17 ways to deck the halls for a holly jolly Christmas party

Paper Christmas decorations laid out on a red and white striped table with hanging paper decorations above.

With mistletoe, holly, and everything jolly—and of course, the cheery Christmas tunes you begin to hear everywhere—there’s no doubt the holiday season is upon us.

As the season approaches, you know there will be a massive amount of holiday shopping, sugar cookie baking, and Christmas movie watching to be had. Not to mention, planning a Christmas party for your nearest and dearest.

While we can’t help you with all of your Christmas to-dos, we can assist you with your Christmas celebration decor. After much deliberation with Santa’s wisest elves, we rustled up 17 Christmas party decoration ideas that would make Old Saint Nick proud.


Left: A green Christmas party decoration with illustrated reindeer; right: a wreath made of gold and silver ornaments.“Reindeer Friends” by Paperless Post; Image via The Happier Homemaker.


Give your doorway a happy holiday transformation

Out with the old fall wreath perched perfectly on your front door, and in with the new—a winter wonderland that joyfully greets your guests with holiday spirit as they arrive.

Whether Mother Nature provides you with sweater weather and snow the day of your holiday party or you end up wearing shorts, sandals, and a flannel shirt just to “feel festive,” you can set the holly, jolly mood with the right exterior Christmas decor:

1. Ornament Christmas wreath: Sure, you could hang a traditional Christmas wreath—you know the one. Or you could stand out from the rest of the neighborhood with a wonderfully unique wreath made from Christmas ornaments. With a little patience, creativity, and a few choice materials, you might even end the night with a line of guests requesting their own wreaths for next year.

2. Mini Christmas trees: What better way to set the tone for your party than with two festively decorated miniature Christmas trees outside your front door? Pick the perfect size, pull some of those unused Christmas lights out of storage, and snag a few extra containers of miniature ball ornaments to decorate your tree. Just like that, your front yard exudes festive feels with this Christmas decoration.

3. Merry Christmas Banner: Your guests will undoubtedly sense that they’ve arrived at the right house with a Merry Christmas banner above your door to greet them. And it doesn’t get much cheerier than a bold, red-and-green fringe and glittery gold lettering. 


Left: Close-up photograph of a railway train advent calendar; Right: A white Christmas invitation featuring a handlettered “Let’s Get Merry.”Railway Train Advent Calendar by  Meri Meri, available at the Party Shop; “Get Merry” by Paperless Post.


Deck the halls—and everywhere else

If you don’t have elves from the North Pole to receive your guests as they arrive, we understand—they’re very difficult to book during the winter months. Instead, you can opt for some cheerful holiday party decor throughout your house:

4. Christmas garland: Add traditional holiday colors to the party (red and green, of course) with an aptly placed garland. With this addition, classic Christmas accouterments like candy canes, snowflakes, Christmas trees, and the star of Bethlehem dangle merrily.

5. Kissing corner: Romantics and newly coupled guests are likely to appreciate the sentiment behind a holly ornament hung in a not-so-discreet location of your home. If you’re feeling particularly emboldened, you can even include a handcrafted banner nearby that says “kissing corner.” Your creative mistletoe lookalike might even turn into the official Christmas kissing photo opp! 

6. Train-inspired Advent calendar: If you’re interested in decor with a timeless sentiment and style, then a wooden train advent calendar might be the party decoration you never knew you needed. Not only can you place it on your coffee table as the ultimate Christmas conversation starter, but your family can enjoy it all month long. 


Left: A green Christmas invitation featuring illustrations of classic ornaments and pine branches in gold, red, and light green.“Christmas Bulbs” by Paperless Post; Santa ornament by Craftspring, available at the Party Shop.


Rock around a beautifully decorated Christmas tree

Whether you chopped down the tree with your own bare hands (and probably a power tool) or you used those same hands to unpack ol’ faithful from the dusty box in your attic, nothing says Christmas spirit quite like a lushly decorated Christmas tree. 

Some people prefer trees with a carefully coordinated color scheme, while others enjoy trees with multicolored lights and a hodgepodge of worn-in ornaments. Regardless of which side of the Christmas tree tracks you reside on, it’s hard to say no to such festive ornaments (so just say yes):

7. Joyful Santa Claus ornament: Whether your tree has a specific motif or it’s covered with years of your children’s DIY ornaments, there’s always a place in your heart (and on your tree) for Santa.

8. Reindeer Christmas ornament: Santa couldn’t deliver all of the presents without the help of his mighty steed—er, reindeer. Thankfully, one of them is here to keep him company on the tree—it could be Dasher or Prancer, but they’ve yet to confirm their identity. 

