Christmas theme ideas: friends happily celebrating Christmas

The holiday season is just around the corner and there are more ways to celebrate than you can imagine. From classic ugly sweater parties and cookie decorating competitions to unique celebrations like fondue dinners and reindeer games, there’s a fun way to get festive during the most wonderful time of the year. This collection of Christmas theme ideas is sure to get you in the mood to party and be merry.

30 Festive and Fun Christmas Theme Ideas

Christmas theme ideas: couple happily talking at a party

The holidays are a time to enjoy friends and family and indulge in good food and drinks. From mellow movie nights to over-the-top sparkling galas, there’s no shortage of Christmas celebrations. With so many Christmas party theme ideas, there’s an event that’s sure to please everyone — even the grinches in the group. 

Here are some of our favorite holiday party ideas for a merry, bright, and memorable holiday season. Each one is paired with a customizable Christmas party invitation from Greenvelope so you can easily invite your guests to an unforgettable event. 

1. Grinchmas

Christmas theme ideas: Festive Santa Hat Invitation

Design: Jackie Crawford

Invitation Inspiration: Festive Santa Hat Invitation

Invite the grinches in your gang to celebrate a Merry Grinch-mas. Pair your grumpy attitudes with Grinch costumes and watch the original movie (and the remakes). Serve green eggs and ham if you’re hosting the party at brunch time or opt for roast beast and greens for dinner time.

2. Gingerbread House Competition

Christmas theme ideas: Gingerbread City Card

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

Invitation Inspiration: Gingerbread City Card

Host a gingerbread house decorating contest this holiday season. Bake your own gingerbread or buy pre-made kits at the grocery store for easy building. Stock up on candies and frosting so everyone can decorate their hearts out.

3. Holiday Luau

Christmas theme ideas: Modern Graphic Tropics Invitation

Design: Kaydi Bishop

Invitation Inspiration: Modern Graphic Tropics Invitation

This is one of those Christmas theme ideas that goes against convention. Ditch the cold weather and host a tropical-themed luau for your holiday party this year! You could do a full-on pig roast or simply grill some pork in the oven. You could also opt for a vegan-friendly alternative with grilled veggies and pineapple, roasted tofu, and fried rice. 

4. Santa Crawl

Christmas theme ideas: Jolly Santa Invitation

Design: Mint Parcel 

Invitation Inspiration: Jolly Santa Invitation

Big cities across the country host an event known as a Santa Crawl. Everyone dresses up like Santa Claus and goes bar hopping. It’s a fun way for adults to get out, let loose, and celebrate in holiday style. If you can, check out the Reno Santa Crawl in Nevada — it’s one of the largest events of its kind and has been held every year since 2001.

5. Christmas Carol-oke

Christmas theme ideas: Snowy Fa La La Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: Snowy Fa La La Invitation

Invite your friends and family for a fun evening of Christmas carol karaoke. Sing your favorite Christmas songs and host a competition for the best rendition. The winner can take home a special Christmas gift basket or other prize.

6. Hot Cocoa Party

Christmas theme ideas: Vintage Mug Invitation

Design: Robinson Creative House

Invitation Inspiration: Vintage Mug Invitation

Nothing gets people feeling cozier than a hot cup of cocoa. Set up a hot cocoa bar and invite guests to make their own special creations. Add ingredients like peppermint sticks, marshmallows, spices, and even “spiked” options for unique hot chocolate blends. 

7. Holiday Movie Marathon

Christmas theme ideas: Ya Filthy Animal Card

Design: TM Stationery (photo courtesy of Julia Kinnunen Photography)

Invitation Inspiration: Ya Filthy Animal Card

Invite your loved ones over for a Christmas movie night. Play your favorite Christmas movies or classics like “A Christmas Story,” “The Polar Express,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Rudolph,” or “Home Alone” to match the hilarious line in the invitation. 

8. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Christmas theme ideas: Let's Get Ugly Invitation

Design: Lisa Travis

Invitation Inspiration: Let’s Get Ugly Invitation

No holiday season is complete without an ugly sweater party. Grab your ugliest holiday attire and enjoy the company of friends as you indulge in Christmas cocktails and delicious holiday food. Bonus points if you DIY your own holiday sweater — Good Housekeeping has some great ugly sweater ideas if you’re feeling crafty.

