It’s August, which means the December holidays are just around the corner. If you’re on the committee to organize this year’s office party, it isn’t too early to begin planning for a holiday party unlike any you and your colleagues have put together.
December may be more than three months away, but you know how busy it gets as the year draws to a close. Before you know it, the company Christmas party is just days away, and you’ll have to — yet again — book the same old venue, call the same caterer for the same old mini quiches, and hang the same old holiday decor.
Why not try something new this year?
With so many Christmas parties to attend, you’ll want your colleagues to want to come to your party and spend time with coworkers. And, let’s face it, employees need to unwind, and they do deserve a bit of fun this time of year.
Now, how to make your Christmas party a success? Read on for our best tips.
Christmas party food ideas
You don’t have to limit yourself to an after-work thing. Instead of the usual dinnertime party, you might consider a healthy breakfast party (especially if there’s a good number of health-conscious workers in your office). You can have a long luncheon, cocktails at your local pub, a picnic feast, or a formal sit-down dinner.
If you work at a family-centric office, you should consider adding kid-friendly dishes to your Christmas party menu. Instead of ordering in last year’s casseroles and sausage rolls, check out these Christmas party food recipes, which includes scrumptious items like smoked salmon blinis, baked veggie samosas, vegan mushroom rolls, and Christmas pudding spoons.
Christmas party drinks
Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t obligated to serve alcohol at your company party. If people tend to become rowdy or loud when you do, don’t serve any this year. You’ll avoid the drama and also remind people that they can have a good time without the alcohol.
Instead of serving wine, beer, and cocktails, prepare lots of non-alcoholic drink options. You can serve teas, juices, coffee, cocktails, and non-alcoholic punches.
But if you do choose to serve alcohol, the BBC has some festive Christmas party drink recipes here, including cinnamon butter rum, a gingerbread bellini, and even vegan eggnog for your health-conscious colleagues.
Christmas party activities
The best office Christmas party is the one that isn’t held at the office. Let’s face it, we all get tired of the same old space and want to be able to interact with our coworkers in a different setting.
Instead of holding the usual nighttime party, consider making it a daytime affair. You can also take it somewhere unexpected, like at a bowling alley or an outdoor movie theatre. Hold a gallery event or a rooftop soiree. Book a spa or get tickets to an amusement park. The possibilities are endless.
Christmas game ideas
Christmas party games are always a good idea. There are tons of games to play, from the laidback kind to the ones that get everyone cracking up.
Play trivia games, incorporating holiday-themed questions like Christmas facts, the history of Christmas, and Christmas stories. Take the party outdoors and do a scavenger hunt to get everyone moving.
You can also hand out disposable cameras and encourage everyone to take photos that will be collected and displayed after the party. It’s a great bonding activity and a way for coworkers to get better acquainted. If you’re up for it and want to get to know each other better, play “2 truths and a lie.” This is a fun one that will get everyone in a good mood for the rest of the night.
No dusting off last year’s wreaths and Christmas ornaments. Get into the Christmas spirit with minimal but whimsical holiday decor this year. You can easily grab some tasteful ones at your nearest dollar store or even make some of them yourself. Delegate the work weeks in advance to make sure it gets done.
If you’re doing a private dining Christmas party at a hotel, you probably won’t have to worry about this. But if you’re having the party at work or somewhere similar, you’ll have to plan.
Company Christmas party themes
Try to do something different every year so your colleagues will be looking forward to the holiday party at the office. Even if last year’s Christmas party theme was a hit, go for something fresh this year.
There are tons of themes to choose from. You can do a murder mystery theme, Christmas around the world, a throwback to the ‘80s, and Great Gatsby. Masquerade parties are always a hit as are ugly Christmas sweater themes. Don’t worry about asking your colleagues to dress up in costume for your holiday party. Go all out! When is Christmas not worth it? Never! It happens once a year so makes sure you make the most of it.
Office holiday party etiquette
Alright, now that you’ve got some ideas for this year’s Christmas party, it’s time to talk holiday party etiquette.
- First and most important of all, know your alcohol limit.
- Parties are a chance to let loose, but because this is a work party, you still have to maintain a healthy level of professionalism. This means leaning towards the conservative in matters like, say, attire. Just because the Christmas party theme allows you to wear something racy doesn’t mean you actually should.
- Speaking of clothing, remember that after you have removed your coat at the door, at no point should you be shedding any more items of clothing.
- Do your homework. Know who’s going to be at the party (your boss’s boss, maybe?) and act accordingly.
- Make time for the party. It’s once a year. Show up. Delegate your work, employ a writing service, or ask for more time if you still have tons of pending work to do.
- Office Christmas parties are not the proper setting for frank discussions about work and personal issues or, worse, fisticuffs.
- Know when it’s time to head home.
Have any go-to Christmas party themes, drink recipes, and games? Share with us in the comments below!