Office Christmas Party Tips and Ideas
An office Christmas party is a celebration of the wonderful people you work with. A fun and festive evening will go a long way in keeping morale high all year long. Everyone in the office has worked hard all year, so they deserve to feel appreciated. As an employer or office manager, the company holiday party can be a lot of work, but it doesn't have to feel like it! While an office Christmas party is often an annual tradition, you can still make it warm, friendly, and even unconventional.
If you approach things the right way, organizing the event can be a lot of fun. We found some great office Christmas party ideas that are sure to help the planning go smoothly for you. For a positive experience that will help teammates bond and further working relationships throughout the year, read on for some helpful tips and ideas! If this your first time throwing or attending an office holiday party, check out our Beginner's Guide to Company Holiday Parties.
Where to Host a Company Christmas Party
The venue is the first thing you should decide, since the rest of the details will depend on your party location. Be sure to book your venue early, since they fill up fast this time of year. You may decide to host the party in the same building you work in, but it's worth it to splash out on an outside facility. The separation helps break the office routine, and get everyone into a festive spirit.
When Should it Take Place
Timing is another important consideration. Most people expect an evening after-work party, but the holidays are usually a jam-packed time of year for everyone. So having the party at an earlier time, like a lunch or a long breakfast, shows that you are aware of their busy schedules and respectful of their time. If you do decide to go for an evening event, host it later in the week so it kicks off the weekend.
Office Christmas Party Themes and Invitations
Start your party off on the right foot by sending a festive holiday party invitation. Whether you're throwing a sophisticated soiree or a holly jolly affair, the right invitation will make an impression and build anticipation in the office.
If you are going to have a theme or activity at the party, let your guests know on the invite so that they can be prepared. Themed office Christmas party ideas work well to loosen everyone up, and get people socializing. It also helps with decisions on how to decorate. Some good ideas:
Gift Exchange: Generally, White Elephant parties need a minimum of six participants, and with a larger crowd, the game can go on for a while. Another alternative is Secret Santa, which can start the week before the party. You can even combine the two, and have everyone bring their final gift to the event for a chance to swap.
Ugly Sweater Contest: An ugly Christmas sweater contest is a great way for your guests to join in the festivities and show off their creativity—the tackier, the better. It's a great photo op!
The 60s, 70s, or 80s: Choose a favorite decade for a throwback classic. Ask guests to send in pictures from Christmas past and get the dancing going with popular music from the decade of choice. Finding second-hand clothes will be easier, too.
Hawaiian Luau: Help everyone forget that it's cold outside with a tropical destination theme. Set up a barbeque station, and hand out leis, grass skirts, and tropical flowers for the hair.
Games and Activities for the Office Party
A few fun activities and contests will help everyone get to know each other a little better at the party. Make sure to spice up the competition by awarding small prizes to the winners, like chocolate or a custom mug .
Two truths and a lie: This is a great ice breaker that you can give a Christmas twist. Each person names their three worst Christmas gifts, two of which are true and one that is not. Guess which gift is the lie, and watch as the “lies” get more hilarious with each player.
Guess the Santa: A simple but thoroughly amusing game, all you need is one coworker who is willing to secretly wear the Santa suit. Have Santa give a brief announcement or hand out favors, and ask the audience to guess who it is. The funny responses are guaranteed to get some laughs!
Fill the Christmas stocking: Divide into teams and have the participants race to fill their team's hanging stocking with a spoonful of wrapped candy.
Share Christmas memories: Have each employee write down their favorite Christmas memory on a piece of paper upon arriving. Stories can be shared over dinner, or you can swap the slips of paper, and have people try to match the story to the person.
Holiday photo booth: Whether the holiday party is at the office or at a fun venue, everyone loves a great photo booth. Helpful tip: provide festive props for your guests to use!
For more ideas, check out this selection of Christmas Party games!
A few final thoughts on how to have a successful night: Unless you're having a formal party or a themed event, business casual is the appropriate dress code. Instead of seating people according to their teams or department, break things up by letting guests mingle. This way, new friendships can form, which is great for getting fresh ideas flowing in the New Year.