For events like Christmas parties that take place every year, it's easy to fall into a rut. Here are 4 themes to keep Christmas and holiday parties fresh and exciting.
1. Christmas in Austria
- Location: Pictured: St. Peter Stiftskeller - Das Restaurant, Salsburg, Austria, the the oldest restaurant in Europe, dating back to the 8th century BC when Charlemagne dined here.
- Suggested Venues: Chalet, Austrian restaurant, concert hall with banquet facilities
- Decor: hand-blown gold and silver ornaments, candles, sparklers, nutcrackers, Weihnachtspyramide (Christmas pyramid usually found at the Christmas market), Christmas market stalls with traditional Austrian crafts
- Menu Suggestions: Ganslsuppe (goose soup), roast goose, roast duck, red cabbage, potato dumplings Dessert: Sachertorte, Sekttorte, stollen, Weihnachtsbaeckerei (cookies)
- Suggested Entertainment: dancers and singers performing traditional Austrian favorites, fireworks
- Music: Waltzes, compositions by the Strauss family
2. Santa's Workshop
Santa's Workshop, an affordable theme that can supercharge toy drives for charity, works especially well for events to which family members are invited. Ask each guest (couple or family) to bring an unwrapped toy.
- Suggested Venues: Indoor playground during off-peak hours, any venue with a carousel, shopping center near Santa display during off-peak hours
- Decor: Decorating is easy. For centerpieces, use gingerbread houses, snowmen, snowflakes, candy canes, red and white balloons, or place on mirrors, snowglobes with toys, toy shaped ornaments, or real toys that will be donated to charity (e.g. Slinkies, Lego, wands with confetti, toy trains, puppets). Place cut-outs of toys on the walls. Strategically place tables with Santa sacks, giant bins covered in Christmas wrapping paper to receive the toys.
- Menu Suggestions: Keep the menu playful and "kid-like". For dessert try a a toy filled sleigh cake, pastries shaped like toys, gingerbread men, and milk and cookies.
- Suggested Entertainment: Characters and dancers in costumes representing famous or classic toys (e.g toy soldiers, Raggedy Ann and Andy).
- Music: All Christmas songs about Santa, The Nutcracker Suite, Golliwog's Cakewalk by Claude Debussy.
3. Let it Snow
Here is a new twist on an old favorite:
- Suggested Venues: Glass houses, glass enclosed viewing lounges at skating rinks, indoor ski resorts, snow houses, ice castles
- Decor: Decorate the room with white linen, giant white balls, large and small snowflakes, ice skates, snowmen. If you have the budget for it, add ice bars and ice sculptures. For centrepieces, use snow globes with winter scenes, miniature villages with snow, mittens, and hats,
- Menu Suggestions: Alaskan King Crab, winter squash, Arctic char, snow peas
- Dessert: Cakes shaped like igloos, Blancmange, baked Alaska
- Suggested Entertainment: Figure skating show, table top hockey games
- Music: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Claude Debussy, Waltz of the Snowflakes from the Nutcracker Suite
- Location: Island Hotel in Newport Beach had a party with this theme. (See Video.)
4, A New York Christmas
- Location: The Print Room, Bournemouth
- Suggested Venues: Diners, winter garden venues
- Decor: Vintage NY Checker Taxis (toy or real to shuttle guests), food carts, backdrops, projections or miniatures of famous New York landmarks
- Menu Suggestions: Bar with mini hotdogs and sliders for appetizers, mini pizza slices, turkey with stuffing, fried chicken and waffles
- Dessert: Cannoli, cheesecake, chocolate cake, ice cream sundae
- Suggested Entertainment: Broadway show tunes, jazz, celebrity lookalikes, projections of scenes from Christmas movies set in New York City (licensing required)
For more Christmas event inspiration, also read Incentive Destinations: Winter Events in Salzburg, Austria, Corporate Events: 6 Cool Christmas Event Themes, 7 Inspiring Ideas for Christmas Event Decor, and Foreign Festive Fare for Christmas Events, What's Hot: Pop-up Event Venues, and Unique Christmas Event Venues.