Celebrating Halloween can Make for Happier Employees

Seriously, who doesn’t love Halloween? There’s something for everyone whther it is costumes, games, scares, and of course tricks and treats! It’s definitely no longer a holiday just for children so getting your office in on the fun is a win-win.

Remember the saying about all work and no play? Multiple studies have proven that making sure employee morale is a priority is good for your bottom line . Happy employees are more productive; they are more willing to foster teamwork and are more loyal to their company. And really, who says work has to be boring anyway?
It really doesn’t take much effort to celebrate.

Most everyone in our office already decorates their cubicles and work areas. Add a few decorations and some music in the breakroom (think Thriller, Sympathy for the Devil, Zombie, Werewolves of London and of course Monster Mash) and you’re all set. If you have a TV in a common area you could stream some scary movies (stick to the old classics like Frankenstein and Dracula rather than newer ones like Halloween and Friday the 13th which might not be for everyone due to their gore, violence and adult themes).

Spring for lunch that day or have a pot luck so everyone can bring in their best Halloween themed dish. Candy is of course a MUST! Make sure there’s something for everyone so keep in mind any dietary restrictions your employees might have.

Everyone loves some healthy competition. Have a contest for the most creative costume, best Halloween dessert or scariest decorations and give the winners a prize. If you have some employees that aren’t comfortable dressing up or just want to give everyone a chance at a prize, you can always put everyone’s name into a raffle and give away some gift cards or a coupon for a free lunch from one of the local take-out places.

Whatever you do to celebrate in your office, “don’t be scared” to have fun.

Office Christmas Party Themes

Whether you’re renting a hall or taking over the lunchroom, with a little creativity you can whip up a Christmas party that’s a little different this year. Consider some of these fresh and fun Office Christmas Party Themes.

Winter Wonderland: Decorations in white and silver, snowflakes everywhere, clouds of cotton on white-clothed tables, frosted drink ware and twinkling lights to sparkle like falling snow all add up to a beautifully elegant party.

Step it up a notch with a Silver and Gold Party. Gold adds a touch of extravagance to a Christmas party and lends a vintage air. Silver bells on tables set with gold-rimmed dinnerware (look for disposable!), silver and gold ribbons and ornaments nestled among the buffet trays, sparkling silver and gold candle holders – all will give your party an opulent, luxurious air.

A Candy Land theme is a fun option. Think ‘How would one of Santa’s elves celebrate?’ and you’ll soon be decorating with gumdrop centerpieces, gingerbread families and giant lollipops (easy to make with styrofoam circles wrapped in tissue paper and cellophane on a dowel ‘lollipop stick’). Consider a ‘Candy Bar’ for dessert (a buffet of favorite scoop-able candies and goodies set out in decorative jars & bowls) or maybe a chocolate fountain!

Christmas Around the World is a fun food-based theme. Serve foods from different nationalities; include standard choices like American, Italian, Chinese or Mexican cuisine, but be sure to look into getting trays of Indian, Turkish, Thai or French foods – be adventurous! Decorate with maps, world flags, signposts, postcards and fake passports and your guests will feel like they’re miles away from the office.

A couple of ‘afternoon celebration’ themes you might consider are an Ice Cream Social (how many flavors and toppings can you come up with?) or a Hot Cocoa Station. Have fun and go beyond the standard cocoa fare of marshmallows and whipped cream and offer peppermint or cinnamon sticks, toffee pieces, butterscotch chips and caramels. If allowed, consider Peppermint Schnapps, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Frangelico for delicious ‘adult’ cocoa options.

With a little thought (and some quick Internet searches) your next Office Christmas Party could be the best one yet!

Throwing a St. Patrick’s Day Party in the Office

Throwing a party or heading out for drinks on St. Patrick’s Day has become a tradition for most people, Irish or not. Why not this year, bring the St. Patrick’s theme into your office and plan a party right there at work? Don’t go overboard but make it a green day!

In our break room in order to keep things healthy, we put out a spread of green and orange jello and a selection of fruits and vegetables last year. Keeping it green and orange, we had carrots and broccoli with ranch dressing and green grapes, green apples and oranges.

Lunch was easy. For our St. Patrick’s Day party in the office, we called a local deli for their expertise. They catered in corn beef on rye sandwiches topped with sauerkraut. We also put out a selection of orange soda, root beer and green flavored Gatorade.

Then on to the fun stuff. Of course, we had to put out the necessary dessert spread for the party. We had a variety of cupcakes, cookies, and donuts all decorated with St. Patrick’s Day goodies. One coworker filled a green and gold top hat with those chocolate gold coins. Our boss had an ice cream bar set up with mint chip, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream as an added treat.

A great time was had by all, and we even managed to get plenty of work done. For a fun time, throw a St. Patrick’s Day party in your office this year!

3 Easy Costume Tips to Follow for This Year’s Halloween Office Party

Even though Halloween in the office is all about getting dressed up and having a blast, there are a few costume tips to follow. First you want to make sure you follow the dress code if your office has one. All of the basic office rules still apply even during a party. Follow these three costume tips at your next Halloween office party:

  • Keep it simple – A Halloween office party doesn’t call for a full body costume. Keep it simple by dressing down, so to say. Go for a funny hat or a themed t-shirt. Try not to pick a costume that requires props, they can get in the way of the festivities.
  • Keep it safe – Safety is still important even during a party. When you are on work premises you must abide to the rules. Be safe this Halloween and avoid wearing a mask or any loose fitting clothing that might get stepped on or caught in something.
  • Make it fun – Instead of wearing a mask, wear a crazy colored wig or try to paint your face! Use bright colors to look like a clown, or get creative and do your makeup to look like a hungry zombie.

