Best Christmas Party Ideas for the Holiday Season

Best christmas party ideas

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what could be more festive and jolly than a Christmas party? Everyone loves getting together with friends and family during the holiday, but you can really make the season special with some unique party tips.

If you’re ready to be the host with the most, then you’re in the right place! This guide has all the best Christmas party ideas. From themes and decorations, to food and games, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn the prime tips and tricks for yourself.

Top Christmas Party Theme Ideas

Christmas party with lots of people

One of the first steps to start throwing an unforgettable Christmas party is to brainstorm a theme. Your party will really stand out from the rest of the holiday hoopla if you implement a theme for the occasion. Can’t think of any on your own? Don’t worry. We have some great Christmas party ideas for themes right here.

1. Movie Night / Pajama Party

A pony wearing Christmas pajamas

The Telegraph / GIPHY

The holiday season is the coziest time of year, and one of the coziest things to do is snuggle up for a movie night. In fact, wearing Christmas pajamas might be the only way to get cozier than your typical movie night.

Have your guests suggest movies before the party, and queue them all up for an evening of laughs and Christmas movie magic. Buying or renting a projector would be a nice touch.

You can also make the party more fun with snacks and treats to munch on during the feature films. Level up the movie theater popcorn with cinnamon and nutmeg, pour out some hot cocoa, and pass around the candy canes!

2. Cookie Exchange

A distinguished dog making cookies

Best Friends Animal Society / GIPHY

For many families, the holiday season isn’t complete without baking fresh cookies together. Some share a tradition of baking the same cookies each year, or occasionally they’ll throw in some new favorites.

Whether you grew up with this tradition or not, a cookie exchange is a sweet twist on a holiday potluck that will bring you closer to the people you love. Everyone makes a batch of cookies and brings them to the exchange, so you all get a taste of each other’s holiday favorites.

Another idea is to cook the cookies together, and everyone takes some of them home. There are several ways to bring this sugary sweet Christmas party idea to life!

3. ‘Tis the Giving Season

Another fun and uncommon spin on a holiday party is to take the opportunity to give back to the community. Everyone knows the importance of opening their hearts to those less fortunate than them during the holiday season, and giving back is a great theme for a holiday party.

There are several ways to do this. You can host a drive for your local shelter, and everyone brings something off a wishlist that you will donate after the party.

You could also get together to make things that a local shelter might need. For example, some shelters might need blankets, and there are several easy ways to make warm and cozy blankets.

Christmas Party Ideas for Food

A table full of food for a Christmas party

Everyone knows snacks and food have the potential to make or break a party. Make sure you keep your guests full and happy with delicious snacks they can’t get enough of. We picked out some great Christmas-themed favorites to serve up. They’ll be sure to win some smiles!

1. Cookie Platter

Decorating a Christmas tree cookie with icing

Hallmark Channel / GIPHY

Even if you aren’t hosting a cookie exchange themed party, a cookie platter is a must have at any Christmas party. Christmas cookies are a hallmark of the season, and people will love it if you put together a variety of cookies to enjoy while they drink and be merry.

"

Home is where heart is. Heart where cookie is. Math clear: home is cookie.

-Cookie Monster

You don’t have to bake all the cookies yourself either. Many grocery stores offer large platters with holiday themed cookies. However, if you do have the time, baking cookies for your guests can really add a nice touch to your party too.

2. Pull Apart Bread

Pull apart bread is another classic party food. Everyone loves this doughy creation made with cheese, garlic and dipping sauce. The best part is you can pull pieces right off without a utensil, and you still have a serving just for yourself.

It’s easy to sprinkle some holiday pizzazz onto this ooey gooey snack. All you have to do is shape the pieces of dough into a Christmas-themed shape, like a Christmas tree, a candy cane, a stocking, or a present. Of course, those are just some ideas. The options are limitless for your Christmas pull apart bread!

3. Reindeer Chow

Two people dressed as reindeer

Saturday Night Live / GIPHY

You’ve heard of puppy chow, now get ready for... reindeer chow! Puppy chow is a popular dessert that has chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar. With an ingredient list like that, it’s easy to understand why it’s an instant party fav.