9. Snowman ornament: Some people have been building snowmen since they were old enough to don a snowsuit. Others live in a city that breaks out sweaters and boots any time the temperature hits a low of 78. One thing they have in common? Snowmen are synonymous with feelings of joy and happiness. Why not include some snow-inspired happiness in your tree with a snowman ornament?


Left: A pink, sage, red, and green Christmas table setting with taper candles, garland, and festive trees and plates; right: A white Christmas invitation featuring handlettered “Fa la la la la.”Image via Meri Meri (some items available at the Party Shop!); “Festive Fun” by Paperless Post.


Decorate a dining table Santa would be proud of

After everyone’s comfortably settled in, it’ll be time for the main event—cocktails and cuisine. Whether you’re hosting a sit-down affair, a casual potluck, or are keeping it simple (and just as savory) with a feast of hors d’oeuvres, we’ve gathered some fabulous decor ideas to adorn your table spread:

10. Patterned Christmas tree plates: If you’re unsure which color scheme to lean on for your party, why not lean on the entire rainbow of colors? Your Aunt Teresa can use a tree-shaped plate with a teal-checkered pattern while your Uncle Steve puts a heaping spoonful of buffalo dip on a plate with navy stars. Everybody wins.

11. Holly leaf napkins: Looking for minimal but worthwhile decorations? Holly leaf napkins are an excellent decor detail for any holiday party. They’re traditional and modern, rolled into one perfect little napkin package. 

12. Santa cups: Who said Jolly Old Saint Nick wasn’t up for a drinking game? For your night of festive fun and frivolity, we think he’ll rise to the occasion—especially when he comes equipped with a peppy pom pom on the end of his hat. 

13. Mini Christmas trees: If you’re looking for an artsy table decoration, consider adding tissue paper Christmas trees. They’re easy to assemble, come in a variety of colors, and are topped with glittery silver stars. You can keep them together, acting as your table’s centerpiece, or spread the love and place them throughout the length of the table. 

14. Santa hat place cards: With these fanciful name cards, no one is forced to wonder where they’re sitting. But if you prefer to let guests choose their own place at the dining table, you can use them to label your delectable dinner dishes.


Left: A white Christmas invitation featuring a decorated sheet music motif; right: A close up photo of festive crackers shaped like Christmas elves.“Christmas Music” by Paperless Post; Large Elf Crackers by Meri Meri, available at the Party Shop.


Don’t ho-ho-hold out on party favors

Santa may have yet to make his rounds through town, but that doesn’t mean guests can’t take home something thoughtful to commemorate the occasion. You can put your party favors in a Christmas-themed basket on the table in your foyer for partygoers to grab on their way out. Or, for an extra sprinkle of cheery decor, you can place one on each person’s table setting at the dining table:

15. Elf crackers: Maybe the elves were able to make an appearance at your party after all. Wonderful! To use your cracker, you simply pull at both ends of the elf—erm, cracker. Then, out pop the goodies, like a party hat and a joke—elves are surprisingly humorous.

16. Peppermint candy surprise balls: Give your dinner table a splash of holiday cheer (and red and silver Christmas colors) with these beautifully decorated party favors. Inside, they hold fun-filled trinkets, like a paper hat, a self-adhesive mustache, stickers, and a friendship bracelet. 

17. Reindeer antler headbands: Children and adults alike will enjoy your party favor finesse when you hand out their artfully crafted reindeer antler headbands. Each one is a different color and is adorned with golden antlers—only the best for your guests. 


Overhead shot of Christmast party decor including reindeer crackers, sugar cookies, a Santa plate, a reindeer antlers headband, and white candles.Holiday decor items available at the Party Shop.


Find the perfect invites and party supplies with Paperless Post

Organizing and hosting a Christmas party is a breeze with Paperless Post. Whether you prefer a traditional stationery-inspired invite or are more interested in laidback and fun animated Christmas party invitations, we have plenty to choose from. Want to change the color or font size to make it more your style? Customize it to perfection and send them out by email, text, or shareable link.

Then, check out our Christmas offerings at the Paperless Post Party Shop, where you’ll find a variety of holiday decor. From garlands to mini Christmas trees, our elves have stocked the shelves with an abundance of festive decor to suit your party’s theme. While you’re at the Party Shop, you can also stock up on party supplies to keep your eggnog warm and your sugar cookies perfectly plated for guests.

No matter what you’re looking for, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect Christmas additions for your big bash at Paperless Post.


Browse Christmas Decorations

Editor’s note: Party Shop shipping is only available in the continental US.
Hero image via Meri Meri.