With the holiday season approaching, it’s time to get ready for some office celebrations. Company holiday parties are the perfect time to unwind, reminisce about the year, and bring the team together. When you’re prepping for your own office party, you want to make sure that everyone has a holly jolly time. Use this party planning advice to spread the holiday cheer this season.
Have an Activity
Before you throw a holiday office party, ho-ho-hold your horses and come up with a solid game plan for the festivities. Without some quality prep time, your party could become a snooze fest. No one wants their guests awkwardly standing around the holiday punch bowl. But don’t get your tinsel in a tangle. A good way to make sure everyone has a good time is with a fun activity.
Make your holiday memories last forever with a photo booth. You can either rent a photobooth for your corporate party, or if you have a knack for all things DIY, there are some great (and affordable) options for making a photobooth. Either way, be sure you bring plenty of props and costumes. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a picture of your boss in elf ears is priceless.
If you really want to go the extra mile, have a picture contest. You can either create a hashtag for your specific party or even make a holiday geofilter on Snapchat. Don’t be afraid to be creative!
A (Fun) Gift Exchange
It’s easy to do a gift exchange. It’s tough to do one that’s actually engaging and fun. If you have a large team, consider doing something besides white elephant. I know it’s a classic, but hear me out. First of all, it takes forever and a day – with all the stealing and swapping of gifts. By the time you’re halfway through, a solid chunk of your party could be twiddling their thumbs or checking Instagram. Second, the gifts are often bad or worse, impersonal. Did Carol from accounting actually want that beef jerky flower bouquet? Probably not.
Instead, set up a gift exchange with the help of a site like Elfster, where you can randomly draw names of people in the office, set spending limits, and (most importantly) the party goers can make wish lists of gifts they actually want. In the end, the gifts are better, and there’s still plenty of time for quality conversation and good food.
Food brings people together, and this is especially true around the holidays. In some cases, it makes sense to have your holiday wares catered, but a lot of times, your guests will feel more excited about the festivities if they can contribute to a party potluck. If you go the potluck route, try using PerfectPotluck.com, which helps you to organize your cooks and sends automated reminder emails (this is big). Unorganized potlucks can be a disaster. There are few things worse than a potluck where 12 people bring Mountain Dew and no one brings cups (or food).
Also think about the food being served. While carbs on carbs on carbs may seem like the perfect way to treat your team for the holidays, it might also leave them in a fog for the rest of the party. If you’re trying to give your celebration some longevity, provide a wide variety of healthy food choices, including fruits and vegetables.
Another (slightly less nutritional) option for food-filled fun is a cookie-baking contest. Have your savviest office pastry chefs make holiday cookies for everyone to try. The rest of the office can judge, and you can supply cocoa between tastings to cleanse the palette. After a holiday cookie champion is chosen, split the cookies up among your employees. Who says we can’t all be winners?
Reward Employees with the Perfect Gift
The holidays are a great time for employers to show their employees that they’re appreciated. Your company holiday party could be the perfect opportunity to shower your hard-working team with something that lets them know you care. But what kind of gift do you buy an employee? Instead of giving them knickknacks and awards, it may make more sense to give them an experience they can enjoy.
Chair Massages All Around
If you really want to treat your employees this season, a Zeel chair massage is the perfect gift. During your office party, a trained massage therapist can deliver rejuvenating 10- or 15-minute massages, allowing your team to relax and shake off a year of stress. What’s more, you don’t even have to leave the office! The massage therapists will come to you.
Your team will be the envy of companies everywhere when your employees line up to get their personal chair massage.
Bringing countless health benefits, including stress relief, improved circulation, and pain reduction, a massage therapist will work on your team’s backs, arms, and necks. Your hardworking employees will certainly be in the holiday spirit after they kick back and enjoy a good massage.
The Gift of Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to show your team you care. Consider giving gift cards that mean something to each employee specifically. If someone has an interest in fishing, for instance, match that with a gift from somewhere like Bass Pro or Cabela’s. If another employee has recently had a child, a gift card for a date night – such as a movie theater, a babysitting service, or a restaurant – would be a good option. If you choose to give gift cards to your team for the holidays, make sure that you add your own personal touch.
The holiday season is also a time for giving, and volunteering or contributing to a charity can be ideal activities for a holiday party. Check out these ideas for sharings seasonal cheer.
If you have a big team, or if there are other teams within your company, try a charity challenge. Your employees can vote on a charity that’s important to them, and then raise money for that cause during the holiday season. You can then work on group fundraising activities (good for building camaraderie in the office) to support your charity. Declare a winner at the holiday party. In the end, everyone wins, and it’s a great way for your employees to get involved in the community.
Whether you decide to work at your local food shelter or prepare holiday gifts for children in the hospital, have your team take some time to serve those in your community. Not only does this help others, but your team will benefit too. . Serving together builds community among coworkers, makes your team members happier, and even improves their self-esteem. End the year right by helping your team be a part of something bigger.
Let the Holiday Party Begin!
The holiday season can be a blast, especially in the workplace. Don’t be a Grinch. Go the extra mile this year – whether that’s with fun activities, good food, an enjoyable massage, and/or some group community service. With these tips, make this year’s holiday party the best one yet!