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17 Unique Company Holiday Party Themes

holiday dessert setup

If you are looking for unique corporate holiday party themes, here are nine very different ideas that will get your group into the holiday spirit.  We’ve truly put our creative party theme ideas to work this year.  Below you’ll find a compilation of nine of the most fun and unique holiday party themes perfect for your annual company holiday celebrations.

Unique Holiday Party Celebrations for Your Company Party

1) Unique Holiday Party Theme:  A Christmas Story

Arguably one of the most famous holiday movies around, A Christmas Story takes place in the 1940s.  Center your party theme around typical holiday celebrations of that decade, scattering details from the Christmas movie favorite throughout the evening.

  • Menu:  The menu can feature favorites from the movie, such as duck and turkey.  Compliment the entreés with other traditional holiday foods like cranberries and potatoes.  Serve Coca-Cola in glass bottles, or even hire a soda jerk to scoop root beer floats and milkshakes to guests.  For dessert, create a sweets table featuring the most popular candies of the 1940s, like Bit-o-Honey, black licorice, Bazooka Bubble Gum, Dots, Bonomo Turkish Taffy and Almond Joys, to name a few.
  • Décor:  Place traditionally-decorated Christmas trees throughout the venue.  Also, consider featuring an actual life-size leg lamp as a focal piece.  Guests will likely want to take photos with it, so place it in an accessible location.  Finally, light the trees, tables and accent pieces with strands of Christmas lights to truly set holiday the mood.
  • Entertainment:  The movie focuses on young Ralphie’s quest to get Santa to bring him a Red Ryder BB gun.  As entertainment, rent a shoot-the-balloon carnival game from a local entertainment company.  When guests shoot down the balloons, they can choose between different A Christmas Story-themed prizes, such as a decoder pin, a bar of soap, a mini leg lamp, ornaments representing the movie and more.

2) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Masquerade Ball

For the fancy holiday celebrators.  This formal theme incorporates decorative masks to adorn the faces of all guests.  If you go about this theme with enthusiasm and energy, you, too, could have an experience nearly as extravagant as the Phantom of the Opera.

  • Colors:  Though the holidays are typically a red-and-green or silver-and-gold time of year, a true masquerade usually incorporates a lot of purple and gold.
  • Masks:  The masks are some of the most important components to a successful masquerade holiday party.  Be sure to specify to guests what kind of event this is well in advance, and encourage guests to buy their own masks so that they can coordinate with their dates’ masks and their own formalwear.  Do not be surprised if some show up without a mask, which is why we suggest having a few extras to hand out to those unable to get one in time.
  • Menu:  Your menu should include appetizers, passed hors d’oeuvres and light finger foods.  Think extravagant when planning this menu, but also realistic.  This is the kind of occasion for which you should hire a serving staff to take care of walking the food around, making sure that guests aren’t hovering over a buffet table or sitting down the entire evening.
  • Drinks:  The bar will be an extremely important part of this experience.  Start the evening off with champagne cocktails, setting the right mood for the rest of the evening.  Once guests have been welcomed with a drink by a professionally dressed server, let those choosing to continue indulging in beverages approach one of the bars at their own discretion to order premium or top shelf drinks.
  • Entertainment:  Consider a string quartet, small orchestra or singing group to entertain for this type of holiday celebration.  You will want an array of holiday music on the repertoire, of course, but also ask the band to play some of the more eerie, classical music pieces, including numbers from Phantom.  Expect—and encourage—some dancing at this event.
holiday masquerade ball theme

3) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Elf

“Santa! Oh my God! Santa’s coming! I know him! I know him!” You know it’s a good movie when you can watch it every single year (perhaps multiple times) and still love it just as much as the first time you watched it. And it’s truly a Christmas movie for all ages. Here are some ways to plan an Elf-themed party that would make Buddy proud.

