Winter is coming! Winter is coming! Most people don’t get too excited about the news that the dreary, snow filled days of winter are approaching. I really don’t either, but what I do get excited about is all the holiday excitement and celebrations that are on their way.
The hectic holiday season fills me with a rush like no other. Between work, family and friends, I am always rushing from one event to another. This is not a complaint, but getting the invites on a timely basis is extremely important. I hate to miss even one gathering.
Sending a holiday party invitation too late becomes an issue if your invitees are busy. They may already be booked. If you send your office holiday party invitations too early, then you run the risk of being forgotten. Although there is no concrete guideline on when to send an invitation, I suggest you get those invitation out about four to six weeks before the holiday party. This timing gives your guests plenty of time to save the date, find a sitter, pick out the perfect ensemble and still have time to generate excitement. Try to be respectful of your employees. They have many obligations outside the office and understand the importance of attending the annual office holiday party.
We often spend more time with our co-workers than with our family (or at least it feels that way at times). So an office holiday celebration is a fun way to share the holiday spirit with our “Second Family”.
Some ideas for the Office party can include the following:
A personalized card for everyone. Maybe a candid photo of the group transformed into a special holiday memento for each person.
A grab bag. Keep to inexpensive gifts (set a $ limit) or gifts that have to be handmade. Or choose a theme for the gifts.
Make it a “pot luck” luncheon. Everyone has their holiday favorites that are family “secrets” or a special ethnic food. Imagine a party with fresh guacamole dip with tortilla chips, Greek spanokipita pie, baked manicotti and for desserts; Scottish shortbread and payasam (an Indian version of rice pudding). There could be so many new and delicious items to try!
And after the food, how about a Karaoke contest? We found at one office party that if people were anxious about venturing this alone, if they teamed up with one or two others, they were an instant “rock group”.
Whatever works for your team of friends in the office; just the time spent together sharing in a relaxed social event helps “ring the holidays in” for all.
Are you worried about being a part of the office holiday party because the buying of a miscellaneous gift for a mysterious person is daunting? Well, time to be creative. Buying a grab bag gift for the office holiday party can be fun. Make the most of it and be creative. I know it is easy to just run out a wrap a gift card up, but anyone can do that. Gift cards are great but presents are even better. The excitement of opening an odd shaped item or a crazy wrapped box is part of the fun.
Don’t know the sex, age, marital status or interest of the person? Not a problem! Here are some great gift ideas that almost anyone could appreciate but would not spend the money on themselves.
• Scrabble anyone? A board game is something all can enjoy. They can bring the family together to make up for all time the dedicated employee spends at work.
• Puzzles/Books? Enough with the family time. Give a book or puzzle so your coworker has a mental escape from life.
• Give a night out. These are things we seldom splurge on for ourselves. Give the gift of movie or play tickets along with a dinner gift certificate.
• Another great idea: Gift baskets. Get a decorative basket and fill it with goodies such as popcorn, chocolate, chips, candy….
• Wine anyone? How about the monthly programs out there where a person will receive a different wine, dessert, lobster, or steak every month? This is a gift that keeps on giving.
• The cold weather is now approaching so why not give gifts for the car? An emergency kit, a funky ice scrapper, snow brush, etc. will definitely be appreciated on those difficult mornings.
Don’t be afraid to dive right in and give the grab bag gift that the entire office is talking about. It is easy and fun to be part of the company grab bag. Have a happy holiday by giving a gift anyone would appreciate.
Everyone loves the company Christmas party. However, office parties aren’t what they used to be thanks to the recession, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun.
So, a great idea would be to have a holiday party during working hours. Serve a nice buffet with a variety of food so everyone is happy; no alcohol should be served. Get the entire company involved in choosing the theme and cuisine; send emails asking for votes, make the emails light hearted so no one is offended if you don’t take their suggestion. Now that you saved money on a location you can splurge on decorations, make the office festive, and get some great door prizes!
Assign a photographer or two to take candids during the party and make sure you post them afterwards. Don’t make it a job, find someone who enjoys taking pictures! Set up some board games around the office on game tables with folding chairs, nothing fancy. Games like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit are great for teams! Give prizes that have nothing to do with job performance or achievement. For instance:
- The person that complained about the heat the most
- The person who had the best suggestion in the suggestion box
- The person that brings the best smelling lunches
When the holidays are over send another email thanking everyone for attending and asking all of the employees their opinion – good or bad – so that next year you can pull off another successful office Christmas party.
For the first time, I have been put in charge of this year’s holiday festivities. So the big question is – What to serve at an office Christmas party? I’ve honestly not given it much thought before. I usually just show up and the food is there. Isn’t it funny how we think that this just magically happens?
As I started my planning, I was thinking that I want it to be fun and festive. However, I don’t want it to become overly complicated. With that in mind, I began to research my options. I came up with the following ideas:
- Foods that can be kept warm in chafing dishes. Baked ziti, chicken marsala, sausage with peppers, etc.
