Successful Christmas party ideas for the office are ones that break the ice, allow colleagues to relax and get to know one another better, and reward employees for a year of hard work and dedication. Remember, office Christmas parties are still technically a work function with the upper management watching. There are many cautionary stories out there of those who have engaged in inappropriate and embarrassing behavior at office holiday parties that has potentially cost them a promotion or even their job. When it is your turn to plan the office Christmas party, an effective way to reduce the chances of this happening is to engage your colleagues in fun and appropriate party games and activities. The following are some fun and economical ideas that are enjoyable, amusing, and appropriate for the office.
White Elephant Gift Exchange
Tighter budgets are causing party hosts to look for alternatives to the traditional "secret Santa" gift exchanges at office parties. One popular one is the White Elephant approach. When you send out invitations, instruct your guests to bring an item they no longer want from around the house or their workspace. The more random, unusual, or even absurd the item, the better; the point is the humor and to get everyone laughing. Be sure to include a note for your guests to wrap their white elephant item in attractive holiday paper and ribbons, and remind guests that no name tags are required. Have everyone leave their wrapped gifts on a designated table and pick up a different gift as they arrive. About halfway through the evening, have everyone sit in a circle and open their white elephant gifts one at a time.
Christmas Movie Trivia
According to the number of guests who will be attending the office party (don't forget to ask them to R.S.V.P.), write up and print a list of multiple choice trivia questions based on several popular Christmas movies. Hand one out to each guest and divide them into at least 2 groups. Try to group people from different departments together so they end up talking to others they normally do not speak with on a daily basis. Give your collegues a limited amount of time to collaborate on finding the answers. The group with the most correct answers wins a prize, such as a set of gift cards to a restaurant the office staff is known to frequent after work.
Employee Trivia Game
When you send out the invitations to the office party, ask each guest to R.S.V.P. only to you by email with two appropriate (think family friendly) and random facts about themselves that others normally would not know. Ask them to keep their trivia related to the holiday season, such as someone worked as a mall Santa in the past, someone has been on a sleigh ride, etc. Once you have everyone's information, type up a two column list with the random Christmas facts in one column and a list of names designated with a letter or number in the other column. Pass out copies of the list and have them do a scavenger hunt for the person who matches each trivia detail. This is a fun ice breaker that gets people mingling and talking to different colleagues outside of their daily work interactions.