Well, reindeer chow puts a festive twist on everyone’s favorite puppy chow. Reindeer chow adds green and red candies to capture the holiday spirit. Everyone loves it, even Santa’s favorite helpers!

4. Potato Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a potato pancake? These warm and tasty snacks are another perfect party food, because people can pick up just one or two..though with the right recipe, your guests won’t be able to stop after just two!

Another great perk of a potato pancake is that there are many vegan options. Many people have dietary restrictions, so making a potato pancake can be a delicious and filling way to accommodate all your guests!

Christmas Party Card and Gift Ideas

A pile of Christmas presents

Now that you have the theme and food down, it’s time to set the itinerary for your Christmas party. Your guests will come for a good time, and you need some activities to keep them occupied and entertained. Here are some fun activities for your Christmas party.

1. Card Exchange

A card exchange is an amazing idea for people who want to mix things up during the holiday season. A card has a way of capturing the love and joy of the season in a way that a gift can’t – sentimentality is the focus of a card rather than materialism.

You can also modernize your card exchange with a digital card exchange. Use a website like ours - Bells and Wishes. We offer digital group greeting cards for you to send season’s greetings your loved ones’ way. Digital greeting cards on this site are customizable and eco-friendly, so they’re sure to be a hit!

Pro tip: You can send cards to multiple recipients on Bells and Wishes too, so you can also use our adorable collection to send your guests invitations and thank you notes. Make it your one stop shop for all your digital group greeting card needs!

2. White Elephant

A dog ripping open wrapping paper for his gift inside

Gone to the Snow Dogs / GIPHY

Instead of a traditional Secret Santa, you can try a white elephant gift exchange. Instead of everyone getting and receiving a gift for a specific person, a white elephant gift exchange leads to random gifts for everyone in your group.

There are different ways to do a white elephant exchange. You can print a story with the words ‘left’ and ‘right’ frequently used, then pass the presents back and forth as the story instructs. You can also draw numbers and take turns choosing a gift from the pile. Some people even add options to steal gifts that have already been chosen! The possibilities are endless for this fun Christmas gift exchange idea.

3. Dice Exchange

Exchanging Christmas presents

GIPHY

Another less common present exchange idea is a dice exchange. Like white elephant, this exchange doesn’t provide specific gifts for specific people, and is instead randomized. However, there are different rules for a dice exchange.

In a dice exchange, someone assigns a motion to each number on a die. For example, one equals pass left, two equals pass right, three equals swap gifts with one person, four equals steal a gift from someone, and so on. Then everyone takes turns rolling the die and following the instructions. It can lead to great laughs and great fun!

4. Ornament Exchange

Everyone loves a beautiful, twinkling Christmas tree. For a lot of families, putting up and decorating the tree is one of the first Christmas traditions they do each year, and trees often bring up warm and happy memories for everyone.

An ornament exchange is a great way for your friends and family to share their own, hand-picked ornaments with each other. Everyone can draw a name and choose an ornament for someone in particular, or you can play a game, and everyone gets a random ornament. It’s a great way to bring home a bit of the Christmas spirit from the party!

Games for Christmas Parties

A Christmas game of tic tac toe

Gifts and cards aren’t the only way to entertain your guests during the holiday season. After all, quality time with loved ones is the reason for the Christmas season, not presents and objects. It’s a great idea to introduce some games for your guests to enjoy with each other’s company. Here are a few ideas for unique, Christmas-themed games to play at your party.

1. Pin the Nose on Rudolph…With a Twist!

Rudolph with his red nose

GIPHY

Most people know the fan favorite birthday party game Pin the Tail on the Donkey. There are already many variations of this game, but the point is usually for a blindfolded participant to try to attach the tail, or another body part, to the correct place on a picture of a donkey, or sometimes another animal.

This is an easy game to make more festive for the Christmas season. Try pinning the nose on Rudolph! Everyone knows this Christmas legend’s famous red nose that helped Santa deliver presents to all the good children on Christmas eve, so it will surely be a hit game.

Another idea to make things interesting is to use your nose to pin Rudolph’s nose to the poster! This takes some serious skill, and will definitely lead to lots of laughs while you and your guests play.

