Contrary to what some might think, a well-planned office Christmas party can be great fun. Besides providing an opportunity to celebrate the work done throughout the year, an office Christmas party can also increase employee satisfaction, company morale, and staff retention levels.
It might, however, not be everyone’s bread and butter. Those tasked with planning the party might find it daunting, while the rest might be unsure of how to carry themselves when attending.
Worry no more. This article offers you guidelines on planning your office’s Christmas party and highlights some of the critical areas that guests should consider.
Office Christmas Party Ideas
Depending on your company’s size, getting some help from some of your colleagues can make planning the holiday party easier. You will lighten your workload and get more input on what to do. This reduces the chances of you neglecting specific vital details and increases the likelihood of ending up with a great Christmas party.
With your team all set, here are the general steps of how to go about planning your office’s Christmas party.
Set a Budget
Knowing how much your company can spend is crucial because it governs most of the event planning choices you will make. You could consider asking your staff if they would be willing to contribute to the party budget.
Pick a Venue, Date, and Time
Contrary to its name, you do not have to hold your office party at the office. You can make your party less formal by hosting it at a bowling alley or, if the budget permits it, a garden or restaurant.
Alternatively, you could dedicate a portion of the budget towards buying office Christmas party decorations and transforming specific office spaces like the break room. Keep in mind that the venue you go for often determines the party’s tone.
With the venue set, the next step is to determine the date and time. When picking a date, consider coming up with a few options and asking the rest of the staff to vote on which option works best. As for time, most corporate holiday parties tend to take place either during the lunch hour or in the evenings.
Choose A Theme For Your Party
Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love a Christmas themed party? But be creative, don’t just go with any Christmas theme, come up with something unique. A unique theme adds personality to an otherwise regular company party.
You could center your theme on something simple and fun like an ugly Christmas sweater party. Or you could go with a Christmas movie theme and make it a Christmas Story, Santa Clause, or even Home Alone.
Consider Dress Code Options
Many people often worry about what to wear to an office party. Once you have your venue and theme already set, it could help employees prepare better if they had a specific dress code to guide them.
The activities you have planned during the party should also be a factor in the dress code you pick. If you have planned several physical activities, asking employees to show up in tuxedos and evening gowns would not be appropriate.
Send Out Invitations
Invitations are a great way to get employees excited about the party. You could send out polished, eye-catching invitations over the mail or send an informal office Christmas party invitation via email or social media.
Include details such as the date, time, and venue at which the party will take place. Also, include any information about the recommended dress code, the activities guests can expect, and contact information if they need further clarification.
Plan Out Drinks, Snacks, and Meal Options
A party is not complete without a selection of food and drinks. You could include classic party snacks like chips and dip, along with festive treats such as candy canes.
Depending on how long you intend the party to last, you might want to include meal options as well. Consider hiring food trucks or catering services from one of the local restaurants. However, when it comes to food, remember to take note of any possible allergies and create a menu that accommodates everyone.
As for drinks, include a few popular options for the holiday season, such as eggnog, hot chocolate, and cider. Of course, do not forget about water, soda, and juice. Try to buy enough for each person to sample each drink once.
Should you opt to serve alcoholic drinks at the party, you could set up your own bar or hire a bartender.
Plan Some Office Christmas Party Games
A crucial step is coming up with fun activities employees can take part in during the party. Activities are an effective, exciting way to get employees to socialize more freely while creating a team-building experience, mixed with fun, lighthearted competition.
Some activities you could organize include holiday charades, scavenger hunts, two truths and a lie, and Christmas trivia, among others. Your company could also have a photo booth set up to allow employees to capture some of the special party moments.
Add some holiday cheer to your party by organizing a fun gift exchange. One way to do this is through Secret Santa, where each employee chooses a name from a hat and buys the chosen person a gift. Consider setting a price limit to keep things affordable and fair. You could also come up with free gift options to exchange, such as gift cards.
Pay Attention to the Playlist
The music you play will set the office party mood. If you are going for a traditional office Christmas party, playing classic holiday tunes would work. Alternatively, you could opt for a different playlist and mood altogether.
For instance, playing pop would give your party a livelier atmosphere, while indie would give your office party a more relaxed mood. If the budget has room, you could even hire a live band or musician.
Attending Your Office’s Christmas Party
While planning the holiday party can be challenging, we cannot forget the anxiousness and nervousness many employees go through when attending. With these few tips, however, you can enjoy your office’s holiday party without fear of embarrassing yourself or harming your career.
Avoid Skipping the Party
Though the party might be optional, make sure you attend. Office parties are a great way to socialize and build relationships with your co-workers, showing them that you are a committed and an essential member of the team. It is also a great way to show your employees you care or your bosses that you’re dedicated to the company.
Don’t Just Sit in The Corner
Take this opportunity to network with different people, taking part in the possible activities or games that might be happening. Remember to engage everyone and treat them with respect.
Have Fun But Be Professional
It is okay to enjoy yourself and relax a little, but remember that your behavior still matters. While it is important to socialize and speak with everyone, always be professional and try to make an excellent impression with everyone you meet.
Limit Your Drinking
Just remember, this isn’t just a party, it’s an office party. So while there may be alcohol available, remember to limit your drinking. Drink too much alcohol, and you could easily end up making a memorable impression on your colleagues, but for all the wrong reasons. A company office party is still a business event so remember to behave accordingly.
Things To Remember During The Christmas Party
You want to be careful in deciding what to wear to your office Christmas party. If the party has a specific dress code, ensure that you adhere to it. If it doesn’t, try to wear something that is decent and appropriate. You could consult with a few co-workers to find out what they’ll be wearing.
Don’t Arrive Empty-Handed
Bringing a gift is a way of showing your appreciation for being invited. Some of the office Christmas party gift ideas we like include gift cards to local restaurants and seasonal treats like cookies.
Don’t Talk Too Much About Work
Everyone is there to enjoy themselves and take a break from a long year. Instead of talking about work the entire time, use this opportunity to get to know your colleagues better. Find out about their families, hobbies, or how they plan to celebrate the holiday.
Don’t Gossip, Whine, or Bring Up Controversial Topics
Remember to keep the conversations positive. Avoid complaining about your colleagues, boss, or work-related issues. Also, try to avoid bringing up controversial topics such as politics or religion. A good debate can be stimulating, but your opinions on such issues could offend your co-workers.
Don’t Leave Too Early and Don’t Stay Too Late
While leaving too early might come off as rude and unsociable, staying too late is not a good look either. Try to stay for a reasonable amount of time, socialize, enjoy the food, and take part in the planned activities.
One way to ensure that you leave the party at the right time is to arrange your transport back home in advance. This will help you know when the time comes to start saying your goodbyes.
There you have it. With these few tips, your office Christmas party will be one that you and your colleagues will remember for all the right reasons.
Remember To End the Night with a Thank You
End your office Christmas party on the right note. Show your appreciation to everyone by giving a small gift at th end of the night. You can also send out cards thanking people for their contributions and cooperation. You could include some of the photos taken during the party and allow employees to reminisce about the great time they had.