- Tossed salad (I would only offer a few different dressing types)
- Rolls (splurge for the individual butter portions, if budget allows)
- Easy to eat treats for dessert, such as cookies and brownies.
- Bottled water, coffee & tea
You can also go potluck, and ask your fellow employees if they would like to contribute. Post a sign up sheet so people can sign up and enter what they would like to bring. Otherwise you may wind up with multiples of the same thing. This will allow your fellow employees the chance to participate while showing of their favorite holiday specialty!
Our company has had an annual Holiday Party for the past 23 years. We used to spend a bundle on our company’s Christmas party invitations. The last two years we finally wised up and ordered them from The Gallery Collection and we’ve saved money, gotten a terrific reaction and received tons of compliments.
There’s a great selection to choose from and it’s so simple to customize them. Twice now, we’ve chosen the flat card format with a matching design on the back. They’ve been excellent quality which is important to us. Another good feature is that you can order as few as 25 invites. We usually need between 40 and 60 and it’s convenient that there are many quantities available to order.
There are over two dozen designs of Holiday Party Invitations to choose from – from simple to fancy – and there’s plenty of room to add all the particulars about the event. I’ve really enjoyed trying out the different fonts and colors that are available on various designs. (The secret is to start early so you have plenty of time to have fun experimenting!)
Ordering online has been a cinch and the website is user friendly – even if you don’t have much experience in this area. When I did have a question, I just called and talked to a rep who was very knowledgeable and most helpful. The turn-around time was quick and we received our invitations in plenty of time to address and send them out.
Like I said – we’ve had rave reviews. The invitation is the beginning of the party – so make it a good one!
Office parties can be a lot of fun. Especially if you add Christmas party games. I have been in charge of creating and initializing our holiday parties for a few years. The food, gifts and set up are easy. The party games take some time.
I have put together a few fun events. My first year we did “Guess the Holiday Movie.” It could have been a regular movie or an animated film. I put a few items per movie on a table. I had 8 all together. For the first one I had a red nose, a stuffed Santa, and toy. Answer: Rudolf the Red nose reindeer. That was easy. Then I had a picture of a bridge, a movie theater and a bell. That was a little harder, but not too hard. Everyone wrote their answers and turned them in. I checked them and chose my winners.
The next year we did “Decorate a Co-Worker.” That was one of the best. I had ornaments, tinsel, garland, lights (battery operated of course) and several other trinkets set out on tables. Each group had to pick their human tree, and start decorating. What a sight. We had people with so much décor on them, you couldn’t see them. Everyone got into the fun. Pretty soon we had people decorated in paper clips, paper snowflakes. It was a free for all! The employees gave me a gift card that year as a Thank You. They said they never had so much fun decorating before.
I’ve also done gift wrapping contests. I had a bunch of odd shaped gifts and the object was to wrap them and decorate them the best way they could. Just a tip, buy a lot of tape for this one. Needless to say the men used the most tape. There was tape and wrapping paper everywhere. But all the gifts came out nice. Funny, but nice.
This year will be “Build Your Own Snowman with Sports Balls.” There will be tennis balls, soccer balls, baseballs, and even footballs! We’ll have to see how that turns out.
I was on the Holiday party committee last year and it was the first year I was involved. There is an awful lot of work that goes into planning that I never knew or frankly, thought about. It was a good experience for me but being the newbie I had to try twice as hard to get my suggestions approved. Each year an email was sent to the employees giving the details of the party; I thought holiday party invitations would be nicer. I had to come up with a proposal that would be not be dismissed. I did some research to find the invitation I had in mind and the cost. i knew it would be a hard sell, spending money on the invite when an email worked every other year.
My proposal was centered on thankfulness to the employees that worked so hard all year and a printed invitation would be respectful of that hard work. We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. I pointed out that people like to be treated well every day but especially around the holidays when we take time to count all of things for which we are grateful. An invitation can be a kept as a reminder of a great party, it can be brought home to show the family that the company appreciates dedicated people. It says “We’re better because of you. Thanks for all you do.” Or “It’s great working with you. You are one of the reasons for our success.”
My idea was a unanimous YES! I was actually thanked for bringing new ideas to the group and the employees really did appreciate the gesture.
That time of the year is approaching once again, office holiday parties! A time where as a company we can all celebrate the year of hard work and commence with a great year ahead. I’m sure when the time starts rolling around many also start thinking “What can I contribute?” and “What should I bring to office holiday party?” I know for me it’s always daunting to try to please everyone with a dish. I want to be sure it’s something easy but at the same time appetizing for my co-workers. As we all know some people begin to receive a reputation for their dishes. Mark in our IT Dept. is known for the best guacamole and Debra in the Art Dept. is known for her delicious spinach dip!
So what are good things to bring to an office holiday party? I think dips and salads are the best go to foods for office parties. Egg salad, pasta salad & chips with dips are great appetizers. Shrimp with cocktail sauce, cucumber sandwiches & chicken wraps are also quick, easy meals to make. Of course we can’t forget the desserts! There will be brownies, cakes, muffins, and cookies, oh my! This season really is the most wonderful time of the year!