  • Décor: All the candy canes! One of Buddy’s favorite foods and a super easy way to jazz up any holiday party. Fill festive vases with different varieties and flavors of candy canes: peppermint, blueberry, Cinnabon, birthday cake, and wait, wasabi flavored? Apparently there’s all sorts of flavors and types of candy canes.  You can also post the Code of Elves on the door to welcome everyone and remind them of the most important rules of the season!  Last but not least, focus on red and green!
  • Menu: You, of course, must incorporate Buddy the Elf’s four most important food groups when catering an Elf-themed party: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup. Set up a sweets bar where guests can craft their own bag of holiday treats to bring home as a favor! You can also create a specialty cocktail that incorporates syrup or coffee, two of Buddy’s favorite things—this one sounds especially delicious. Perhaps make brownies topped with strawberries and cream to imitate an elf hat. And whatever you do, do not forget the Spaghetti. Maybe stick with traditional rather than Buddy’s sweet version.
  • Entertainment: A creative take on Mad Libs, Elf Labs will have you and your guests laughing all night long, filling in the blanks to some of the most entertaining Elf movie quotes! And on that note, might as well just have some Elf Trivia to see who has the most Elf knowledge!
Candy in glass jars make a candy bar at a holiday party

4) Unique Holiday Party Theme:  Nightmare Before Christmas

This theme gives the holidays an entirely different look and feel, which is wonderful for those hosts and guests who are a bit worn out from the traditional holiday and Christmas party themes.  Channel your inner Tim Burton with this gothic holiday party theme.

  • Décor:  Incorporate a lot of peculiar and dark décor into the party venue to create your atmosphere.  Consider using tall, lanky iron bars throughout the main room as well as big, brass candelabras.  Use a lot of black and ivory colors, and for lounge areas, rent tall, oblong armchairs and couches.  Center furniture and décor around a fireplace, if the venue has one.
  • Menu:  Traditional old English is an appropriate cuisine for this party theme: roast poultry, vegetables, salads and soups.  This theme is very versatile in that is fits well with small or large group sizes, and also with a seated dinner or buffet.  It’s entirely your choice.
  • Entertainment:  A band or DJ would be fitting for this theme.  Ask your entertainer to incorporate some of the more ominous and wacky songs into each set for added theme fun.
  • Music: If a live band isn’t in your budget, our playlist created especially for this theme is full of haunting holiday music. With both eerie Christmas classics and spooky takes on upbeat carols, this playlist will give every guest a chill down their spine.

Nightmare before Christmas themed dessert jars

5) Unique Holiday Party Theme:  Santa’s Workshop

This holiday party theme is centered on charity.  Make the theme of your organization’s holiday party “giving back.” Ask that each guest bring a toy for a child in need this holiday season.  At the end of the evening, all gifts will be donated to a local toy drive.

  • Menu:  Any list of hors d’oeuvres, salads, entrées and sides will fit this theme. However, consider having decorated cookies and other treats that “elves” might like for dessert, since your guests will be the elves who fill up Santa’s sleigh with toys.
  • Décor: Dress up the venue like Santa’s Workshop with Christmas themed linen, colorful garlands, wreaths and strings of lights. Depending on how large the venue is, section off a part of it for a large tree under which guests can put the gifts.   If your budget allows, rent a large, decorated sleigh and have guests put the toys directly into the back of it.
  • Entertainment:  To keep with the theme of giving to children, ask a children’s choir to perform a set of holiday songs to entertain guests after dinner.
  • Auction:  You might also want to consider having a silent auction at this event. Guests can bid on anything from vintage baseball cards to comic books to favorite toys of past generations. Anything that gets people excited about toys and the spirit of giving will make this night a hit.

6) Unique Holiday Party Theme:  The Chocolate Factory

If you’d like to incorporate whimsical fantasies into your company’s holiday party, try hosting a Willy Wonka-themed holiday soiree.  Whether you call it “Candyland” or “The Chocolate Factory,” your venue should be big, unique and bold enough to encompass over-sized, quirky designs and an even bigger imagination.

  • Menu:  The menus can include a variety of entrée options.  Ask your caterer if you can create a special sweet marinade or appetizers with a kick of sweetness to compliment the candy theme.
  • Décor:  Obviously, you’re going to want to incorporate as much candy into the décor as possible. Centerpieces can feature tall glass vases filled with different levels of sweets.  Serving tables and platters should have candy scattered throughout. Decorate Christmas trees with candy bars and other chocolates and candies, and encourage guests to eat any of the edible décor.
  • Entertainment:  Any type of entertainment will do for this theme, whether you choose a live band, a DJ or otherwise.  Along with music, include in the itinerary any small carnival games that you played as a child at a birthday party or fun fair.
  • Favors:  You’re definitely going to want to send guests home with a treat by which they can remember the sweets-filled evening.  Personalized treats that guests can take home, such as cookies decorated with specific names, words or decoration on them, are the perfect take-away from an event theme like this.  Also consider sending guests home with Willy Wonka brand candies in a Christmas goodie bag.
holiday cookies dessert station
Maria Harte Photography

7) Unique Holiday party Theme: The Office

Follow in the footsteps of the great Michael Scott and plan a holiday party your coworkers or friends won’t soon forget! With so many epic holiday episodes, it’s hard to choose just one to focus your party on, so pull from the whole series.

