Unique and Memorable Christmas Party Ideas and Hosting Tips

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From making my own signature festive cocktail to setting the perfect mood, I’m here to share all my Christmas party ideas and tips to step up your entertaining. Make this year’s holiday party the one to remember with this perfectly jolly inspiration!

Christmas Party Ideas

I thought it might be helpful to share some unique and memorable Christmas party ideas and tips to help you create a welcoming and festive holiday home.

It’s no secret that the holidays are my favorite time of year. The second I hear the word fall, I’m already dreaming of what my Christmas tree will look like and shopping around for new inspiration.

miniature Christmas party tree decoration in a mixing bowl

One of my other loves of the season is entertaining. I’ll take any excuse to bring my friends and family together, have some drinks, and get all cozy and festive.

Over the years, I’ve mastered the art of Christmas parties. I have accumulated quite a few tips and ideas, and I wanted to share them with you for this year and beyond. Whether it’s a small get-together with close friends or a large open house for all, these Christmas party ideas will apply no matter how you celebrate the season.

hand holding christmas jarcuterie.

30 Christmas Party Ideas and Themes:

Looking for party ideas and themes for your next holiday gathering? Try one of these:

  1. Secret Santa Party
  2. Christmas Cookie Swap
  3. Christmas Pajama and Movie Party
  4. DIY Ornament Party
  5. Ugly Sweater Party
  6. Gift Wrapping Party
  7. Christmas Donut Party
  8. Christmas Cocktail Party
  9. Christmas Karaoke Party
  10. Hot Cocoa Party
  11. Christmas Charcuterie Party
  12. DIY Gift Tag Party
  13. Gingerbread Cookie / Gingerbread House Party
  14. Favorite Things Party
  15. Reindeer Games Party
  16. Christmas Breakfast / Brunch Party
  17. Handmade Holiday Party
  18. Paint and Sip Party
  19. Homemade Christmas Gift Party
  20. Murder Mystery Holiday Party
  21. High Tea Christmas Party
  22. Christmas Movie Marathon
  23. Ginch-mas Party
  24. Holiday Appetizer Party
  25. Christmas Card Party
  26. Brunch-mas Party
  27. Wreath Making Party
  28. Beers and Cheers Party
  29. Favorite Thing Christmas Party
  30. Christmas Lights Tour

That’s quite the list! I hope one, two, or more of those themes inspired an idea in you! There are so many I want to host.

Vintage Modern Christmas Table Decor

Unique and memorable Christmas party ideas

Alright, now that we have some party theme covered, let’s get into some of the finer details.

Let me walk you through some of my best tips and ideas for Christmas parties. I’ve added in a few photos from my current Christmas decor and a few photos from some Christmases past.

1. Create a signature cocktail or drink.

I think I include this tip on every entertaining list as it is one of my favorites. Recently, I also just created a new holiday cocktail (my amazing Poinsettia Pomegranate Martini), so it was fresh on my mind.

I like this idea because it’s a fun way to create something unique and memorable. As you know, I’ve created and shared dozens and dozens of unique and classic cocktail recipes here on Inspired by Charm.

My favorite thing is to take a classic recipe and make it unique just by changing out a few ingredients. If you’re looking for some more recipe ideas, I have an entire post dedicated to my best Christmas cocktail recipes – all in one place! It even includes a non-alcoholic sangria which everyone can enjoy. If you need a little inspiration that is a great place to start.

signature Christmas party cocktails on a kitchen island
poinsettia pomegranate martini

Another fun idea, once you have chosen your drink recipe, is to print out a few copies of the recipe for guests to take home with them. It’s a great way to share a little piece of your festivities with your guests. I have some FREE recipe card printables if you need them.

Not a fan of cocktails? Try a hot cocoa bar! You can go big or small. Here in my kitchen, I just use a small area to set up this beautiful and functional hot cocoa bar. And if you need one, here’s a homemade hot cocoa mix recipe that I love!

create a hot cocoa bar for fun Christmas party ideas
hot chocolate bar with jars full of cocoa and toppings

2. Plan your Christmas decor.

I’m very much a planner when it comes to my Christmas decorating. Before I’ve even brought out the Christmas décor, I already know what I’m going for that year.

In some regards, I have a theme every year that echoes throughout my house or individual room. This helps to create a coordinated and very styled look for my decorating. The result is always a highly aesthetic and ultra-festive display that looks amazing for a Christmas party and photos.

decorated foyer with christmas tree in the background.

I’ve recently shared all the information behind how I plan my Christmas home decor, so take a look at the post for some tips on getting your home ready for Christmas.

I know some people very much like to do the same thing every year, and that’s okay too! Even small touches like coordinated place settings, gift wrap, ornaments, appetizers, and gift tags can make the party more cohesive.

3. Incorporate vintage finds.

I don’t know about you, but I love getting wrapped up in the nostalgia and tradition of the holiday season. While I love antique shopping all year long, I especially love it for Christmas. I’ll take vintage plates, vintage glassware, and vintage decor over new any day.

If you love vintage Christmas like I do, I have an entire blog post dedicated to this topic. You can see all of my favorite vintage Christmas decor plus get tips and tricks for styling it. Find that post HERE.

Last year I set this fun table setting inspired by a set of glassware I picked up at one of my favorite antique stores.

