6 Christmas Party Themes That Are Festive, But Fresh

floral table decorations for Christmas

Thomas Louf

Holidays inspire guests around the world to put on their fun hats and make happy memories with their loved ones. And if this annual time spent with family friends is still special however your party looks, it’s easy to fall back on tired decorations during such a busy season – colored items like red and green or silver and gold get recycled year after year . This time, consider switching things up: try one of these fresh and festive Christmas themes for your holiday party instead.

Related: Expert Party Planners Share Their Top 5 Tips for Hosting a Christmas Celebration

Vacation speakeasy

What’s more fun during the holidays than a “secret” party filled with gorgeous craft cocktails and a merry mystery error? “Channel your inner Peaky Blinder and treat your guests to a vacation speakeasy with a secret password where a craft mixologist can shake and also learn how to make seasonal drinks,” says Amy Shey JacobsNew York-based event organizer and founder of Chandelier Events.

Really lean into the prohibition era by creating a jazz playlist for those vintage vibes and serve your drinks in an assortment of vintage decanters and glasses– the more eclectic, the better. Fill the tub with bottles of gin and champagne for good measure. “If you’re feeling really inspired, hire a photographer to take black-and-white photos of your guests as a holiday gift,” says Jacobs.

Cozy ski chalet

Light the fire, whip out the eggnog, and snuggle up at your ski lodge themed party. This idea has many of the same elements you would find at a traditional winter wonderland celebration, but feels decidedly fresh and ups the ante.

“Think fake snow, mountain range balloon installations—brown and green at the bottom, white at the top—and cross-country skis for particularly lively revelers,” says Liz Curtis, event planner and founder of Table + Teaspoon. “Also add log decor, which can be as big as a log bar or as small as logs placed criss-cross on your snack table,” she says.

Get your guests dressed up by cheering on an après ski dress code— all-white works, as do ski jackets — and hand out cute faux fur earmuffs as party favors. You can even roast marshmallows using mini indoor s’more kits.

Moody Glamor

Dark spaces have the power to evoke both warm intimacy and elevated glamour, says Yaz Quiles, event planner and founder of POPULAR! By Yaz. A moody glam Christmas theme is also easier to pull off than you might think and gives guests a chance to wear their holiday in the best possible way.

Set the scene by dimming the lights, adding twinkling candles throughout your space, and layering a variety of luxe textiles and accents — think velvet linens, matte metal flatware, gold highlights, and a fir tree sparkling white Christmas tree.

Also translate your bar’s theme: “Dark spirits, smoky undertones and deep-colored nectars with natural toppings are a perfect way to serve fancy cocktails“, Says Quiles. “Complement the drinks with sweet and savory dishes, like baked brie with cranberries and pecans and lamb chops with pomegranate molasses.”

Holiday Chili Recipe

If your loved ones are great gastronomy enthusiasts or seasoned chefs, organize a savory meal cooking chili come Christmas will easily become the event of the season. “In this potluck-style party, invite friends, family, and co-workers to whip up their best chili recipe—meat, turkey, and vegan fun,” says Shey Jacobs. “You can even offer prizes for the best cornbread, cocktail or chili pairings.”

Set the scene accordingly with a designated table for slow cookers, a carrel and a selection of red wines. You can even decorate your Christmas tree with kitchen and chili themed ornaments, chili pepper lights and a red garland. For the invitation, Jacobs suggests sending a note with a wooden spoon or an oven mitt.

Exaggerated winter impressions

Red and green are synonymous with Christmas, but you can channel the holiday spirit without broad strokes of this classic color duo. The solution? Opt for traditional winter prints instead. “Embrace a ‘more is more’ aesthetic by layering different colored tartans, buffalo plaid textiles, striped blankets and faux fur,” says Curtis. “Ask your guests to tastefully mismatch these prints so they bring the non-traditional décor to life.”

For a major design moment, use gift wrap in these winter prints to cover a 6 x 6 foot cardboard wall and then use it as a photo backdrop.

The tree that gives

This Christmas theme is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to give back this season. Invite everyone to bring a gift to place under a “gift tree” and plan a variety of events that are all about doing good. “Have fun stations, like making holiday cards for first responders or making gift baskets for families in need, and focus on long-lasting decor, like mini tree seedlings that can be planted after the event in a community garden,” explains Shey Jacobs. “You can also host a cookie or challah pastry where everyone can create treats together to donate to a community center in need.”

Stay in theme by sending invitations made of seeded paper, which can be planted in everyone’s garden when the weather warms up.

Joseph K. Bennett