2. Name that Tune

Dancing to Christmas music

Jimmy Fallon / GIPHY

Name That Tune is another popular game to play at parties and gatherings. In order to play, one person has to use a CD player, music app or some other device to play the first few seconds of a song. The players have to guess the song based only on the opening notes.

You might have already figured out how to turn this into a Christmas game – just play Christmas songs instead of your every day top 40! Christmas music is such an important part of the season, so this game is sure to get your guests in the Christmas spirit.

You can even raise the stakes by keeping score and offering a prize to the person who is first to guess the most songs based only on the first notes.

3. Reindeer Hunt

A reindeer hunt is another festive spin on a classic scavenger hunt. Instead of giving your guests a list of objects to find around the house or venue, you can hide pictures of reindeer around the space and let your guests go hunting.

There are several ways for you to approach this game as well. You can let guests have free reign of the space and hunt away. Or you can write festive, rhyming clues that lead them to the right places to find the reindeer. You can also make it a competition for one person or one group to find the most reindeer in a certain amount of time.

4. Making Ornaments

Beautiful ornaments on a Christmas tree

1091 / GIPHY

Nothing screams Christmas like a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Another fun idea for a game or activity to play at your Christmas party is to make ornaments for your Christmas tree. You can buy clear ornaments and paint to let people paint to their hearts’ desires, or you can find other unique ways to decorate them, like glue and fabric, pipe cleaners, or something else.

You can turn the ornament decorating into a Christmas game or competition too. After everyone is finished with their masterpieces, you can hold a secret vote and give a prize to the person who made the best ornament.

Unique Christmas Party Ideas for Decorations

Cute Christmas decorations

Of course, no party is complete without festive decorations to brighten the space and the mood. However, you don’t have to deck the halls with boughs of holly to have a beautiful party space! There are a lot of ideas to spice up your party that are gorgeous and easy. Here are some of our favorite Christmas party ideas for decorations.

1. Light Up Your Charcuterie Board

Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie board? They’re perfect for a party thanks to their small, grabbable portions of meat, cheese and fruit. They’re also sure to add an elegant touch to any event, since the right layout can really make a gorgeous sight of the food.

One way to take your charcuterie board to the next level is to light it up! Fill the empty spaces with tea candles and light them right when it’s time for guests to arrive. The warm, cozy glow will only make a beautiful board look even better, so you can’t go wrong with this Christmas party idea.

2. Make Use of Christmas Lights

Holding Christmas lights

Stranger Things / GIPHY

Christmas lights, or fairy lights as they’re sometimes called, are one of the main signs of the season. They cast the perfect warm light over any space and do you huge favors to set the mood for a Christmas party.

Most people will drape Christmas lights over the walls, banisters and other decorations. However, you can easily craft a special decoration that will make the lights stand out on their own. Fill a bowl with some small Christmas lights and set it out on the fireplace, the table, or somewhere else where people can’t miss it!

Another creative way to use Christmas lights is to line them around the bottom of the walls, along the floor, instead of the ceiling. They will still create a pretty glow, and it will have a different cozy effect than lights hanging from the ceiling!

3. DIY Ornament Cups

Another great idea to bring the Christmas spirit to your party using decorations is to get creative with ornaments. Buy a large pack of simple ornaments from the store, then use them as cups! Set them up by the punch bowl or drink station, and let people fill them up and sip from them. You can set out straws, and they make the perfect Christmastime drinking vessel.

This would work with any ornaments, but if you use clear ornaments, it’s a bonus to see what everyone is sipping for the night.

4. Gingerbread Decorations

Attempting and failing to make a gingerbread house

HULU / GIPHY

Everyone loves building a gingerbread house, and it’s a great way to spend time with your loved ones during the holiday season. Now you can use your gingerbread house as more than a way to spend quality time with your family! Set it out on the table strictly for decoration, or make it an edible decoration that people can eat at some point during the party.

It’s really easy to elevate a gingerbread house too. All you have to do is use festive-colored ribbons, pinecones, candles, lights or other materials you have around the house to decorate the house’s stand.

Have fun!

As you can see, it’s easy to throw a great party where your friends and family to eat, drink and be merry during the holiday season. It doesn’t take too much time, just some creative ideas to give everyone something new to try. We hope these great tips help you spread some holiday cheer this Christmas!

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