Vintage Modern Christmas Table Decor ideas to dress up your home for the holidays! #diningroom #decor #tablesetting #tablescape #table #decorating #christmas #holiday #modern #vintage
Vintage Modern Christmas Table Decor ideas to dress up your home for the holidays! #diningroom #decor #tablesetting #tablescape #table #decorating #christmas #holiday #modern #vintage

Other vintage finds can influence your holiday entertaining adventures, too. Here are a few examples!

  1. Use vintage ornaments as place cards for your holiday table setting. You can write a guest’s name directly on the ball or add a festive gift tag to the ornament. (These vintage-inspired tags, which I shared as a free download last year, would be perfect.)
vintage gift tags for wrapping Christmas presents
  1. Pick up a vintage punch bowl set. I just scored this set on eBay. While this bowl and cups are traditionally for a classic Tom and Jerry cocktail, you could use them to serve any holiday punch.
tom and jerry vintage Christmas dishes
  1. Don’t have enough glassware? Shop local thrift stores for glasses. They are so inexpensive, and you can find some beautiful vintage designs.

I’ve found that guests are always intrigued by my vintage decorations too. I can’t tell you how many people have told me, “My mom had those growing up,” or “I remember having these as a kid.” I love moments like this.

For me, this is what the holidays are all about.

thrifted deer figurines on a mantle

4. Have a well-stocked pantry.

I recently shared a look into my butler’s pantry for Christmas. I think having a well-stocked cupboard or pantry during the holidays is important. When you’re ready to entertain or whip up your favorite holiday recipe, there’s nothing worse than realizing you’re missing a key element or ingredient.

open shelving in butler's pantry with wood and white dishes and Santa mugs

I’m a list maker, so I plan ahead with a big list of all my holiday essentials. I like to stock up in advance on longer-lasting items like flour, sugar, sprinkles, butter, etc.

I also stock up on things like soda, seltzer water, oranges, lemons, fresh herbs, cranberries, etc. Not only are these useful ingredients to have on hand when cooking for the holidays, but they also make great garnishes for your dishes or beverages.

It’s also helpful to plan your menus ahead. This way, you can make one trip to the grocery store instead of several.

I have the perfect list for you if you’re planning ahead and looking for some festive and tasty holiday appetizers: the ultimate Christmas appetizer recipes. I also recommend check out these gingerbread recipes. They are some of my holiday favorites.

Christmas Tree Cheese Ball

5. Make a custom music playlist.

I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty picky with my holiday music. When entertaining, music can really make or break the mood. Are you feeling classic Christmas with the crooning Michael Buble? Or do you want to go back to the 90s with Mariah Carey’s iconic Merry Christmas?

While there are so many music streaming platforms that have their own Christmas playlists, I always find myself skipping every other song. There’s a lot of not-so-great Christmas music out there!

My solution was to make my own Christmas music playlist that I know I can play at any party and get the festive mood perfectly right. I encourage you to make your own for your Christmas party, as it truly makes a difference in the ambiance. You can even use mine as a starting point for creating your own.

6. Make your own gifts.

Gifts mean so much more when they come from the heart. If gift-giving is a part of your Christmas party, encourage everyone to bring something they made themselves. This works well for secret Santa or white elephant gift exchanges!

Vintage-Inspired Christmas Gift Bags #craft #christmas #holiday #giftbags #gift #printable #transfer #giftideas #vintage #vintagechristmas

This way, every gift will have a special story behind it and avoid adding to the clutter that can be Christmas gifts. Plus, it’s often kinder on the wallet too! It minimizes the stress of the holidays, which always helps to make the Christmas party more enjoyable.

And just because it’s homemade doesn’t mean it has to be simple or unattractive. Here are some of my go-to handmade gift ideas you can get some inspiration from.

7. Remember you can do anything, but not everything.

Last but not least, and possibly the most important Christmas party idea I could share with you, is that you can’t do it all! Trust me; I’ve tried.

Because of the abundance of “perfectly” styled tables, charcuteries, bar carts, and homes on social media, it’s easy to feel like we must do it all, and we must do it perfectly. But, of course, this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Do what you can. Do what you love. Do what works for you. Do your best and forget the rest.

Often times these beautifully styled photos you see on social media and Pinterest are just that: beautifully styled photos. They are meant to delight and inspire rather than to be used as a means for comparison or to make you feel less than.

corner of a decorated home for Christmas

That’s a wrap on Christmas party tips & ideas!

And that’s a wrap, friends. I hope the things I shared here were helpful and encouraging. I also hope you enjoyed a little peek into my holiday home and are excited for more to come!

I have so much more to share this holiday season, so stay tuned for my holiday decor, seasonal recipes, and festive cheer.

The ultimate Christmas idea and recipe resource list:

Looking for more Christmas inspiration? This list is for you!

Love these festive ideas and want more?

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Have you tried any of these ideas? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR picture with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using ideas from IBC.

looking through the door of a kitchen at Christmas party cocktails on a red tray sitting on a wood island

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  1. A few posts ago you had a white pitcher filled with various evergreens and berries. Would you please send that post to me again? I would like to try to create something like it for my kitchen.

    Also, curious what is the piece with hooks by your door? It looks antique.

  2. Thank you for the advise ‘You can do anything, but not everything.’ I forget this from time to time and feel so overwhelmed that it takes the enjoyment out of it.