Who says Christmas should be about trees and tinsel? Check out our list of themed Christmas party ideas for adults for something more memorable you can use this holiday season.
Another year, another festive season to end it all on. And if you’re looking for fresh new ways to celebrate, then you’ve come to the right place for themed Christmas party ideas, for adults in particular.
The holiday season doesn’t have to be all about mangers, Christmas crackers, and lengthy roast dinners, it can be an excuse to dress up just like Halloween can be. Theming the holidays can help also make your celebration stand out from what the rest of your friends and family are doing. Let them have their turkey and midnight mass, and a holiday party just as bland, forgettable and boring as all the previous years’ worth.
We’re conscious of the fact that the holidays can an expensive time of year for most revellers. This roundup of themed Christmas party ideas for adults you will soon read about won’t break your wallet at all. It doesn’t take much more than imagination and a bit of inventiveness to make something memorable. Let’s get on with the show.
Some Christmas Party Ideas For Adults
Let’s ditch the tinsel this year and go all plaid. Plaid tablewear, plaid cushion covers, plaid carpets.
Why plaid? Because plaid generally doesn’t get any attention as a decorative theme, so it deserves its due. Guests can incorporate plaid into this outfits with the help of plaid handkerchiefs or patches of plaid material they can receive with their inventions. Plaid music doesn’t exist, so when thinking dancefloor, focus on musical genres that don’t get the attention they deserve such as shoegaze, lofi electronica or music from the 1950s.
You know those horribly-made Christmas sweaters with the felt reindeer with a fully reindeer? That might come in green, purple or brown, that always ends up chucked in the closet? Well, it’s time to celebrate these fashion disasters, because this year it’s “cool to wear wool.”
Invite all your guests to find an ugly Christmas sweater to wear at your party. Thrift shops are your best bet for great finds, as well as asking your friends and family – because someone somewhere will own one of these, you can be sure of it. Make sure to go with your decorations; think tacky ornaments, dayglow banners and balloons, and colors that don’t match (and outlandish colors at that). You can create an allsortment of random food items – apple pie with fries! Pizza with ice cream! And of course, adding a few ugly sweater games will go down a treat.
A white elephant party theme is a gift exchange party, where the presents in mind are generally unused objects from home. They can be any object, for example: an electric blanket, a wrench, an unused food mixer, wall brackets or a key copier; think household goods. Ask guests to wrap their item pre-party and place it under the Christmas tree. When everyone has done so, label each one randomly so each person can have a gift each to open together.
Food-wise, a potluck is perfect, as it carries on the theme of randomness. Make sure to have some extra food items on standby to balance out the menu; i.e. If they are too many veggie meals, grill some quick chicken or sausages for the meat eaters amongst you.
A cocktail party isn’t just any casual get-together, it’s an event that requires a lot of attention. If you can’t get the drinks mixed right, then that’s that! Getting your friends involved in making cocktails is tremendous fun; everyone will want to make the most memorable drink possible, and it’s also a nice way to escape the pressure of Christmas, to make something other than Christmas stockings or punch.
Cocktail parties don’t just have to be about mixology and drinking Mai Tais, there are several games you can play that amplify the cocktail-making fun such as No Hands Cocktail.
Nightmare Before Christmas
With Halloween finished only a few weeks back, why not dig it all out again to celebrate the Tim Burton film, Nightmare Before Christmas?
Invite your friends to come dressed as ghouls and other undead types and think Goth with the decorations with skulls in Santa hats, black and white tinsel, cobwebs, plastic spiders, and dark tablecloths. Think “The Monster Mash,” the Addams Family, and the Buffy The Vampire Slayer when it comes to your dancefloor playlist.
There’s always a lot of excitement around putting up a Christmas tree, isn’t there? The anticipation that’s generated the moment the tree is pulled out of the attic (if fake) or bought home from the garden center (if real) is second to none. Saying that, decorating a tree can be a lot of hard work, so why do it alone when you can do it among friends.
Unlike the other themed parties on this list, that take place smack bang in the middle of December, this one is held quite early in the month. Most people tend to put their trees around the first week of December. You can hold your party around the first weekend of the month. You will need a tree, plenty of baubels and tinsel, Christmasey music and snacks and drinks. Invite your friends to bring their own baubles or design paper decorations.
You can also do a “Christmas tree crawl” where you decorate each other’s trees over a period of a few days.
More Themed Christmas Party Ideas For Adults
Around The World
Christmas is celebrated in a variety of ways around the world, from singing Christmas carols on the beach (Australia) to yule log burning (France) and eating fish soup (Hungary). You can create an multicultural program of festive fun where each country either informs a part of the activities or serves as the central theme. Decorations can be ordered online where you can also source country-specific music as well as films for a potential movie night.
Recipe ideas might be more tricky to pull off, if you’re not 100% familiar with specific countries and their customs. Make sure to check out this list of Christmas Around The World food ideas for inspiration.
Hate the whole Christmas vibe? We’re sure you’re not alone, which is why a Scrooge party is the only theme for you.
Make everything as anti-Christmas as possible such as takeout for Christmas dinner, history movies on TV, supermarket carrier bags as decoration and other similar ideas to evoke a sense of “Christmas? Whatever.” Ask your friends to dress up in their lazy weekend clothes, i.e. Pajamas, baggy jumpers, tracksuits, onesies.