  • Décor: Decorate your office just like Dunder Mifflin Paper Company with strings of red and green garland, red and white stockings for all guests, yellow snowflakes, a Christmas tree decked out with ornaments and tons of tinsel and Santa hats and elf hats for all to wear.
  • Menu: Jars of Kevin’s M&M’s, a bacon station sans the George Foreman, Michael’s “homemade” potato salad, Dwight’s cooked goose, German mulled wine (Glühwein) and a pretzel bar with a variety of dips and toppings.
  • Entertainment: It wouldn’t be an Office-themed party without a Yankee Swap. Also consider the Office Holiday Olympics – simply put games together just like the Olympics on the show including cups of hot chocolate races!

Want more Office inspiration? Here’s a list of every single one of its holiday episodes.

8) Unique Holiday Party Theme:  White Christmas

Take the white Christmas theme to the extreme by turning your entire party into one big white extravaganza.

  • Décor:  Obviously, the décor for this event is all white.  White linens, white china, white chairs, white Christmas trees with white ornaments and ribbon, etc.  Decorate the back of each chair with white angel wings and add white “snowflakes” to your centerpieces and table tops.
  • Complimentary color:  Consider adding silver as your accent color to add a sparkle to the ambiance.  Scatter small silver-wrapped gifts throughout the tablescape and bigger ones in corners of the room or under the white trees.
  • Menu:  Any menu items will do for this theme; you’re not just limited to white foods, although light colored foods would look best.  Also, remember that if you will be asking your guests to wear white as well, you need to be mindful of the staining possibilities with finger foods and menu options before deciding on a red sauce-based menu.
  • Entertainment:  Consider hiring an a cappella group to entertain your guests, singing holiday classics including some of the songs made famous by White Christmas.
  • Drinks:  Again, think white.  Some specialty drinks can include white Russians, white ladies, eggnog and white cosmos.
White Christmas themed place setting for holiday party

9) Unique Holiday Party Theme:  Christmas Around the World

The holidays are celebrated across the globe. Take a trip around the world with an international food-themed holiday party.

  • Menu:  For this theme, the best way to incorporate multiple countries is by creating a series of food stations based on different cuisine served around the world.  For example, you could set up a Spanish station, serving dishes like tapas and paella, a Moroccan station, serving tagines, a Thai station, serving Pad Thai and spring rolls, and a German station, serving bratwurst, sauerkraut and roasted chicken.
  • Drinks: You can also incorporate the around-the-word theme into the beverages.  Make the wine selection an international affair with wines from Italy, France, Australia and Argentina.  Serve spirits famous for their countries of origin, such as whiskey, vodka and rum.
  • Décor:  Every country that celebrates Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza has its own traditional decorations.  Do a little research on the background of your employees and incorporate their nationalities’ traditional holiday décor into the décor around the venue.
  • Tablescapes:  We suggest naming each table after a country, for example, a Swedish table, a Japanese table, an Indian table, a Brazilian table, etc.  Along with the nametag displaying the table’s country name, consider incorporating some elements of that country into the decorations.  If you want to get extra creative, and you can even create your own custom table linens the represent each country’s unique style.
  • Music: Nothing puts people in the holiday spirit like carols! Our playlist features songs from all over the globe, spanning four continents and a dozen different cultures. Guests will be delighted by the cheery music and you’ll have fun guessing which country each carol comes from.

Puerto rican coquito and moroccan tagine

10)  Unique Holiday Party Theme:  Christmas Circus

This is a dazzling theme that will have employees and guests raving about the visual effects and ambiance of the party for weeks to come.

  • Entertainment:  This might be the most important element of a circus-themed party, and one for which you will really have to plan in advance.  Consider hiring a series of specialty acts, tightrope walkers, clowns, jugglers, tumblers, etc., and in addition to scheduling some of the bigger acts as part of the “show” portion of the evening, hire some of them to walk around the event to entertain guests sporadically, such as magicians who perform random street magic.
  • Décor:  In addition to the important entertainment element, proper décor will support the theme and really give guests something to talk about.  Incorporate a lot of long drapery into the event design.  Your whole design should include a lot of bright reds, like the reds of the three ring circuses.
  • Menu:  Consider setting up circus food stations, such as roasted peanuts, popcorn and cotton candy, throughout the venue.  Your food stations can include a variety of finger foods and appetizers, such as sliders and chicken fingers.
Circus themed iced sugar cookies

11)  Unique Holiday Party Theme:  Christmas Carol Karaoke

A music-themed employee party meets budget concerns while also adding entertainment value.

