Holiday Party Themes

By: | Updated: October 17, 2023

You found our list of the best holiday party themes for work.

Holiday party themes are concepts to build a holiday event around. For example, “Winter Wonderland” or an ugly sweater party. The purpose of these themes is to help create fun, engaging events for guests, and to help inform planning decisions like venue, decorations and menu.

These themes apply to office Christmas parties and virtual holiday parties.

This list includes:

  • Christmas party themes for work
  • the best office holiday party themes
  • themes for office Christmas parties

Let’s get started!

List of holiday party themes

The following is a list of the best holiday party themes to try at work.

1. Not So Silent Night

Not so silent night encourages attendees to spread loud holiday cheer. During your party, blast holiday tunes and sing a few rounds of Christmas carol karaoke. Be sure to play lively virtual holiday party games. To further foster the raucousness, send each attendee a care package that includes noisemakers like horns, kazoos, and clappers.

2. Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is a pun-filled holiday party theme that combines Alice in Wonderland with the colder months. Design your invitations with the classic story in mind, and encourage attendees to put up imaginative and strange Zoom backgrounds. Dress code is Alice in Wonderland characters, with a wintery spin: think Mad Santa-hatters and snow white rabbits. For food, you and your guests can frost and enjoy special “eat me” Christmas cookies and imbibe “drink me” holiday cocktails. A Winter Wonderland party is a perfect setting to host a zany virtual white elephant exchange, too.

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3. Christmas Paw-ty

Christmas Paw-ty is a holiday party theme that invites furry friends to join the fun. Be sure to send an animal-centric invitation to your guests. During the online party, invite attendees to swap Christmas cards featuring their cats and dogs, and award a prize to the most creative entry. Award bonus points to any guest who dresses their pet in a holiday costume and coaxes them to come on webcam, or anyone who finds and shares an especially adorable pet pic they find online. You and the pack can also play trivia relating to holiday animals. For the finishing touches, send a stocking full of treats to or a pet store e-gift card to each virtual pet guest.

4. Hollywood Christmas

Hollywood Christmas pays tributes to favorite holiday films. To set the scene, ask each attendee to dress up as a character from a beloved Christmas flick, and to don an appropriate Zoom background. Then, award prizes for the most creative entries. During your virtual party, play Christmas movie charades and stream holiday classics like Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life.

5. Celebration Investigation

Tensions run high during December, and holiday stress can drive folks to desperation, perhaps even…murder! If your crew consists of true crime buffs, then throw a celebration investigation party. The main event can be a holiday-themed virtual murder mystery game. For snacks, decorate and eat a gingerbread man “victim.” Then, further delight your seasonal sleuths by sharing real-life Christmas capers.

6. December In The Tropics

While many folks insist, “it doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow,” many parts of the world are hot in December. Some people prefer to celebrate the holidays in warmer climates. While you may not be able to fly your team to the Bahamas, you can throw a tropical-themed Christmas party. First, ask each attendee to set their background as a beach or rainforest. Encourage a dress code of Hawaiin shirts and flower leis with Santa hats. For refreshments, mix up tropical drinks like daiquiris and mai-tais. Be sure to send sunglasses in your holiday swag bags.

7. Holidays Around the World

Most countries observe Christmas or some other winter holiday, but each place has its own distinct way to celebrate the season. Choosing holidays around the world for your virtual holiday party theme pays homage to international diversity and educates your staff on other cultures. During your virtual party, sample holiday foods from different regions, perform global Christmas traditions, and play trivia based on international winter customs. At the start of the party, encourage attendees to post a custom background that honors a foreign country’s Christmas.

8. Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly sweater parties are one of the most popular holiday party themes, and you can still flaunt your fashion disasters if your party is online. To throw a remote ugly sweater party, ask each guest to arrive in the tackiest sweater they can find. Then, take turns showing off the sweaters, and have the group vote for a winner. Be sure to capture a group photo by taking a screenshot.

For more tips, check out our article on virtual ugly sweater parties.

9. Black and White Christmas

Black and white Christmas is a sleek and elegant theme for a virtual Christmas party. Invitations, Zoom backgrounds and decorations, and attendee’s attire should all follow a black-and-white color scheme. Encourage guests to dress up in black tie attire, like tuxedos and cocktail dresses. To keep with the spirit of the party, send attendees dark and white chocolate treats such as truffles, cookies, and artisan marshmallows.

10. Bad Santa

Bad Santa embraces the darker side of Christmas. Be sure to set the tone by sending a comical party evite. During the party, enjoy festive adult beverages, play seasonal drinking games, regale your guests with tales of real Christmas crimes, and participate in holiday games like “The Naughty List.” Feel free to watch adult-humor holiday movies such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and swap funny holiday pictures and videos that you find online. To reinforce the idea of merry misbehaving, you can include coal-candy in your attendees’ care packages.

11. Gingerbread Ball

Gingerbread ball pays homage to Christmas’s favorite cookie. To throw a gingerbread-themed virtual bash, plan your party around activities such as Virtual Gingerbread Games or an online cookie-decorating tutorial. You and the group can also decorate digital gingerbread houses and people together. For more ideas, check out our virtual gingerbread post.

12. Tradition Swap

Each family has their own unique holiday traditions. By centering your party around holiday traditions, you can facilitate team bonding. Ask each guest to share one tradition with the group, such as baking a special type of cookie, watching a holiday flick, hanging a decoration, or playing a game. As much as possible, try to re-enact that activity as a group. If you have time left over, then play “Tradition or Not,” and discuss beloved holiday memories.

13. Gilded Golden Holiday

Gilded Golden Holiday is a Gatsby-approved winter soiree. To set the tone, bedeck invitations and Zoom backgrounds in glitzy, art-deco designs– extra points if you incorporate snowflakes. Then, send guests seasonally-inspired prohibition-style mixed drinks, like champagne and gin-based cocktails. For the soundtrack, queue up swing versions of Christmas carols.

Final thoughts

Adding a theme to your office holiday party is a great way to make the event more fun. By choosing a theme in advance, you can start customizing invitations, gifts, drinks and everything in-between.

Next, check out this list of holiday team building activities, and these hybrid holiday party ideas.

We also have a list of the best Christmas icebreaker questions and games.

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FAQ: Holiday Party Themes

Here are common questions and answers about holiday party themes.

What are holiday party themes?

Holiday party themes are frameworks to plan a holiday event around. For example, you could host an ugly sweater party or a potluk. The purpose of these themes is to facilitate planning and help create a fun and engaging atmosphere for guests. These themes are also known as “Christmas party themes.”

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Marketing Coordinator at
Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.


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