There’s plenty about Christmas that doesn’t have to involve tinsel or trees – just the entertainment we get every year can be enough fun. And Christmas movies top the list. From the schmaltzy It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) to the beauty of A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), there’s always something for everyone. You won’t be short of things to watch, useful if you’re not the type who enjoys party planning and wants to come up with an idea quickly.
For an even more memorable event, you should look for movies that take place in Christmas but aren’t actually about Christmas. Die Hard (1988), Gremlins (1984), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Love Actually (2003), and Home Alone (1990) are some of the gems you should definitely add to your watch list.
We’ve not had a whole party dedicated to Santa on this list of themed Christmas party ideas, so finally we got one. You can’t go anywhere in December without seeing someone dressed as Santa, so it’s the perfect fancy dress theme. You can turn your home into Santa’s grotto, with red and white as your color themes littered with trinkets, tinsel and little plastic trees.
You can also create a “Santa Claus convention” by asking your friends to up in their Santa gear at a bar or restaurant you’ve booked for your party. Keep the Santa theme going throughout the night, with Santa group songs and friends doing their best Santa impression.
The Winter Solstice
We mentioned earlier that Christmas can be an expensive time of year, what with the pressure to buy presents and decorate your home to the nines. If you’re wanting a less commercial festive event, look no further than the Winter Solstice.
The Winter Solstice, which takes place either on the 21st or 22nd December, is the longest night of the year. It’s where the Northern Hemisphere is furthest away from the sun. The days that follow the Winter Solstice will grow longer and the evenings shorter, until the Summer Solstice in June. Winter Solstice celebrations center on ‘the return of the sun,’ with candles being a central element. If you’re a nature lover, then this event may also appeal to you, as the Winter Solstice is about respecting nature and the seasons. Winter Solstice menus center on roasted vegetables, homemade wine and food cooked around a bonfire, while party activities are 100% smartphone-free. If you’re curious to know more, read our post on how to throw a Winter Solstice party.
There are a lot of cities that offer bus tours to local Christmas lights this time of year. Why not change up how you celebrate this year with a booking of your own. Bring along food and drink and make sure to book in advance so you can all get a seat.
Another way to celebrate lights might just be in your own neighborhood. If you live in an area when you know your neighbors will go all out with lights and lawn decorations, then why not bring your friends over and give them a guided tour of your local offerings? If you know your neighbors well, knock on their door and ask them to share a bit of background into their designs for this year, they’d definitely appreciate the attention.
We’ve all definitely had an embarrassing Christmas or three during our lives, from childhood onwards. And we’ve all definitely got tales to tell, so here’s the chance for your friends to share them over food and drinks.
Let everyone know to bring items from at least 2 Christmases they’ve had, which they can drop into a hat or bowl as they arrive at your party. As dinner comes to an end, bring out the hat, pull a random item from it and ask the owner to share their stories.
Make sure guests know the theme is embarrassing Christmases not painful Christmases, i.e. The ones that resulted in family arguments and bad memories. We’ve probably all got those, too, but this is not the time and place for those.
Although Christmas has been associated with religion for many a millennia, many of the traditions we associate with Christmas were invented by the Victorians. From Christmas cards to crackers filled with knickknacks and Christmas Carols. The Victorians were actually responsible for revitalising Christmas, which was in decline in the 18th century due to religion itself being in decline.
You can add an element of Victoriana to your party by hosting a tea party (also a Victorian invention) and invite your guests to dress up Victorian style: ankle-length skirts, bonnets and corsets (for the ladies), top hats, neckties and waistcoats (for the gents). Decorative elements should take an ornate approach with roses, kerosene lamps, lace and antique vases as your queue. Make sure to serve your tea and cakes on porcelain plates and little china cups.
For activities, the Victorians invented a whole slew of games for their guests to play, known as parlor games. Check out our amazing list of hot Christmas parlor games you can start playing. If you want to learn more about the origin of the Victorian Christmas.
If you want to go all out lavish this year, then why not invite your friends to get dressed up the nines for a masquerade ball?
Masquerade balls are decadent events, with gold, black and silver as the general colors. Everyone gets the chance to wear a mask either they’ve made themselves or bought from a store. You can organize your party around a mask-making station with colored card, glitter, feathers, marker pens and other tools available. Friends can also touch up their costumes with headbands, feather boas and gold tinsel.
You can add a photo contest as well where everyone can vote who has come up with the best outfit of the night.
Talking of outfits, it’s time to dig about in Grimm’s fairy tales and bring them to life in this party theme.
Reading fairy tales as kids while snug in bed during the winter months is where this idea draws from. The antics of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, and Rapunzel have filled many a Disney movie, which also get significant airtime this year. You should raid your local costume shop for outfits, and turn your home into a literature-themed space, with bookshelves, curtains and candles to evoke an intimate vibe.
This theme has endless possibilities, from everyone dressed as the characters of one particular story to a party based around only villains such as the Big Bad Wolf and the Evil Stepmother in Cinderella.
You don’t have to go to the North Pole to check out what Santa and his elves are up to when you can recreate this workshop at home.
You will want to create little workstations around your space so your guests can create their own Christmas cards and popsicles or decorate cupcakes and Christmas cake. Other activities can include face painting, a table set aside for jigaw puzzles, sushi-making or present-wrapping.
Guests should arrive at your party dressed as Santa, his elves or as a reindeer.
Let It Snow!
Who says Christmas should be about tinsel, mangers and trees? It’s definitely the season for fun and the perfect excuse for dressing up. If you’ve ever thought about having a theme party, our list of themed Christmas party ideas is sure to get you on track. Happy holidays!