9 Festive Holiday Party Themes

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to get prepared for some festive fun! Whether you’re hosting a party or planning for a night out with friends, check out these 9 fresh ideas that are sure to liven up your soiree.

The “christmas party theme ideas 2021” is a list of 9 festive holiday party themes that you can use to make your next Christmas Party or Holiday event a hit.

While it’s common to associate hosting parties with our female counterparts, guys, especially bachelors, have a long tradition of arranging spectacular get-togethers. “Granting that you are a bachelor and not a hermit,” says the 1949 version of Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, “you are going to entertain rather frequently in the apartment and not spend all of your time prowling for a pair of nylon legs.” The book goes on to educate the reader how to prepare a delectable dinner, mix and serve beverages with ease, and entertain visitors with discussion, games, and even fortune reading.

Unfortunately, the contemporary man lacks this sort of instruction in being a great host, as well as the art of hospitality in general.

As a result, we’re starting a four-part series on how to throw a fantastic party today. We’ll concentrate on holding a Christmas party since it’s one of the most popular and greatest times of year to do it, but most of the recommendations will apply to organizing a party at any time.

Today, we’ll talk about the first stage in throwing a party: deciding on a kind or theme.

Types of Traditional Parties

The style of party you organize will be determined by how big or small you want the gathering to be, how formal or casual you want it to be, your budget, and your and your friends’ personalities and hobbies.

Cocktail Reception

A cocktail party is a semi-formal event that takes place early in the evening, say between 5 and 7 p.m., or between 6 and 8 p.m., and may be used as a prelude to another event later in the evening. Cocktails (obviously) and beer are supplied, and you may want to dress up as a nice house bartender to serve them. Along with the drinks, you should provide small nibbles or hors d’oeuvres.

Supper Buffet/Open House

Vintage couple buffet in holiday party illustration.

While a cocktail party usually lasts two hours, an open house lasts longer and guests are free to come and go as they like. Self-serve beverages include ice-cold beer and Coke, as well as a bowl of punch or egg nog.

Esquire Etiquette: A Guide to Proper Dining, published in 1953, does a good job at describing the cuisine and set-up.

“Unlike a cocktail-party dinner, when the food is always accessible, the food is normally spread out and the guests are asked to assist themselves at a certain hour. Typically, the menu contains a selection of meals, including at least one hot, one cold, one salad, one bread, one beverage, fruit and/or cheese, and/or dessert. Nothing should be presented that necessitates the use of a knife, which is hard to handle on a knee-balanced plate. Guests may dine from their knees, the floor, trays, or little tables put up for the occasion. They help themselves, whether or if their host assists them with carving. They are free to sit with whoever they like; the host does not assign dinner companions. The host keeps an eye out for refill opportunities and either leads excursions to second helpings or serves himself.”


For Christmas Eve, an open home party is ideal. Family and friends are welcome to come and go as they like, stopping by in between their other scheduled activities.

The Sit-Down Meal

A fantastic choice for those looking for a nice, yet more planned and private event. Invite a bunch of friends over for a great sit-down dinner, and offer them a multi-course meal—at least soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. Before, during, and after the dinner, provide wine or beer, as well as coffee and dessert.

Dinner at a Potluck

Consider a potluck meal for younger gentlemen and those on a budget. Assign each person to bring one part of the dinner, and then sample everyone’s efforts. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting.

For the holidays, there are several unique party themes to consider.

Vintage people roasting hot dog at outside illustration.

You had to expect the weenie roast to show up.

Outdoor Recreation

The celebration begins with an energetic outdoor sport such as ice skating, sledding, hiking, or snowshoeing. Everyone returns to your house after the activity to warm up with hot chocolate and cider while roasting chestnuts, weenies, and marshmallows in the fireplace.

Exchange of White Elephant Gifts

To the party, everyone brings a wrapped present (typically something inexpensive and/or amusing). Then people start drawing numbers (as many numbers as there are people). The person who receives number one gets to pick and open the first present. The next person may either “take” the present that was unwrapped by the previous person or chose one of the wrapped gifts. This continues, with each subsequent individual having the option of choosing from the previously opened items or the unwrapped pile. If someone “steals” your present, you have the option of stealing another’s (but not the one that was just stolen from you) or drawing from the pile. etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,

Tour of Christmas Lights

Many firms charge a lot of money to take guests around town in a limo to see the greatest lights. You may, however, save money by becoming your own tour guide. Rent a large van or borrow a friend’s old Suburban and plan a route around town that will take you by the houses with the best light displays. Then invite your friends around for a meal, load them into the vehicle, crank up the Christmas music, and become their personal tour guide through the festive wonderland.

Play some Christmas Light Bingo to add another layer of enjoyment. Make some bingo cards with squares including items such as:

  • Through the window of a residence, a Christmas tree can be seen.
  • The municipal park has a Christmas tree.
  • Reindeer with animatronics
  • Scene from the Nativity
  • The whole house is lit with blue lights.
  • Santa

And so on. Make bingo dabbers available to your passengers. A reward is awarded to the first individual to get bingo.


Vintage woman carolers singing in driveway illustration.

Try a caroling get-together if you have extroverted pals who aren’t afraid to do things that less emotional people deem “cheesy.” Meet at your home, and then head out and do some neighborhood caroling. Tell everyone who plays an instrument to bring it with them. Invite everyone over to your home for eggnog, hot chocolate, and cookies once you’ve finished caroling.


