Organising events year after year often becomes harder when the ideas start to run thin and when the memory of one Christmas party runs into the next, it is definitely time for a change.

Theme ideas are often easy to come up with, it is what you do with them that makes or breaks a great party atmosphere. Food, drink and decorations are important in the fact that they tie a party theme or idea together but the whole essence of this is to create great ambience and a memorable occasion.

Reuse, Recycle and Revamp

There is nothing wrong with bringing back a theme from a previous party. Maybe it is one that you haven’t done in a few years or one from a previous job that you think would work well. The problem normally is finding something different to do with it so it isn’t just the same old fancy dress party with drinks and a selection of the usual finger food. Just as you would change up an outfit to give it a new look with a brightly coloured scarf or belt, the same you can do for a themed party. The idea here, is to reinforce the theme so the success of the whole party doesn’t just rest upon half the office actually dressing up for it.

“Variations on a Theme”

You don’t have to be Chopin to take a theme and create your own variations on it. For starters, tie your theme in with the drinks and the food. Choose a drink of the day, for example, martini or vodka and ask the Bar Manager in charge to come up with a handful of interesting cocktails that your office colleagues will not be able to resist. For fun you can label them after office positions or topics such as “the boss”, “the secretary”, “overtime”, “the morning meeting” or relate them back to a theme e.g. “the hippie”, “flower power”, “the love punch”, “a one night stand”. Something so easy can be lots of fun and will make the Christmas office party much more than simple fancy dress.

Food for Thought

Do the same for the food although perhaps coming up with new names for sausage rolls maybe a little overkill.

If, however, you decide that a buffet or finger food is the name of the game this year, then do it with style. If the theme is a Secret Agent theme then the food should be the kind you would expect from a high-end ballroom affair and to be passed out on silver plates. It should be classy such as Vol au Vents, spinach puffs, mini quiche, shrimp shots, bacon wrapped asparagus, grilled scallops and a selection of ingredients such as salmon and caviar, goats cheese with caramelized onions, and a couple of meat inspired delicacies. Why not even ask the venue manager how much it would be to have a handful of wait staff mingling amongst the crowd bringing out the nibbles and trays of champagne, some glasses mixed with cranberry, orange juice, peach snaps for something a little different.

Exotic themes such as a Spanish evening or a Caribbean summer dance party should also be paired with themed food such as a selection of typical tapas and Spanish wine or Caribbean food such as spicy jerk chicken, prawn fritters, fried plantain and mini vegetable or prawns skewers to name but just a few ideas.

A Sweet Ending

Deserts are often a little easier to plan as it is not so important to tie these in with a theme. A selection of elegant, sophisticated petit fours such as cheesecake lollipops, mini chocolate fondant cakes, Italian biscotti, coffee liquor shots and chocolate covered strawberries will always go down a treat.

Whatever you decide, I strongly advise against making the food yourself but to pay the extra for the expertise of a caterer and whatever menu you choose, don’t forget the vegetarians!


Following a University degree and a drastic career move, Fiona Warren-Bassett soon found herself rapidly moving forward in the events and PR world. Enjoying the change of direction, Fiona went on to further her Event Management experience, spending 6 years working for a renowned cruise line company. Having travelled extensively and been actively involved in many events and weddings, Fiona has since returned to land and has successfully launched her freelance writing and PR career.
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