Some Christmas event themes are so popular that there is a tendency to repeat them year after year. There is nothing wrong with that, but regular attendees would also welcome something new. So, here are some fresh ideas to breathe new life into popular themes.
Draw inspiration for Christmas events from other countries, music and dance. Stories and movies with winter or Christmas scenes are also great places to find ideas. Whether it’s Christmas in Narnia, A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas, the Little Match Girl or Heidi, décor, menu ideas and even music will flow directly from many stories. When planning menus add new dishes alongside traditional Christmas favorites.
To get you started, here are examples of how to breathe new life into three of the most popular Christmas event themes.
A tropical Christmas
Who hasn’t fantasized about a tropical getaway during the winter? It’s easy to make a Christmas-on-the-beach or tropical theme sparkle.
Countries: Incorporate cuisine, plants, flowers and music from any tropical destination. From Jamaica include a traditional Jonkanoo. From Mexico, piñatas will delight children of all ages.
Cuisine: Dark fruit cake, rosca de reyes (a cake that is popular in Latin America), sorrel (a Jamaican Christmas beverages that is called agua de Jamaica in Latin American countries)
Music and dance: The Nutcracker (Arabian Dance, Spanish Dance, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy), Beach Boys, reggae, steel drums, parang (from Trinidad)
Décor: Poinsettias, palm leaves, miniature orange or lemon trees, sand, beach backdrops
A winter wonderland
Even in areas where it never snows, a winter wonderland theme conjures up visions of Christmas. There are many ways to make this theme exciting.
Countries: Spin the globe. Select a country or area that experiences winter. Build your décor, color palette and menu selections around that country. Take your pick from a German Christmas market, a Québécois Christmas or Christmas in one of the Scandinavian countries.
Cuisine: Serve snow-capped cuisine. Everything from snow crab, snow peas, Arctic char, Alaska king crab, naked Alaska and rare and expensive Japanese Hokkaido snow beef. For a Québécois Christmas included a tourtière and bûche de noël (Yule log). Raclette from Switzerland, or gravlax, which is popular in Scandinavian countries, will round out any menu.
Music and dance: Snow-themed music can create the right ambiance. Winter from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” “The Nutcracker” (Journey Through Snow, Waltz of the Snow Flakes), “The Snow Queen,” etc.
Décor: This video demonstrates that there are many ways to approach décor for a winter wonderland theme. Each room in this venue uses a completely different approach to décor.
A Victorian Christmas
A number of Christmas traditions including the Christmas tree, Christmas cards and many Christmas carols emerged during the Victorian era. For this reason, at a time of year when people focus on preserving traditions, a Victorian Christmas theme is always appealing.
Countries: England is the country that usually comes to mind when one thinks of the Victorian era. Remember, that during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837-1901 the British Empire spanned the globe and included Canada (until 1867), the British West Indies, parts of Asia and Africa.
Cuisine: Certainly, turkey was a part of Victorian Christmases, but it was not the only favorite. Goose, shortbread cookies, sugar plums, plum pudding and mince pies graced many tables during the Victorian era.
Music and dance: Christmas carols and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky are a natural fit for a Victorian Christmas theme.
Décor: In addition to kissing boughs, ivy and holly, outlets such as The Victorian Trading Company and Department 56 Corner offer replicas of Victorian decorations. Snow globes with Victorian scenery are perfect for centerpieces and place settings. Frontgate has animated holiday villages with a Victorian theme.
Experiment, take some chances and try something new. Your guests will thank you.