Try a caroling scavenger hunt as an alternative to traditional caroling. Divide your visitors into teams and offer them a list of sites to carol, such as a hospital, an elderly care facility, a hotel lobby, a shopping center, a restaurant, and so on. Assign points to each site depending on how difficult it will be to get in and carol there. Each location the team visits requires them to sing 1-3 songs and have someone sign off that they done so. The team with the most points when they return at a certain time wins.

Night at the Movies

Try organizing a Christmas movie night if you’re looking for something easy and relaxed. Invite some friends over, prepare some popcorn and hot cocoa, lay out a blanket for everyone, and watch a great Christmas movie.

Tree Pruning

Vintage family decorating christmas tree and singing.

Invite your pals over to assist you with the trimming of your Christmas tree. Before they arrive, put the lights on the tree (putting on the lights is a real fun killer). Put up some Christmas music and hang the decorations with your pals when they come. Take some time to gather around the piano with your buddies and sing some carols if you or one of your friends knows how to tickle the ivories. After you’ve finished decorating, reward your guests with food and refreshments for a job well done.

New Year’s Eve Reflection Campfire

Vintage men sitting around campfire.

Try a campfire for a more introspective New Year’s Eve celebration than the traditional roaring party. Invite your buddies over earlier in the evening to help you prepare foil dinners. Then go to a park where you can have a campfire. Everyone is invited to bring a short reading or poem on winter, change, or the new year in general, and each visitor takes turns reading their pick while the foil dinners are prepared and consumed. Then, as midnight approaches, each participant writes down on a sheet of paper their regrets from the previous year. At 12 a.m., everyone tosses their paper into the fire, toasts, smooches, and rejoices in the new beginning that lies ahead of them.

Months of the Year Party on New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s Eve party concept came from 1905’s Bright Ideas for Entertaining:

“It should be a modest gathering, with no more than twenty-four attendees, and it will be more fun if it is casual and among people who know one other well… Limit the number of young gentlemen and women on the list to twelve. The hostess suggests that each pair dress to reflect a certain month that she gives to them… It will require some creativity to come up with an effect that will commemorate a certain month.

The visitors should not arrive till 9:00 p.m. A huge clock should be prominently displayed in the room, as well as an open fireplace with a bright fire on the hearth, if feasible.

The initial half of the time should be spent guessing the months, with everyone gathered in a circle in front of the open fire. As soon as a month is chosen, the person who is impersonating it stands, bows to the audience, and recites at least four original lines about that month. The more ludicrous or clever they are, the more appreciated they will be.


After that, there will be dinner, which may be as extravagant or as simple as desired, and then there will be some hilarity caused by a promiscuous mingling of the months.

There comes a knock at the door just as the clock strikes twelve. When you open it, you’ll see a young guy disguised as a baby in a long white frock wrapped around his waist with a belt with the date January 1, 19—. If all goes according to plan, the arrival of this New Year’s baby will be greeted with cheers.

The gathering concludes with handshakes and New Year’s greetings.”

Months mingled in a shady manner! That’s a crazy idea!

Fortune Telling on New Year’s Eve

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, a little lighthearted fortune telling was a common pastime at gatherings, especially on New Year’s Eve.

There are a few different ways to read your fate on New Year’s Eve. The first involves letting melted candle wax fall into a dish of water while someone ponders a subject. The form the drippings assume is then interpreted as having anything to do with the person’s query. “It looks like Texas!” says the narrator. This implies that you should accept the position in Dallas!” Alternatively, you may take a set of saucers and put a ring on some, a dollar on others, and nothing on the rest. Then you blindfold your visitors, shuffle the saucers about, and have them grab for one. They’ll get married within a year if they acquire a saucer with a ring. They will be wealthy if they get the $1 note. If they obtain the empty saucer, their situation will remain unchanged.

The “hypnotic influence,” according to Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, “consists primarily in astounding the’subject’ through telling him or her that which is most obviously obvious concerning himself,” which “consists mainly in telling him or her that which is most apparently obvious concerning himself.” The manual suggests “table-tipping” for people who “blush quickly and aren’t excellent liars.” You and your pals assemble around a little table, especially one with one leg that is shorter than the rest, to play table-tipping. Everyone puts their hands on the table, with the thumbs and little fingers of the person next to them touching. The lights are dimmed, and a writer takes a seat in the corner. Then you use a code to communicate with the spirits: 1 tap equals A, 2 taps equals B, 3 taps equals C, and so on. Then-

“With your hands on the little table, and after approximately three minutes of patiently waiting, apply a small amount of pressure to the shaky table, forcing it to slide an inch or two down the floor.” “There!” you shout now. Didn’t you get a sense of something? “I had a sensation!” “Soon [they] will really open up and offer you all some really fantastic guidance,” the “spirits” rap, and “soon [they] will really open up and give you all some pretty wonderful counsel.” You should not be the head guy at a table-tipping party if this advise doesn’t make that attractive blonde on the opposite side of the table sit up and commit to make some key adjustments in her immediate date book.”


Choosing a Party Theme is Part of the How to Throw an Awesome Holiday Party Series. A Simple and Jolly Dinner Menu, Guest Lists, Invitations, and Planning A Beginner’s Guide to Being the Ultimate Host

What are some of your favorite holiday party themes? Please share them in the comments!



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