1. White Christmas
The classic White Christmas Party Theme is always in style. People just love the opportunity to wear a white suit jacket or dress and it’s easy to look gorgeous in all white with white tie, white feather boa and a touch of glitter. You don’t need to spell it out on the invite either.
A big plastic white Christmas tree makes a great Christmas centerpiece for home parties and can sit in the foyer or entrance at bigger events. If the tree is full enough, you don’t need to decorate it at all. If it looks sparse, stick with white or silver decorations and remember… less is more. As the hostess, huge, white-feathered angel wings are guaranteed to turn you into a stunning party ornament (save on décor…), and as host, this is the one time you can get away with wearing a white suit with white patent leather shoes and a white top hat and gloves.
When decorating the room, feel free to incorporate silver and translucent color to your decorations. Use plenty of glitter, tinsel and sequins to make the room shimmer and sparkle. Candles make gorgeous centerpieces, but be sure to look at your insurance and check with the event or room hire company for regulations around open flame decorations. It’s true that fire can add drama and excitement to a party but leave it to the fire twirlers on the lawn. Hurricane vases around your candles are a great way to prevent tabletop décor from going up in flames!
2. Candy Land
Giant lollipops line the path all the way up to the door, and candy canes create an arch at the entrance, where you are greeted by the Candy Fairy as you enter the party. Guests sip cotton candy cocktails at tables decorated with candy stripe linens and little bowls of candy. Who doesn’t love Candy Land?
Hire a couple of large helium tanks and recruit friends or colleagues to help inflate pastel colored balloons a couple of hours before the party. You can tie balloon ribbons from the balloons but be sure they sit high enough to be out of children’s reach, or they will inevitably be taken outside and “released” into the night sky, which as we all know is an environmental nightmare…
Candy Land wouldn’t be complete without a candy bar. You can find inexpensive apothecary jars in different shapes from on-line craft stores and fill them with different types of candy. Find a rectangular table, cover it with table linens and arrange the apothecary jars with the taller ones at the back. Sprinkle bonbons and glitter around the jars to add a little glamour and fill the gaps.
3. Nightmare Before Christmas theme
Take inspiration from the movie and create a slightly creepy, slightly weird Christmas party theme. People can come dressed as any of the characters from the film, or just in gothic style costumes.
The invitations should have an insert with pictures and names of the characters for those who have never seen the film. The outfits are pretty easy to replicate, Jack Skellington wears a suit essentially and a little white and black makeup. Sally wears rags stitched together and other outfits require very little skill to look utterly creative. Don an extra tall top hat and stick a red badge on your suit and you are the Mayor of Halloween Town; Santa Clause is just a creepier version of the original; buy an “axe through the head” hat from the party supply shop and paint your face green to become Behemoth and Oogie Boogie essentially wears a floppy burlap sack.
4. Chic Christmas Party
This is a similar style of party to the White Christmas theme. Decorations for this Christmas themed party are sparkly and the mood should be sophisticated.
Choose a color scheme - silver, gold and black is always classy but expand your palette with a metallic purple, pink or green for an added dimension that makes decorating a little easier. Create an exclusive cocktail list that works into your theme. Martinis and Cosmopolitans take the place of Jack and Coke and your bartenders are wearing black with ties to match your color scheme. Have the servers refer to your nibbles as “crudités”, (even if they did go from the freezer to the oven).
5. Bad Santa
Mischievous elves, a twisted and sick Santa, and a devilish Mrs. “Claws”, this party theme is for the over 21 set. This is your opportunity to indulge in a little wickedness and debauchery. Create your very own How To Host A Murder game, but in a Christmas theme. Your characters can include Mrs Claws, Santa Claws, Evil Elf and Rudolf the Red-nosed (read: drunk) Reindeer.
Attempt this theme with no more than 8 or 10 people. Be sure to invite only your most creative and enthusiastic guests. Use the How To Host A Murder game model, but create your characters with Christmas folk tales in mind. Have an external person (a colleague or family member that won’t be at the party) write a brief storyline for your characters and choose the character “whodunit”, and the reason why. Have them put the answer in a sealed envelope so you can join in the fun of guessing.
6. Beach Christmas Party Theme
Not everywhere in the world celebrates a white Christmas. In Australia, they celebrate Christmas with a BBQ on the beach (and it’s PRAWNS they’re throwing on the Barbie – not shrimp…) The summer is in full swing in Sydney, and the idea of warming up with eggnog by the fire doesn’t bring holiday cheer. Christmas is about seafood, beer and surf. Why not throw an Aussie Chrissy Party or Hawaiian Luau Party?
You can pull this one off by simply hanging a surfboard on the wall, handing out Hawaiian leis at the door and serving hotdogs and burgers. If you want to take it up a notch, hire a Tiki Bar or simply thatch the existing bar, and cater the event with a Hawaiian barbeque.
7. Christmas Through The Decades Theme
Every decade throughout history has introduced its own stylistic nuances into popular fashion, and each decade’s distinct flavor is familiar to most of us. Decade parties are always fun, and gives people a huge range to work with when choosing costumes. Most people have a pair of bellbottoms lying around and it’s easy to turn today’s wardrobe into an 80’s outfit with some hairspray and blue eye shadow.
Choose only a handful of decades; let’s say 20s, 50s, 70s and 80s. This way, when people blur the lines of the 60s and 70s, at least people will know which decade they were going for - this helps put people in groups for games and raffles, and competitions for Best Dressed from each decade.
Play music for each decade as the party progresses. For example, play 20’s jazz and big band music as people are arriving, then 50s Rockabilly, 60s Rock & Roll, then a little 70s Funk and Soul. Get the party going with everyone’s favorite Retro 80s hits before playing modern music for the last half of the party. Note: Feel free to play music from other decades that fall outside of your costume parameters – nobody will be offended if you play Swing music just because it’s more technically from the 30’s, and you don’t want to skip entire periods of really great music.
8. Ugly Sweater Party
We’ve saved the most fun Christmas Party theme for last. The Ugly Sweater Party. This tradition features predominantly among the college student set, and never seems to get old. Somehow, by throwing on a tacky circa 1980s Bill Cosby style sweater; people are unable to be too serious, thus improving the chances of everyone having a rollicking good time.
Sweaters don’t have to be wool knit and perfectly “Cosby”. Goodwill stores are the place to shop, and anything from the early 80’s will probably work, as long as it’s hideous by today’s standards. Complete the look with acid or stone washed jeans, white trainers and a terry headband or wristband. Play cheesy Christmas music and make sure the eggnog is flowing.