Who doesn’t love holiday movies? In addition to entertaining us they can also provide great inspiration for your next holiday party! From musical favorites like White Christmas and Holiday Inn to classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, classic movies are filled with fun ideas from which to change up your usual holiday tradition and create a film-inspired party theme!
(Non-Traditional) Holiday Party Rules!
- Be creative!
- Make it fun!
If you’re normally one of those “Christmas Dinner” peeps, this year have a Christmas Pancake Breakfast! Trust me, Grandma won’t keel over if you start a new tradition. When it comes to the holidays, you don’t have to do the same thing every year. I mean, traditional is great and all, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a bit! Get out of your comfort zone and plan your Christmas celebration differently this year. Classic holiday movies are a great starting point!
Christmas Party Ideas From Holiday Movies
The Peking duck Chinese restaurant scene is a classic in A Christmas Story. Who says that your Christmas dinner has to include turkey? If you want to go full on Chinese cuisine, knock yourself out! And, grab yourself a Red Rider Rifle and Leg Lamp for decor!
Hot chocolate was a big part of the Polar Express with candy canes, big marshmallows and stir sticks. Decorate with stuffed polar bears, train signs, and artificial snow. Then, gather the kids for a pajama party that includes snowflake craft making and setting up a train set around the Christmas tree.
As a tribute to this Jimmy Stewart classic, have guests start the party off with a gratitude activity where each writes down something he or she is grateful for and then rings a bell. Celebrate with spiked holiday punch, small bites, and the movie playing on the wall of your living room.
In the film, Christmas brunch led to the famous gift exchange scene. For your celebration, plan a breakfast or brunch followed by a gift exchange inspired by Little Women. Each child can bring a book (doesn’t have to be new) to exchange with another child. Or, have a food-themed event with friends to exchange cookies.
Love Actually is one of my all-time faves and it has really great music! Invite friends over to do karaoke of songs from the film, or go around the neighborhood singing carols.
John Cusack has made so many great films, you could probably have a Cusack party! But it’s the holidays so we recommend a Serendipity party. Invite friends to go ice skating and then have a gloves/mittens exchange.
Is there anything better than spaghetti and maple syrup? Will Ferrell, maybe! According to Elf, the four food groups include 1) sugar, 2) sugar, 3) sugar, and 4) more sugar. All of this is to say, instead of a traditional dinner, why not host a dessert party this year and decorate with as many elfs on the shelf as you can lay your hands on!
Nothing says holidays like terrorists and a lot of machine gun fire! This classic film has a great soundtrack and some of the most quotable lines in cinematic history. Yippee-ki-yay Mother—-, anyone?! Have everyone dress like John McClane and Hans Gruber, serve Twinkies for dessert, and put together a playlist that includes Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis, and Dean Martin’s Let It Snow!
Eggnog, anyone?! Green jello molds (sans cat food!) and rum-filled eggnog served in moose cups are the highlight of this party. Besides holiday movies, are you looking for more entertaining ideas? Here’s how to…
Throw A Fabulous Holiday Party On A Budget!
Parties don’t have to be expensive! If you haven’t watched my TV segment from AZ Family, I feature some fun, simple ideas for holiday entertaining that are inexpensive. Think double-duty and reuse. Find things around the house you can repurpose multiple ways, such as edible centerpieces. Or, make your decor double-down as place cards or party favors. Here are some ideas you can make your own.
Party Favors As Decor
You don’t need to buy separate gifts, simply use party favors that guests can take with them as decor. Dress up vintage ornaments with pretty ribbon and include a name tag. This can serve as place card, decor, and gift! Ornaments are inexpensive if you buy them in bulk (set of 12, for instance) and they make for great conversation pieces.
This is a great way to put consumerism on the back burner and be grateful for all that you already have! It’s a nice way to remind kids (and adults) that there is much to be thankful for, not least of which is family and friends coming together. Yoko Ono made this tradition popular because it was something she learned to do with her family in Japan. Create your own wish tree by finding tree branches in the yard and arranging them in a vase. Supply your guests with cards, pens, and ribbon so that they can write down what they’re thankful for and hang it on the tree.
Let the kids feel like adults by rimming glasses with crushed peppermint candies. Serve hot chocolate or mocktails – something that looks fancy and feels special. For the adults, you don’t need to have a full bar or expensive wine. Create one signature cocktail like spiked punch and let guests serve themselves throughout the event.
Arrange candy apples, fancy cupcakes, or mini fruit tarts on a platter in the center of the table. Not only do they look festive as a centerpiece, you’ll have dessert already taken care of by the time dinner is wrapped up!
No matter how big or small your budget may be, concentrate on where you want to put your emphasis. What’s most important to you? Does decor trump food and beverages, or would you rather have a simple styling in favor of a sitdown meal? How about entertainment and activities? You can host a holiday movie party and simply serve mulled wine and mixed nuts. The holidays are about being with those you care about, not spending a lot of money! And, hospitality is its own gift! Cheers!
We’ve got a sleigh full of other helpful holiday tips. Check out the articles below!