Entertainment Lifestyle

Christmas Party Ideas Inspired by Your Favourite Holiday Movie

man and woman in santa outfit walking on sidewalk with dog
By Claudia Siron

It’s time to have a little fun this festive season! We’ve put together a list of our favourite Christmas movies to inspire you to throw a Christmas themed party at home.

The Holiday

The Holiday (my personal favourite Christmas movie, just saying) embraces the warm and cool seasons of the holiday period. Taking inspiration from Kate Winslet’s English cottage, you can create a white Christmas event with rustic grub and homely fun.

Eat and Drink: In potluck style, request your invitees to bring along homemade dishes (think: sweet and savoury pies, potato bakes and Christmas cake). For drinks, opt for a gastro pub-style menu (buttered beers and mulled wine).

Setting the scene: Think British countryside with a festive twist. Warm-lit indoor lighting, traditional Christmas decorations and a simple table setting. To really embrace the ‘white Christmas’ theme, perhaps use an indoor fireplace (if you have one) or have a bonfire out the back with dessert. For entertainment, a friendly game of charades or a cheeky round of Cards Against Humanity is always a good time.

Dress Code: Winter warmers with a touch of class. Perhaps white or black turtlenecks with simple, festive elements like red lipstick and gold or silver jewellery. In the Southern Hemisphere? Keep it light and breezy in cute gingham and simple linen.

Who: Your whole family – uncles, aunties, grandparents and cousins!


2000’s Christmas comedy film Elf is all about the sickly sweet and childhood-like components of Christmas. Think: candy canes, decorations, and endearing festive tunes. If any film celebrates the true spirit of Christmas, this is the one. If your Christmas event was to embody the soul of Elf, you’re tapping into fantasy and colour with whimsical elements and themed cocktails.

Eat and Drink: Let’s just say savoury won’t be the highlight of your menu. Your vibrant spread of food will be a throwback of desserts and sweet treats. Cupcakes, Santa biscuits, gingerbread houses and a batch of peppermint chocolate Christmas slice. Your quirky beverages will include Gingerbread Martinis, White Christmas Sangria and Creme Brulee cocktails. This reinforces a youthful take on the festive colours and flavours that the holiday has to offer. Try our Gingerbread Layer Cake recipe here.

Setting the scene: Homemade decorations will definitely be on display, as well as a grand Christmas tree (which will be the hero ingredient of your fantastical setting).

To spice things up, perhaps create a gingerbread house station where guests can create their own edible homes and prizes can be given out to the best creators. A festive arts and crafts station is another great and simple idea for party entertainment.

Dress Code: Guests will wear themed attire (think: kitsch knitted jumpers and tees with reindeers and snowmen). This will really set the tone even more for your playful Christmas event.

Who: Since this particular event is relatively childlike in its theme, invite over your family friends and their children (as they’ll utterly adore the sweet treats on offer and will fall in love with the idea of a gingerbread house competition).

The Princess Switch

One of the more recent Christmas releases, The Princess Switch, embraces regality and traditionalism. This royal Christmas affair celebrates a high-end version of festivities with premium food, fancy dress codes and classical music. Tapping into these components, you’ll have yourself a very merry (and oh so darling) Christmas party.

Eat and Drink: For an extravagant experience, why not hire a personal chef and/or team of waitstaff? This will amaze guests with the lack of any food and beverage hiccups mid-event (as these things can happen) and so that you can also relax and enjoy the party as well.

Your menu will feature canapés (turkey, cranberry and brie canapes, and pie maker cheesy tarts). The highlight will be a French onion Christmas tree dip (a creative centerpiece that is a grand platter of towering French onion dip). As for drinks, it’ll be free-flowing champagne and vodka martinis for an elegant and sophisticated touch. Or try our Festive Rum and Cherry Brandy Cocktail recipe.

Setting the scene: Set in the dining room, your Christmas cocktail party will feature gold, silver and white embellishments (for White Christmas charm).

Dress Code: Guests will wear their cocktail dresses and tuxes for the evening affair, with a touch of tinsel town or royal flair. To maximise the Christmas feel, request your invitees to match the theme of white, gold and silver.

Who: A large group of friends and couples (no children allowed – the free-flowing champagne was mentioned for a reason!).

Barbie in the Nutcracker

The animated Christmas movie featuring our favourite childhood toy will forever stay in our hearts. Although the Nutcracker is a Christmas tale featuring historical and old-fashioned components, bring the Barbie brand to the forefront of your mind when planning and you can create a reimagined Christmas event that’s truly quite unique (think: a festive high tea with pops of pink, red and white).

Eat and Drink: Dainty high tea treats (macaroons, cheesecake bites, sliders and scones with raspberry jam) with a festive twist and staying within the colour code. To further enhance the theme, invest in pink and red cake stands, napkins, cutlery and plates; and a white table cloth so it isn’t too crowded with colour. For the beverages, opt for cocktails like frose, fairy floss martinis and candy cane margaritas). For some great inspiration, check out the spread they have at The Shangri-La’s Barbie High Tea and add your Christmas flair.

Setting the scene: Set the scene in the dining room – or out in the garden if it’s a warmer winter day (and add outdoor heating if desired). An idea for the centrepiece could be a miniature Christmas tree with a Barbie doll at the top sporting Christmas attire.

Dress Code: Elegant and feminine pink and red dresses to suit the theme of the Barbie Christmas in July event. 

Who: All your best friends and their children (if they have kids). And if so, swap out their cocktails for mocktails!

Home Alone 2

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Directed by Chris Columbus Shown from left: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

The iconic Home Alone movies will never get old. In the second film, it’s set in New York City – where some of its most exciting scenes are located in The Plaza hotel. For this Christmas party idea, you can reimagine the chic and affluent styles of the world famous hotel’s interiors, as well as taking inspiration from New York itself and the city’s majestic urban charm.

Eat and Drink: In the form of a sit down dinner, treat your guests to an American-style Christmas dinner with chicken, ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy followed by a classic pavlova. For beverages, opt for mulled wine, sherry and champagne.

Setting the scene: Although your menu screams cosy suburbs, create a ‘Christmas at The Plaza’ atmosphere through design and embellishments. Think: candles, fake snow, warm-lit lamps, fernery (with Christmas ornaments), and of course, decorations.

Dress Code: Classy, old world dinner-party attire with fur coats and smoking jackets.

Who: Your favourite couples who are always a good laugh.

Which movie inspired Christmas in event idea will you take on this year?

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