Company Christmas parties are an excellent way to diffuse stress and tension in the workplace that often accompany the holiday season. While some employees may not wish to spend extra time with colleagues that they may or may not get along with, thoughtful planning can make it a fun time for all and give the opportunity for some interaction outside of the setting and pressures of the daily grind.
Choose Time, Date, Location
Plan early and start by selecting a date, time and location that works well for most people. Of course, not everyone will be able to attend, but the goal is to get as many people together as possible. You'll need to decide if the company has adequate facilities for the party or if you will need to find an alternative location. Other possible locations can include a country club, a hotel or restaurant conference room or even the boss's house, if it is large enough. Plan to send out invitations several weeks before the party, since holiday schedules fill up quickly.
Christmas decorations are an important part of the party, since the purpose is to spread holiday cheer. Use decorated Christmas trees (mini-trees if your venue isn't large enough for normal size trees). Consider stringing white or colored lights around doorways and windows. Place holly sprigs or greenery around the room. One idea for elegant centerpieces would be a large white candle in a hurricane jar with holly around the base of the candle. Whatever you choose, make sure that you end up with a Christmas atmosphere.
Plan the Food
While it may be nice to have a full meal on the company, other budget-conscious alternatives can include pot-lucks or a dessert-only party. Christmas desserts can be fun and relatively simple to make compared to main dishes, so if you're having a do-it-yourself party, keep that in mind when asking employees to bring food. Christmas goodies can include holly clusters, sugar cookies, wreath cookies, spritz cookies and more.
Games and Activities
There are several activities you could plan for a company Christmas party. One game is to have each person bring a gift under $5, then give each person a number. Number one gets to select the first gift. Number two can take number one's gift or select a new one, and so on down through the numbers. At the end, number one can take anyone's gift. This is a great way to settle the "Should I get my co-workers or boss a Christmas gift?" question, since nobody spends more than $5 but everyone leaves with a gift. Other games can include "Give Me," which sends people scrambling for random items in pockets, purses and briefcases. Charades can be fun, encourage teamwork and give lots of laughs. If you want a low-key company party, you can also choose not to plan activities at all, but allow people to mingle and talk as they wish. Either way, a company Christmas party can send everyone home in the Christmas spirit and with better rapport among colleagues.
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