7 Holiday Theme Parties That Don't Include An Ugly Christmas Sweater

By Carolyn Stine December 12, 2018 

Even though Rent the Runway seriously upped our holiday outfit game, we’ve found ourselves at generic holiday cocktail parties and/or ugly sweater parties pretty exclusively these past few years. Not that we don’t love a puffy reindeer sweater or a sequined frock, but this year we’re thinking outside of the box so that our next holiday fete can reach its max holiday spirit potential. We rounded up the out-there, the wacky, and the over-the-top holiday themes for your next festively original soiree this season.

1. Jingle Ball Circa 2000s

If anyone grew up in the tristate area, then they are very familiar with the legendary radio station Z100. And one of the highlights of our years in the early 2000s was attending Jingle Ball, a holiday concert featuring all of the hot artists of the moment. Create a playlist heavy on the Destiny’s Child, Christina before she was Xtina, and Nelly, and have your guests come dressed up as the Jingle Ball artist that their teenage self knew and loved (cough: still loves).

2. The Twelve Days of Christmas

...As if you’ve never dreamt of getting down as a partridge in a pear tree. We love the idea of dressing up as modern takes on the iconic twelve days of Christmas. Nine ladies dancing? How about you and your girlfriends don red dresses and go as the dancing lady emoji? The sky’s the limit here, and guests can go as modern or classic as their little hearts desire with their interpretations.

3. Holiday Punderdome

Inspired by one of our all-time favorite card games (if you don’t already own Punderdome, we suggest purchasing it ASAP), have all of your guests dress up as their funniest holiday pun. Some of our top picks are: fir real, tree-mendous, season’s eatings, and our personal best, I’m dreaming of a wine Christmas. Break out the Punderdome after a few festive cocktails, and your guests will have a hilarious evening that they don’t soon forget. Try serving apps with punny names too (think truffle popcorn called “pop it like it’s hot”).

4. Movie Character Mania

Even though we’ve seen the classic holiday films a hundred times over, everyone knows them and we NEVER get sick of them. Cue the inspiration. Holiday movie characters are the name of the game for this festive theme party. Whether your guests dress up as Kevin, the Grinch, Ralphie, or the lobster in the holiday pageant in Love Actually, they’ll have so much fun mining their childhood favorite movies and creating costumes around them.

5. Get Elfed Up

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup." Well, now that the food at your holiday party is taken care of… Get elfin’ crazy this holiday season and host an Elf-themed soiree straight out of Santa’s workshop. Bowls of candy canes and swirly-twirly gumdrops are essential, as is singing loud for all to hear. Guests can wear their elf costume of choice (and put maple syrup on top of everything, if desired).

6. Christmas in the 1950s

Go fully retro with a themed holiday party harkening back to the 1950s. We’re talking Santa Baby on Spotify, spiked ice cream floats (these are our faves), and 1950s classic garb (bonus points for wearing an apron and a strand of pearls).

7. A Night at the Lodge

Fact: there is no cozier place in winter than right by the fire at the ski lodge. We’re replacing the ugly holiday sweater with the comfy AF winter sweater and inviting our friends over for mulled wine and Bailey’s-spiked hot chocolate. Our inspiration? The incredibly cozy Lodge at Gallow Green.

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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