5 Holiday Party Ideas for the Office
With the holiday season upon us, you may be wondering what you should plan for your office to celebrate the holidays and end the year off strong. We are here to help.
You may be worrying as it is already past the first week of December, and you still do not have any plans to celebrate the holidays with an office party, but you are in luck. You can plan most of these ideas we share today within minutes…
We have simple yet fun ideas that the whole office will enjoy. Now, these ideas will not be over the top, like when GoDaddy held its company holiday party at Arizona’s Chase Field, where they had fireworks, A-list entertainment, and $1 million in prize money.
Instead, you can implement these ideas within a short amount of notice and time not to add extra stress to your end-of-the-year budget.
Many companies choose to keep their holiday parties small. Only 16 percent of workers said they’d characterize their company’s holiday party as “lavish.”
Here are five holiday party ideas for the office that will save you time and money.
Secret Santa & White Elephant
If you have lived in the United States for more than a year, I am sure you have heard of the games Secret Santa or White Elephant. These two holiday games are usually the most famous traditional office holiday party games for a reason.
Secret Santa: Secret Santa is a fun and easy way for friends, family, or co-workers to exchange gifts. It is an excellent way for individuals to interact and get to know each other.
All of the participants’ names are placed into a hat or box and mixed up. One by one, each person then chooses one name from the box without sharing who they have received. Once everyone is done selecting, and no one gets their own name, that is the person you are buying a gift for.
On the day of the party, all the gifts are placed in a general area for opening. There are many different versions of the game. The way we play is one-by-one each person opens their gift with their name on it and guesses who got it for them.
White Elephant: Also referred to as Yankee Swap, White Elephant is a gift exchange that is less difficult to pull off as you can supply any gift you want because it can be opened and kept by any one of the players.
In this game, each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers as they arrive, or their names are randomly drawn, and they select gifts in that order — with a twist.
On the first turn, the person assigned with #1 picks out a gift and opens it so all can see what it is. On the second turn, the person assigned with #2 gets the choice of “stealing” #1’s unwrapped gift or choosing a wrapped one from the pile. If #2 steals #1’s gift, then #1 must choose and open a wrapped gift.
As subsequent players take their turns, they either select a new gift or take any already opened gift from any other players. Have any player who has a gift taken away choose a new gift or take an already-opened gift from another player.
After the last turn, the person who started (since she didn’t get a chance at the beginning) can put back the gift and “steal” a gift according to the rules. This starts the gift exchange again and ends when someone chooses or is forced to take the gift given up by the person with #1.
These two games are fun and easy to start. Usually, the budget is set to about $20 to avoid any issues.
Team dinners can be another holiday party idea that can be set up last minute, depending on how many team members you have and where you go.
If your office is on the smaller side, a holiday team dinner will be easiest as you probably only need a reservation day. City Personnel’s holiday team dinner was at Hemenway’s Restaurant in Providence this year, and we had a total of 10 of us, and we needed a reservation three weeks in advance. If you are a smaller team of four to six, you may be able to get away with not making one at all.
If you are a larger team, your team dinner may look different. Either you can rent out an event room and have the event catered, or you can plan on having it at your office (if it is big enough) and have it catered. Either way, this will take much more planning.
Our favorite part about the holidays? Gingerbread houses. Decorating gingerbread houses during the holidays is a must. Either you can have the competition on your team’s lunch break or after hours. The best part? Prizes.
Have three to five judges ready to give scores on every participating team. Teams can include up to four individuals making it a team-building exercise. There is no need to make the prices large, but a $100 gift card to each team can suffice.
You may want only to have one person per team for smaller offices. Having more than five teams is ideal for a gingerbread competition.
Ugly Sweater Day
Something to make the office livelier during the day is to offer your employees the opportunity to wear their ugly sweaters on a Friday before Christmas. Even if you have customers coming into the office, wearing ugly sweaters can be fun for customers to see and shows your company’s authenticity! 86% of people say authenticity is a huge factor when deciding which brands to like and support.
The bonus of having an ugly sweater day at work is the fun you have posting the pictures to your company’s social media profile. Remember, this year, December 17th is National Ugly Sweater Day!
Holiday Movie at the Office
The last idea we have for your office’s holiday party is to host a holiday movie party! Many movies are released during the holiday season, making it a perfect time to host a premiere viewing with all your employees. If you have an office TV or a huge wall and a projector, all you will need is to supply the movie and snacks.
New holiday movies that came out this year include A Boy Called Christmas, Love Hard, A Castle for Christmas, Single All the Way, Home Sweet Home Alone, and Christmas vs. the Walters (we have not seen any of these, so we do not know how good they are).
Now that you have some ideas for your holiday office party start planning sooner than later! End the year off with a fun party for all your employees because they deserve it!