It’s the most wonderful time of year, which means one thing for sure: it’s also party season! With so many events to attend, how do you choose which ones stand out from the rest? We’ve got 15 theme ideas for holiday parties this winter.
From an elegant afternoon tea gathering to a candy-themed bash (that will make your mouth water), these celebrations are bound to be the best ones you attend all season, whether you’re hosting or simply attending.
1) Sweets for Santa
Everyone loves treats around the winters, so why not have a candy-themed party? We recommend serving festive desserts that include cocoa puffs for Santa’s hat and red and white rock candies for a candy cane twist. You can make your ice cream sundaes with all sorts of fun toppings—be sure to take pictures!
2) Santa’s Workshop
This theme works well for children, who are sure to get a kick out of decorating gingerbread cookies and hanging up their artwork in an old-fashioned workshop setting.
If you’re hosting it, consider building your own DIY gingerbread house or letting your guests decorate their own with candy and icing! Just be sure the kids don’t eat any raw dough—we want them to have fun, not be sick.
3) A Movie Night Theme
Who doesn’t love curling up with some hot cocoa and a movie during the winter? All you need is a comfy space to watch your favorite holiday films to pull off this theme. Snacks-wise, consider serving s’mores on a stick or popcorn in festive bowls. Just try not to overeat—you’ve got a lot of movies to watch!
4) Festive Afternoon Tea Party Without the Formal Atmosphere
This one is great for all ages—who doesn’t love afternoon tea parties? Set up your table with white linens, colorful napkins, and some festive centerpieces. Depending on how formal you want things to be, you can serve finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off, scones with clotted cream and jam, mini quiches, or any other bite-size treats you can think of. Just be sure to have plenty of tea!
5) Classic Family Dinner
There’s nothing more classic than an elegant family dinner. Serve a three-course meal that starts with a seasonal soup or tomato bisque, then moves on to the main course, including roasted turkey breast and cranberry sauce. Dessert options might include pumpkin pie, cookies, and eggnog. Book a Family Dinner with us
6) “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” Party
If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, consider hosting a bash that’s centered on your favorite Christmas carol. Play the song on repeat while passing out cookies and hot cocoa for guests. And don’t forget about festive decor—put up some red and green ornaments, string together some twinkly lights, and put a wreath on the door.
7) Winter Wonderland
For anyone who loves the season of falling snow, this theme is for you. Hang up twinkly lights and decorate your space with white linens and red poinsettias—the winter forest scene pictured here was created using actual pine branches! Serve cookies or any other sweet treats you can think of.
8) Let It Snow!
This is one of the most popular themes for the holiday season. Why? Because it’s truly the most wonderful time of year, that’s why. Set up fake snow on your table with floral foam and some water—or use a white cloth if you want something a little easier to clean up. You can serve hot cocoa, apple cider, or any other warm drinks you have in mind.
9) Retro Theme
This is a great theme for older generations who love the nostalgia factor of old-fashioned holiday decorating. Consider playing some classic carols on vinyl records while serving hot beverages—mulled wine or eggnog both work great for this. You can set up your holiday cabinet with old-timey decorations like candy cane tins and throw in their favorite snacks—popcorn, candy sticks, etc.
10) Deck the Halls
Another theme that works well for all ages—kids will love decorating sugar cookies or funfetti cupcakes with red and green sprinkles. For grown-ups, there’s nothing like decorating your beer mug! Just make sure everyone knows to take it easy—you don’t want to overwhelm anyone who has a long drive home.
11) Do You Hear What I Hear?
This theme is great for families with young children, as it’s perfect for toddlers and kids under the age of 10. It doesn’t take much to pull off—just set up a small table with some white linens and red napkins. Then put together an assortment of holiday-themed finger foods like cheese cubes, meatballs, veggies, and chocolate-dipped pretzels.
12) White Elephant Gift Exchange
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, this is a winter-themed game that everyone will love. Place all the gifts in the center of your table and let guests do their thing. Just make sure to keep an eye on anyone who’s getting too competitive with their stealing!
13) Get Away To the Lake Party
If you live near a lake, this theme is the perfect way to highlight your location. Hang up some twinkling lights and decorate your table with handmade ornaments you’ve collected over the years—you can even include family photos! Don’t forget to include fish on your menu.
14) Gift Arrangement
Give each guest a gift that is wrapped up as part of the party decor. Maybe each gift has a bow on it, or perhaps some decorative bows attached to sticks. Guests can have fun unwrapping their presents and placing them around your space for everyone to see.
15) A Winter Party in the Caribbean
For those who would rather be somewhere else this winter, bring the Caribbean to you! Just hang up some island-themed decorations around your party space and serve Pina Coladas or strawberry daiquiris. Play some reggae music in the background for an added touch of authenticity.
Plan a Theme and Let Us Handle the Catering Needs
The Refuge believes that family celebrations begin with fantastic food, and our customizable party menus are designed to make your job easier. Our extensive assortment of delicious treats, sides, and drinks will elevate your celebration from good to great.