The office Christmas party is a tradition for many workplaces. It’s an opportunity to let your hair down and have a bit of fun while getting to know your bosses and coworkers a bit better. Unfortunately, these holiday parties have also acquired a reputation for being boring, awkward or a hassle to attend. If you want to create a holiday get-together for your employees that the employees will actually be excited to attend, here are a few ideas:
Bring the party to the office
It’s not always possible to schedule a party during the workday, but it’s an option worth considering. Your employees may be busy with numerous other social engagements throughout the holiday season. Scheduling the Christmas party to coincide with their regular shift lets them enjoy the festivities without having to make extra time for them. And a day of light duties can show your appreciation for the team.
Throw a white elephant gift exchange
These are a fun and low-stress way to handle gift giving, and they can double as a form of entertainment. Essentially, a white elephant exchange requires each participant to purchase a gift worth a certain dollar amount, such as $10 or $20. Participants then draw numbers to see who goes first. The first person selects and opens the gift of their choice. Afterward, going by the number they drew, participants choose to either open a gift or steal one that’s already been opened. Anyone whose gift is stolen can steal a different person’s gift or open something new. This can be a fun, interactive way to handle gifts, and with the right crowd it can become enjoyably rowdy as people bargain, steal and swindle for the presents of their choice.
Try a themed potluck
Catered lunches or fancy dinners can be a lot of fun, but they can also dig into your budget. A potluck is just as enjoyable and much cheaper to implement. Send around a list well in advance of the get-together for people to sign up with the foods they plan to bring. Plan to bring a focal point main dish yourself, such as a ham or turkey. That way you won’t be stuck without a crucial aspect of the meal if someone forgets to bring their dish.
Pick an interesting venue
If you’d rather get out of the office, try booking your holiday party at a location that offers something fun for your employees to see and explore. Some ideas may include a local zoo, museum or botanical garden. Because employees may be there with their spouses or family members, having a location that offers activities of its own can reduce the awkwardness of a big get-together.
Once you have the basic framework in place for your holiday party’s location, gift-giving, food and other activities, you can fill in the details with whatever playful touches you’d like. From festive decorations to fun music playlists and more, make it an event your employees will be talking about all year.