  • Entertainment:  You must have a karaoke machine for this event, and it must be filled with holiday music. Ask employees and guests to sign up to sing their favorite holiday songs solo or in groups.  Incorporate some kind of musical competition into the evening as well, either in the form of karaoke, music lyrics competitions, Rock Band or Guitar Hero tournaments or another music-related competition.  Also, consider limiting the karaoke to certain portions of the event, depending on how many guests you are expecting.
  • Music: Once the karaoke is over and the evening has moved on, our playlist of Christmas carols without the lead vocals allows guests to keep singing if they’d like, or just to simply listen and enjoy the evening.

  • Décor:  On each table, you can wrap small boxes (with or without presents inside) in sheet paper and on paper with Christmas-themed lyrics printed out.  Music notes and general holiday décor can also adorn the rest of your venue.
  • Menu:  Any kind of menu in which you’re interested will work for this theme.  You can go with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres only, a buffet dinner or even a full plated meal.
friends singing karaoke at holiday party

No holiday party is really complete without fun and festive holiday drinks.  Think about incorporating some of these Top 18 Holiday Drink Recipes at your holiday gathering.

12) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Old Hollywood Movies

Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Babes in Toyland, Scrooge…the black and white holiday movie era is a beautiful way to celebrate the holiday season. These classic old Hollywood cinematic wonders will put even the biggest Grinch in the holiday spirit.

  • Menu: Classic dishes, such as anything poultry, are great features for your Old Hollywood themed holiday menu. Pair your dishes with a roasted potato, plenty of vegetable-based sides and some kind of grand dessert, like over-the-top pumpkin pie, delicious apple tarts or individual mousse cups.
  • Entertaining Décor: You can really do something with a black and white theme. Keep many of the walls white so that you can project your favorite Old Hollywood holiday movies onto the walls—no sound is needed. In fact, guests might just have a ball watching their favorite scenes as they roam around the venue.
  • Colors: As previously mentioned…black and white is the best nod toward the old classics.
  • Drinks: Classic cocktails will only enhance the classic dishes served at your holiday party. Stick with traditional: gin and tonic, Bellini and martini.
  • Music: Music from the 20s, 30s and 40s are all fair game.
old hollywood holiday party theme

13) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Holidays with Dickens

Perhaps there is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with the father of Christmas tales himself, Charles Dickens, whose famous works go back to the 1800s.

  • Menu: It seems as though many of his tales feature goose or duck, but roasted pig has also been featured in his tales. Consider a rice pilaf and vegetable medley to accompany your entrée. Dishes with figs and cherries were also a hit back then, so consider those as well.
  • Décor: Pine trees, wreaths, candles and lanterns, these tales all took place in the “olden” days before electricity and Christmas lights. Consider decorating with natural elements, like pinecone table décor and covered lanterns as centerpieces.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment included live performers, such as a quartet, a cappella choir or jester (perhaps in today’s age, it would be more appropriate to call him/her a comedian or a magician).
  • Colors: Traditional red and green with some gold will certainly do the trick.
  • Drinks: Charles Dickens actually recorded some of the drinks that he enjoyed on trips to America. Here are some of his noted cocktails:
    • Cock-tail (rye whisky, simple syrup, water, bitters nutmeg)
    • Mint Julep (brandy, peach liquor, simple syrup, pineapple, ice)
    • Gin Sling (gin, simple syrup, water, nutmeg, ice)
natural holiday decor

14) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Holidays at the Lodge

Start the holiday season off by transporting everyone to a rustic lodge.

