One of the most beautiful things about the holiday season is the wonderful traditions each culture has surrounding Christmas.
Planning an international-themed Christmas party is one way to expose guests to the interesting traditions celebrated around the world during the holidays. Here is how you can turn your party into a Christmas-around-the-world celebration.
Christmas Around the World Menu Ideas
The food will be an easy and important way for you to incorporate other cultures’ holiday traditions into your holiday party. Choose your favorites and put together a Julbord, the Swedish term for the entire spread on a Christmas table each year.
Some suggestions include:
- Christmas ham with mustard (Finland)
- Pickled herring (Scandinavia)
- Fish soup (Hungary)
- Hamborgarhryggur, or cured pork roast (Iceland)
- 12 dish Christmas Eve dinner (Lithuania)
- Pavo, or stuffed turkey (Mexico)
- Carp (Poland)
- Cabrito assado, or roasted goat (Portugal)
- Cured ham (Spain)
- Lutfisk, or boiled white fish (Sweden)
- Stuffing or dressing (USA)
- Fried chicken (Japan)
Christmas Around the World Party Dessert Ideas
Designate a special table for your around-the-world Christmas party desserts. Or, if this is an office holiday party, designate each guest table as one particular country and place the desserts traditionally from that country on those tables after the entrees.
- Pumpkin and walnut pie (Albania)
- Eggnog (Canada and USA)
- Natillas, or custard (Hispania)
- Buneulos, or friend dough balls (Colombia and Central America)
- Thirteen desserts (France)
- Pfefferkuchenhaus, or decorated gingerbread houses (Germany)
- Allahabadi cake, rum fruit cake (India)
- Julegrot, or rice pudding with an almond (Scandinavia)
- Puto bumbong, or a sweet rice dessert (Philippines)
- Chocolate yule log (UK)
- Crema de vie, or Cuban eggnog (Cuba)
- Turron, or custard dish (Spain)
International Christmas Drink Ideas
You might not want to offer each one of these delicious beverages, but serving up one or even a few of them will certainly be a great touch on this international holiday party theme.
- Julebryg, or Christmas beer (Denmark)
- Anis del Mono, or anise-flavored liquor (Dominican Republic)
- Glogg, or mulled wine (Scandinavia)
- Ponche, or hot Christmas fruit punch (Guatemala)
- Prosecco, pandoro, panforte or spumante (Italy)
- Coquito, or spiced coconut eggnog (Puerto Rico)
- Brandy snaps (New Zealand)
- Sorrel (Jamaica)
Christmas Around the World Décor Ideas
Utilizing some of these décor items in your international Christmas party, it would be a nice touch to incorporate a sign explaining what the décor means and from what country it hails.
- Pine trees decorated with cotton (Brazil)
- Colored lights around a Christmas tree (many, especially Germany, UK and USA)
- Mistletoe (UK)
- Trees decorated with paper chains, flowers and lanterns (China)
- Yule log (France)
- Nativity scene (Latin America)
- Poinsettia (USA)
- Handmade trees and star lanterns (Philippines)
International Christmas Entertainment Ideas
You could turn many of these décor ideas into arts and crafts activities by providing the supplies to create international Christmas decorations.
- Decorate a Christmas tree (Norwegians typically decorate a tree together on Christmas Eve)
- Have guests put out a shoe or stocking to receive treats or prizes at the end of the party (Sweden)
- Make parols, or star lanterns, made from bamboo and colored rice paper (Philippines)
- Hire Junkanoo dancers (Jamaica)