Ugly Sweater Parties. Secret Santa. Grab Bags. Non-Denominational Holiday Brunches. After Hours Eggnog-and-Mulled-Wine Shindigs.
At least one of those things is made-up, but the others are some of my favorite company Christmas party ideas.
Well, I say favorite but I might be fibbing just a little bit. I’m not a big believer in mandatory gift-giving in one’s place of business, unless the spending limit is hilariously low and people know to have fun with it (i.e., everybody buys a joke gift from the dollar store). Because, hey, we’ve all been in that awkward situation where there’s an office Secret Santa and it’s “To Be Taken Seriously”, but you don’t know the person you got all that well and everybody walks away disappointed.
I feel it’s best to avoid that situation altogether.
My absolute favorite kind of office party is one where there’s decent food (catered or informal pot luck, it doesn’t matter), but not a lot of formal structure. It’s supposed to be a party; let the people unwind and make their own fun. By all means, encourage silly outfits. But don’t go so far as to make anything Mandatory™.
Really, the best Christmas party idea anyone can give you is to not over-plan your company party. Just toss up some decorations, put out some food, and see what happens.