9. Christmas Tree Decorating

Christmas theme ideas: Triangle Tree Forest Invitation

Design: Kid Collective

Invitation Inspiration: Triangle Tree Forest Invitation

Host a Christmas tree decorating party with the ones you love. You can opt for mini trees or shrubs that each guest can decorate and take home or have them help you decorate your large living room tree.

10. White Elephant Gift Exchange

Christmas theme ideas: White Elephant Gift Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: White Elephant Gift Invitation

Vie for the best gift with a good-spirited White Elephant party. Each guest brings a Christmas gift and adds it to a pile. Everyone draws a number to take a turn. Each person can choose a new gift from the pile or steal one someone has already opened.

11. Winter Wonderland Party

Christmas theme ideas: Tree Trio Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

Invitation Inspiration: Tree Trio Invitation

A winter wonderland party is a wonderful way to celebrate this frosty and festive time of year. Decorate your space with snowflakes and glittering holiday decor to set the scene. Stick to white and silver color schemes and ask guests to attend in cocktail or formal attire.

12. Holiday Potluck

Christmas theme ideas: Christmas Buffet Invitation

Design: TM Stationery

Invitation Inspiration: Christmas Buffet Invitation

Hosting a potluck is one of those Christmas theme ideas that makes holiday party planning more affordable and fun. For a fabulous feast among friends and family, have each guest fill out a sign-up sheet to bring a unique dish. Pro tip: You can send updates and keep track of RSVPs when you use digital invitations from Greenvelope!

13. Candy Cane Christmas Party

Christmas theme ideas: Classic Candy Cane Stripes Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: Classic Candy Cane Stripes Invitation

Candy canes make the holidays better. Host a party centered around these sweet and stripey treats. Ask guests to dress up like candy canes and bring their favorite candy cane dishes. You can also use the treats to decorate the space to set the mood.

14. Christmas Cookie Exchange Event

Christmas theme ideas: Classic Christmas Cookies Invitation

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

Invitation Inspiration: Classic Christmas Cookies Invitation

Host a cookie swap or cookie decorating party this holiday season. Line a table with a plastic tablecloth and set our decorating items like sprinkles, icing, and piping tools. Decorate your cookies and swap them with friends or enter them into your own cookie competition for the best design.

15. Winter White Christmas Soiree

Draped Poinsettias Invitation

Design: Molly My

Invitation Inspiration: Draped Poinsettias Invitation

Celebrate the beauty of the season with an all-white Christmas party. Ask guests to attend in white attire and decorate the space using only white hues. For added glamor, use white florals like roses and white poinsettias to set the scene.

16. Merry Brunch-mas

Champagne Tower Tree Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: Champagne Tower Tree Invitation

Invite your friends and family for a Christmas day brunch. Serve “Merry Brunch-mas” fare like champagne, candy cane hot chocolate, pancakes, and casseroles. Decorate the tables with white Christmas lights for added sparkle.

17. Christmas Wreath-Making

Gold Confetti Wreath Invitation

Design: Stacey Meacham Design, LLC

Invitation Inspiration: Gold Confetti Wreath Invitation

Feel like getting crafty? You can’t go wrong with a wreath-making party. Head to your local crafts supply store to stock up on wreath frames and decorative elements like pinecones, ornaments, and berries. Then, set up a table (or tables) where guests can be merry with some DIY wreath-making alongside tasty snacks and sips.

18. Holiday Trivia Get-Together

Rock The Night Away Invitation

Design: Robinson Creative House

Invitation Inspiration: Rock the Night Away Invitation

Show off your smarts with a holiday-inspired trivia night. Ask questions about the most popular Christmas songs, movies, and holiday traditions. You can find plenty of holiday trivia online to print off for the day of your festivities. 

19. Frosty the Snowman Gala

Prismatic Snowflake Invitation

Design: Stellax Creative

Invitation Inspiration: Prismatic Snowflake Invitation

Host a fancy gala with a frosty theme. Deck out the space in glittering snowflakes and metallic party decorations. Raise money for a local charity with an auction or sell tickets to the event.

20. Peppermint Party

Candy Cane Stripes Invitation

Design: Hooray Creative

Invitation Inspiration: Candy Cane Stripes Invitation

Gather together for a peppermint party. Decorate the space in green, red, and white stripes to match the theme. Serve peppermint candies, peppermint hot cocoa, and other peppermint treats. For an even more refreshing twist on the theme, consider adding mint-inspired mini spa treatments to your party. You could offer cooling sheet masks for hands or take-home minty lip scrubs and foot balms.

