Work Christmas party themes, they always seem like the simplest thing to come up with until the pressure is on and you’re the one in the party planning committee responsible for arranging it.
I’m assuming that’s why you’re here, right? You’ve got the venue booked and are just looking to finalise the theme, dress code and decorations. And, while 85% of the workforce are up-for-a-laugh types there is still that 15% who are more, erm, curmudgeon-ish?
Here are proven work Christmas party themes that you can base your food, decor and drinks around…
1. Ugly Christmas Sweaters (aka Jumpers)
Yes, while it’s the middle of summer that doesn’t mean that people wouldn’t enjoy wearing pure nylon (i.e. totally unbreathable and highly flammable) Christmas jumpers! They are cheap to buy online—if you don’t have one in the garage already—and laughs are guaranteed.
My advice to manage the weather is to pair your jumper with a pair of loud shorts or tights. Also, if you want to keep it a bit more lowkey you could just go the ugly Christmas socks route.
2. DIY Christmas (aka Tinsel Explosion)
This is the simplest of all work Christmas party themes as chances are everyone has been busy decorating their pods all month. Extend that idea and get everyone to decorate themselves and, for most, this will be zero cost as everyone has tinsel and baubles or can just steal them from the office.
With the decorations go nuts. Find the tackiest or cheapest or most colourful Christmas decorations you can find and fill your venue. Tinsel as far as the eye can see.
3. Christmas Movie Night
Every year we watch all the classic Christmas films and everyone has a favourite. Home Alone, Christmas Vacation and The Nightmare Before Christmas are all my personal faves for inspiration but Die Hard has also (apparently) been recognised as a Christmas movie so there that too.
You could have people dress up as characters, decorate your venue based on the film, play the soundtrack or even do a move themed trivia quiz. Go as small or as big as you want with this one.
4. Apres Ski Party
A lot of the world associate Christmas with the cold and snow and whether you’re in the Northern hemisphere or not it’s what the holiday is known for. Decorate your venue like a chalet, skis and all, decorate your invites in a ski theme, have fake snow, a lodge cocktail bar.
Again, this depends on your budget and venue size but you could go absolutely wild with this one and seeing everyone in their Vinnies single-piece snowsuits will be amazing.
5. White Christmas
So your office is a little more mature but just as tight? We’ve got the work Christmas party theme for you i.e. minimal. Go all out on the decor, think white tinsel paired with silver ornaments. These are usually the cheapest pieces at your local $2 store as they as are considered the base for more exciting things to be placed on.
Then, have your guests just have to wear black tie or some version of it. If you work in a corporate environment then this will not be hard. Just switch the tie to a bow tie.
6. Bring Your Own Tradition
Everyone does Christmas differently so why not get all your guests to bring a tradition with them, whether that’s a dish of food, a game they like to play, a drink they usually drink. There are no rules.
This is probably a theme more suited to a smaller party. Imagine getting through them all through the office Christmas party—they’d be no time left for celebrating—but if you are planning on mixing the tables up this is a great way to get everyone talking.
7. Christmas Around The World
Traditionally this might be as simple as adding a Christmas hat to your stylish Kimono but I have bigger plans. I’m thinking of a ‘team-building’ based theme.
Yes, group your internal teams and designate each with a country in the weeks leading up to the night. You’ll want them to work on their outfits, create a spiel about their country, potentially some sort of dance too? Actually, this idea really depends on the appropriateness of your workforce so beware.
8. Characters of Christmas / Christmas Wonderland
Wearing a green t-shirt and some tinsel? You’re an amazing X-mas tree now. Tie a bow around yourself? Boom, you’re an exciting gift. Chucked on a red nose? how exciting, here comes Rudolph.
You can really go to town on this one. Potentially Gina from finance might wrap some strings of lights to her jacket and stand near the power outlet and, while I’m not suggesting this, I commend the effort.
9. Kris Kringle / Bad Santa
Taking the previous theme a step further I imagine that you’ll likely be running a work Kris Kringle at the office Christmas party so why not just make everyone dress up as Santa? You can go as far as the white beard and black boots or just pop on a Christmas hat.
This could also be fun if you’re all out at a venue where the public is also. Hundreds of Santas, brilliant.
10. Christmas Colours
Finally, this one is bottom of the barrel. Perhaps you’re running out of time? Those end-of-year expenses are not going to balance themselves dammit! Either just tell everyone to put on Christmas colours (e.g. red and green but maybe white) or just choose one for them. It’s lazy, I get it, but it gets the job done.
Keep Your Work Christmas Party Themes Simple…
The beauty with all of these themes is that depending on your venue, budget, time and the number of attendees you have, you can go as big or as little as you want with these. If you want to make people this they’ve walked into a ski resort in the Alps, you can do that, if you’re with people who like Christmas but don’t want to go to nuts, stick with the classic Christmas jumper theme.