the Christmas wreaths, ornaments, and table decorations.

Food and drinks: Think Christmas with a Halloween twist. Purple and orange candy canes (check fruit-flavored varieties), green mint brownies, a sweet and salty mix of cheddar and red and green popcorn, and hot cider.

Activity: Rewrite classic Christmas carols with Halloween-themed lyrics, and take turns singing karaoke with the new words.

Decorate your Christmas tree with this Nightmare Before Christmas ornament set. When the party is over, enjoy your quirky decor while wrapping presents, baking cookies, or curling up with the best Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies.

Shop Now

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, BS, MS, has been covering health, fitness, parenting, and culture for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 15 years. She's the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and also does freelance editing and ghostwriting. She has appeared in television news segments for CBS, FOX, and NBC.

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 84%!