Here lies a wide variety of themes for Christmas holiday parties – funny, meaningful, traditional, interesting, and yummy. We’ll start with Operation Christmas Child and end an Ugly Christmas Sweater or Pantsuit party theme (which I admit isn’t very original…but it is funny!).
Christmas is the focus for these holiday ideas, but they can be applied to other denominations. They’re equal opportunity ideas! And – believe it or not – the meaningful Christmas party theme ideas can also be fun.
Operation Christmas Child Christmas Party
Operation Christmas Child is a program sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, and has delivered more than 94 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 130 countries. The organization collected 9.6 million shoe boxes last year, and expects to collect and deliver more than 100 million gift-filled shoe boxes.
This might be a good theme for a work Christmas party: everyone is “assigned” a different type of item to bring (eg, school supplies, small toys, hygiene items, and other gifts). The party consists of filling the shoeboxes, writing notes, and taking photos. This year, the shoeboxes are collected the week of November 19-25, so this holiday theme party needs to be planned early.
Fundraising for Your Favorite Charity
What charity or cause grabs your heart? Make it the theme of your work or home Christmas party, and raise money for to support the cause. It doesn’t have to be a $300 per plate gala with a famous guest speaker! Just ask your guests to empty their change purses or piggy banks and bring the coin to the Christmas party.
You might be surprised at how much money you raise for the charity of your choice – and maybe the representatives of that charity will show up at your party. I worked for Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, and would’ve shown up at any work or home Christmas party if they were raising money for us!
Traditional Christmas Party Theme
What family or cultural traditions did you – or your parents – grow up with? Did you pop popcorn in the fireplace, sew the popcorn together, and decorate the Christmas tree? Or maybe you read The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, or made gingerbread houses.
This is a nice theme for a home-based Christmas party (as opposed to a work one – though that may be an interesting idea!). Ask your guests to bring and share a family tradition, Christmas decoration, or even a memory of Christmases long past. It’s a great way to get to know your friends and family better, and you may even find a few new traditions that you want to start with your own family.
White Elephant Gift Exchange Party
I’m not sure this is technically a theme for a Christmas party, but I love White Elephant Gift Exchanges! Nobody has to spend money, and everyone goes home with a gift they didn’t expect. You’ll declutter your home and have a blast at the party.
If you want to see the “rules” for a White Elephant Gift Exchange, please let me know below. I’ll post them. I was hoping to host a White Elephant Gift Exchange Christmas Party for my fellow grad students…but now I’m wondering if we should do something more meaningful…
Don’t forget the Christmas music! Here’s a mixture of classic and new Christmas songs and CDs.
Cowgirl and Cowboy-Themed Christmas Party
Go to your nearest ranch or hobby farm, and deck the cows with boughs of holly! Sleigh rides, Christmas carols around a blazing campfire, eggnog, wassail, cow bells – wouldn’t that be a cool way to escape for a few hours? Maybe the party could start early, with horseback riding or tobogganing.
A related idea is a Ski Lodge Party in the mountains, or a Cottage Party at a lake. Your Christmas party doesn’t have to be theme-soaked to be enjoyed.
Here’s a Christmas party idea from Marie Claire (the magazine): “The world is one big melting pot, and that’s never made more clear than during the holidays. If you find yourself saying, “Merry Chr— er, happy, uh, holidays…” more than a few times a week, consider throwing an all-denominations holiday celebration. Decorate with celebratory trinkets from every creed — a Christmas tree for, well, Christmas, dreidels for Hanukkah, and a kinara candle holder for Kwanzaa, to name a few — and spend the evening learning about one another’s holidays.” – from Best Christmas Party Theme Ideas for Holidays.
A Shortlist of Christmas Party Theme Ideas
- Holiday Movie Marathon
- Christmas Cookie Baking/Exchange Party
- Karaoke – Christmas Carol Singing Party (at home or in a pub)
- Christmas Costume Party
- Christmas Tree Decorating Party
- Christmas in Paris (or Mexico, Hawaii, Japan, or other exotic location)
- Ice Skating or Tobogganing Christmas Party
- Christmas Carol Singing Party (in the neighborhood or your office building)
- Volunteer-themed Christmas Party (your guests spend a few hours helping a nonprofit organization)
- Ugly Christmas Sweater or Pantsuit Party
Go on a vacation at Christmas! That’d be my first choice. Read 18 Ideas for Creative, Meaningful Theme Vacations.