  • Menu: The lodge will likely have a variety of foods to offer, namely gamey meats and hearty sides. If venison, veal or turkey isn’t your style, then consider a variety of warming soups and stews. Desserts are also a favorite at the lodge. Roasted marshmallows on s’mores are a classic treat, and you cannot forget the hot chocolate bar. Maybe even provide some Bailey’s for the adults.
  • Décor: Think elements of the forest, like pine trees and pinecones.
  • Colors: White and green, perhaps with some hints of navy blue, can really transport guests to the lodge.
  • Activities: Guests would enjoy having games and activities for the evening entertainment. If you have an emcee, ask him or her to wrangle the crowd for a group game.
  • Drinks: Having hot chocolate in a cozy lodge sounds about right. Don’t forget to include options like Bailey’s, Kahlua, rum and of course toppings like marshmallows, chocolate stir sticks and candy canes.
Smores station at a holiday party

15) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Holiday Lights

Lights have become synonymous with Christmas and holiday décor. From lanterns and candles to string lights and lit up stars, the brighter the light show at this holiday party, the more fun it will be.

  • Menu: Most holiday dishes would work for this event. Perhaps the best would those remind you of your childhood, when you went the craziest for holiday lights. Think macaroni and cheese, pecan-crusted chicken fingers and mini sandwiches.
  • Décor: Obviously you will want to hang as many lights as possible in order to truly call this event a holiday lights-themed party.
  • Entertainment: Channel your inner engineer and sync up a light show with your favorite holiday song. Use different colored strands of lights for an even more impressive display.
  • Activities: Host a tree decorating contest. You could also hold a contest that requires teams to cover a teammate from head to toe in lights. Another game idea is to have individuals race to untangle really, really tangled strands of lights. The first one to untangle them wins.
  • Music: Most music would work for a holiday party like this one; however, consider playing music that features really great instrumental solos. If you do decide to create a light show, the more instrumentals you have, the more you can do with the light patterns.
Tables and chairs set for an event with holiday lights

16) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Blue Christmas

While Elvis’ famous song “Blue Christmas” is not the most uplifting of holiday songs, it sure offers us a great holiday party theme: Blue Christmas.

  • Menu: Blue food is not exactly easy to come by, which is why we suggest you go with your favorite holiday food stations, passed hors d’oeuvres or buffets. The blue can come in the dessert—all blue cookies, blue frosted cakes, blue cake pops, blue doughnuts, blue candies and more. Display all the blue treats at a sweets table to double as décor.
  • Décor: Anything blue will go with this event—balloons, centerpieces, tablecloths, china, tableware and more.
  • Entertainment: It is not unheard of to hire an Elvis impersonator to entertain at a holiday party. Just ask him to sing some holiday songs in addition to the Elvis classics.
  • Colors: This one should be pretty obvious…
  • Drinks: Blue lemonade—made blue with the addition of UV Blue vodka. Mai Tais are also a nice blue cocktail.
Collage showing decor for a blue Christmas themed party

17) Unique Holiday Party Theme: Gingerbread Houses

What is a holiday without a little ginger? Gingerbread houses and cookies have been a part of the holiday season for as long as we can remember. Use this holiday theme for a sweet, good time.

  • Menu: Entrees that incorporate a ginger flavor into the dish, such as ginger-glazed ham or beef, would make a fine entrée for this holiday party theme. Additionally, ginger carrots and ginger sweet potatoes would be great side dishes.
  • Décor: Utilize the typical gingerbread house scheme to decorate your venue. Walls can easily turn into the walls inside a gingerbread house. Cut out gingerbread people to decorate the corners of the room. And of course, incorporate actual gingerbread houses into the table décor.
  • Activities: Have guests build their own gingerbread houses or decorate their own gingerbread cookies.
  • Drinks: Serve up gingerbread martini—ginger liquor, vanilla-citrus liquor, coffee-flavored rum, honey, whipped cream and crushed ginger snaps.
  • Favors/items: Have guests decorate their own gingerbread cookies then provide baggies or boxes for each guest to take home his/her creations as a favor and dessert.
Ginerbread house at a gingerbread house making station

Bonus Party Theme and Idea:  12 Courses of Christmas

Our bonus company holiday party theme involves a whole bunch of taste- and drink-testing and is heavy on the culinary treats, so make sure guests know to bring their appetites.

  • Menu:  this even is all about the menu.  Work with your caterer to develop 12 courses–either of just appetizers; appetizers and wine pairings; hors d’oeuvres, salads, entrees and desserts; or more.
  • Entertainment:  the menu IS the entertainment at this company holiday party.  Let the caterer take your guests through a culinary experience by creating a party around the 12 courses.  Make sure you dedicate a solid amount of time to each of the courses, sharing unique information and serving ideas to guests as they dine on tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and sit down to a plated course meal.
  • Music:  of course music should accompany this event.  A jazz band is just the right mix of upbeat and relaxed music to set the mood for this event.



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