21. A Nutcracker Christmas

Let's Get Crackin' Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Inspiration: Let’s Get Crackin’ Invitation

Get the party cracking with a trip to the local ballet. Invite your loved ones to join an evening of watching the Nutcracker performance. Head out for a cocktail or dinner afterward.

22. Christmas Game Night

Fun & Games Card

Design: Ringleader Paper Co

Invitation Inspiration: Fun & Games Card

Belly laugh like Santa Claus all night long with a raucous adult game night. Pull out classic party games like Pictionary or trendy drawing games like Exploding Kittens for an evening filled with merry (and hilarious) moments.

23. Christmas Ornament-Making Party

Nostalgic Ornaments Invitation

Design: Lisa Travis

Invitation Inspiration: Nostalgic Ornaments Invitation

Another fun Christmas theme idea for those who love getting crafty is a DIY ornament-making party. You can get all the materials beforehand or ask guests to bring something (like hooks, glitter, glue, or stickers) for an ornament potluck party of sorts! You can decorate plain ornament bulbs or offer a selection of ornament shapes in soft materials. 

24. Wine Tasting Soiree

Sleigh Some Cabernet Invitation

Design: Kaydi Bishop

Invitation Inspiration: Sleigh Some Cabernet Invitation

Ready to sleigh some Cabernet … and Pinot and Cab and Chardonnay? Toast the season with a tasting of delicious wines with all your favorite people. You can throw in Christmas theme ideas with your wines by serving them with holiday-inspired appetizers

25. Sledding the Slopes

Dashing Through the Snow Invitation

Design: Colin Cowie

Invitation Inspiration: Dashing Through the Snow invitation

If dashing through the snow sounds like your idea of a good time, invite your friends to hit the slopes with you on sleds! Grab the saucers, tubes, and toboggans for a fun and fast-paced celebration.

26. Reindeer Games Bash

Oh, Deer! Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

Invitation Inspiration: Oh, Deer! Invitation

Invite friends to partake in a little friendly holiday-themed competition of reindeer games. See who’s the fastest backyard dasher, the fanciest dancer, or the prettiest prancer with relay games and obstacle races.

27. Crafty Christmas Party

Merry Making Invitation

Design: Bethany McDonald Design

Invitation Inspiration: Merry-Making Invitation

It’s clear that getting crafty is one of our favorite Chistmas theme ideas. For a merry-making celebration, invite loved ones to make DIY holiday coasters, advent calendars, or Christmas cards. The great thing about crafts is that you can adapt them to suit all ages.

28. Charcuterie Party

Wine Pairing Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Inspiration: Wine Pairing Invitation

For a simple yet chic affair, why not host a charcuterie party? You can decorate your space and serve up charcuterie boards beautifully adorned with a variety of salami, cheeses, jams, crackers, and fruit. You can also create boards to accommodate different dietary restrictions. Of course, don’t forget the wine (perhaps a winter sangria).

29. Fireside Hangout

Festive Fireplace Invitation

Design: Jennifer Wick

Invitation Inspiration: Festive Fireplace Invitation

This themed Christmas idea gets guests to cozy up and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Invite guests to join you inside by the fire or outdoors around a firepit. Serve s’mores, hot cocoa, and roasted chestnuts.

30. Holiday Pet Pageant

Howlidays Card

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Inspiration: Howlidays Card

Ready to pawty? Spread holiday cheer with a fun and festive pet pageant. Invite guests with furry friends and have each don their best holiday attire. Set up a photo booth to snap memories and let the pets and humans walk the runway. Vote on the best pageant outfit and celebrate the winner with a bone or toy crown.

Enjoy the Most Magical Holiday Season

With these holiday theme ideas, you’re sure to have the most wonderful time this year. From Christmas theme ideas like cookie decorating contests to reindeer races and galas, there’s a celebration for everyone. Whether you want to celebrate Christmas every day of December or keep it simple with one event, you’ll find what you’re looking for on this list of Christmas theme ideas. Looking for other ways to celebrate? Don’t miss these Christmas party ideas and advice on what to write in holiday cards. Here’s to making your season merry and bright!