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11 Festive Christmas Eve Party Ideas

Christmas may be one of the most festive days of the year, but for many people, the true magic happens on Christmas Eve. December 24th is when you dress up in your holiday best, then celebrate with your friends and family late into the evening. Maybe your family traditions include a Secret Santa gift exchange or an ugly sweater contest. The best part of Christmas Eve parties: they don’t have to revolve around gift-giving. Here are 11 festive Christmas Eve party ideas to inspire you this holiday season.

1. Make it a costume party

One of the best ways to add some fun to your Christmas Eve party is to choose a theme ahead of time — and you don’t have to stick to the traditional red-and-green color scheme. You can pick a Nightmare Before Christmas theme, an all-white Winter Wonderland theme, or even make it a masquerade. The important thing is that you give your guests a heads-up so they have enough time to pick a costume and come up with some food and drink ideas that fit the theme.

2. Plan a murder-mystery party

Just because it’s Christmas Eve doesn’t mean things can’t get dark and mysterious. Choose a holiday-themed murder-mystery game — you’ll find plenty of downloadable scripts online — for a festive Christmas Eve party idea that will keep everyone guessing. If you want something that’s appropriate for the whole family, there are Santa and Rudolf-themed mysteries, too!

3. Rent a unique Peerspace venue

If hosting a Christmas Eve party at your home sounds like too much work — or if you just want a more festive atmosphere — search for a holiday venue on Peerspace to host your event. With a variety of spaces to choose from — including cozy cabins, giant warehouses, and stylish party halls — you’ll find plenty of options to suit events of all sizes and budgets. Some venues provide a blank slate where you can set up your own event from scratch, while others come with furniture, A/V gear, and other decor that will make planning your Christmas Eve party a breeze.

If you need additional help, such as a professional caterer or bar staff, the Peerspace Concierge service has got you covered. Just give them a call for help customizing your booking!

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4. Serve holiday Jell-O shots

Not a fan of eggnog? That’s okay. Make your own Jell-O shots using holiday-shaped molds to give your guests something festive to enjoy throughout the evening. Try using spiced rum, cider, and other seasonal flavors and colors. Just be sure to keep them away from the kids!

5. Arrange for a photo booth

Holiday photos don’t have to be awkward. Instead of lining everyone up for a family portrait, set up a DIY photo booth so that your guests can take their own photo when they’re in the mood. If you need camera and lighting gear, you can rent equipment through the Concierge service. We recommend leaving some props and costumes in the booth to get your guests inspired!

6. Sing Christmas karaoke

Ditch the Christmas carols for some more interactive fun with this festive Christmas Eve party idea. You don’t need a karaoke machine to make it happen — just look up a Christmas karaoke playlist on Spotify — but if you do want to set up a professional PA system, you can arrange an equipment rental through the Peerspace Concierge service.

7. Make s’mores — outdoors!

Depending on where you live, it may be warm enough to spend some time outdoors. If you don’t have a fire pit or campfire of your own, search on Peerspace for properties that have one. In fact, while you’re at it, why not search for a space that has an outdoor hot tub, too?

8. Set up a crafting station

If you’re looking for festive Christmas Eve party ideas that don’t involve alcohol (or karaoke), host a DIY crafting party. While it’s too late to craft items for this year’s gifts, there’s no harm in getting an early start on ornaments for next year’s Christmas tree or making some last-minute stocking stuffers. Decide on a project that’s easy to assemble, set up a work station, and have all of the materials you’ll need on hand. This way, guests of all ages can participate.

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9. Make it multicultural

Christmas is celebrated differently around the world, and there are no shortage of traditions — and treats — to choose from. The yule log cake is a popular French tradition, while piñatas are found in many Mexican festivities. Italian Americans celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and Filipinos make a star-shaped lantern called a parol.

Even if all of your guests share the same cultural background, chances are everyone’s family has slightly different holiday traditions. Ask your guests to bring a story, dish, or ornament that reminds them of the Christmas Eve of their childhood. Of course, guests who celebrate other seasonal holidays, such as Diwali or Hanukkah, can share their traditions, too. 

10. Enjoy a snowball fight (with marshmallows)

If you weren’t lucky enough to have a White Christmas, or you don’t live somewhere that gets snow, you can have an indoor “snowball” fight with marshmallows. Break up into small teams and decide on the rules. You can play dodgeball-style — in which if you get hit, you’re out — or have a free-for-all. This is something the whole family can enjoy!

11. Host a pet party

If your family and friends are all dog-lovers, throw a Christmas Eve party for your pets. Send out invites addressed to your furry relatives, along with a plus-one (or more) for their humans. Make sure they know it’s a dress-up party and that they’ll be expected to wear an ugly sweater and/or reindeer antlers. Come up with some some holiday-themed treats and contests for your pets to enjoy and, of course, don’t forget to set up a photo booth for family photos!

There’s something about Christmas Eve that makes it a bit less intimidating than other holidays. Maybe that’s because you aren’t expected to sit around the dinner table for hours. Instead, you get to play games, work on arts-and-crafts projects, and enjoy creative Christmas cocktails or Jell-O shots. It can be as family-friendly or adults-only as you choose. Regardless how big or small your gathering, you can use these 11 Christmas Eve party ideas to kick things off!

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