Retirement Party Ideas For Coworkers

A retirement party is a way to celebrate your coworker’s past accomplishments and also to celebrate what the future will hold for them. Retirement is a big deal. It marks the start of another chapter in your coworker’s life.

Retirement evokes mixed emotions – you are happy for your coworker’s next chapter and then you are a bit sad at the thought of losing your daily time and interactions with this person.

So a memorable transition with the help of a retirement party celebration focusing on your coworker’s career will make their leaving a special event!
Here are some ideas for a retirement party – which could be anything that reflects your coworker’s wishes.

Plan a party

  • A luncheon – either in the office or out at a restaurant, with all their favorite foods and possibly a roast to them
  • After work drinks and appetizers
  • An event focused on their favorite hobby or people in their lives, like their spouses, children or grandchildren.


  • A memory jar – with a collection of all the very best memories of their time on the job
  • Bucket List jar – to place ideas for the retiree to do with their new found freedom
  • A retirement card – signed by everyone in the office
  • A retirement gift – It can be gifts related to travel, or their favorite hobbies or a personalized gift

Whatever you end up preparing your coworker will know how much you care and how much you will miss them. Be sure to keep in touch with them through Facebook or by providing coworkers with their contact information, as one the hardest aspects of retirement is saying good bye to your work family.

Celebrating An Office Thanksgiving

The holidays seem to roll around faster and faster each year with less and less time to get ready for them. At least that’s how it seems to me, and as the unofficial office party organizer I’ve learned a few simple tips to help thing move smoothly.

Assuming your office does a chip in as we do where everyone either brings a dish or chips in to purchase one, then you the first thing you will need is a food sign up list. We store ours in a shared folder so everyone can see what others are bringing. We divide it up with spots for appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, desserts, paper goods and drinks. This way we ensure we have our bases covered.

Dollar stores are great for picking up some festive paper goods and utensils. Be sure whomever is signed up to pick these items up knows how many people will be attending so you don’t run short of things like napkins and plates.

Having a good party set up is essential to keeping people flowing through the buffet line and a brisk pace. Have all the paper goods, utensils set up at one table, salads etc. first followed by other food items and things like dressings, butter etc. that cause people to dawdle and the very end or ideally at a separate table as they exist the buffet table.

Be sure you have some clear guidelines on how long people can take to gather round for some food and socializing. You want to encourage your Thanksgiving office party time to be one where people take some time away from their desks and socialize and relax for a while. Check with your boss to see if some extra time can be gifted by the company to allow people the chance to participate in the festivities. Those little gestures by the company can be great morale booster. In fact, sometimes the company picks up the tab for a cake which is also appreciated.

One year, I handed out a little note leaf shaped pieces of paper to everyone and sent an email asking that they take a minute and write down something they are thankful for at work. They didn’t need to sign if they didn’t want to but merely drop it in a basket I had decorated near my desk. Before the party, I collected all the leaves and taped them up to the windows just next to where we all gathered to stuff ourselves full of goodies. I can’t tell you how much people enjoyed reading them. Some were funny, some were serious but for sure it put everyone in the mood of giving thanks. My boss really loved it and said it was her favorite office party to date.

Clean up – everyone’s least favorite part but if it is a task shared by all then the burden shouldn’t fall to just a few hands. After the party winds down, I like to send an email reminding everyone to clean up their dishes and help clean the general area.

With some good planning and organization your next Thanksgiving office party should be one that is enjoyed by all.

Some Of Our Favorite Company Birthday Party Ideas

At most offices, if you were to take a poll about  Office Birthday Parties, you would find a wide variety of responses, ranging from love to loath.  I happen to love them,  and think they are a fun way to socialize and have fun with the people you spend most of your day with. Of course, company guidelines must always be followed, but here are some of our favorite company birthday party ideas… One year we did a retro party, you know, like when you were a kid: Cake, candles, deviled eggs, and even Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  Another time we tried Take your Cupcakes to Work Day: everyone brought in a dozen of their favorite cupcakes to share. That was a big hit.

office party

The trick is to keep costs and prep time down, while keeping the morale and fun level high.  In recent years our office birthday parties have evolved into  a routine that seems to please everyone. We celebrate once a month, on the last Friday of the month. Everyone who celebrated a birthday that month is honored, and (here’s the best part) the birthday celebrants bring in the food. Just like when you were in elementary school, the birthday kids bring in the goodies! So, you only have to bring in goodies one time each year, and you can bring in your favorites, since it is your own “party”.  We have been doing this for a few years now, and everyone looks forward to it each month.

Simple But Fun Office Party Games

For a successful office party, you definitely want to get people mingling and excited to ensure a good time. A great way to get things started is with a fun game for everyone to participate in! This creates time away from work to get to know each other a bit better and bond as a team. Here are four suggestions for simple, but fun office party games.

Office party

1. Who Am I? Couples  –

This game is fun to play to break the ice and get people talking to fellow employees they may not know very well. The party planner should write down names of well-known celebrities or characters on index cards. Each card should match up with another card to form the couple. Some examples would be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara, and Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.

For each person playing, a card should be taped to their back without them seeing who it is. They should go around the room and engage in conversation with others who will look at the card on their back and treat them accordingly. If the person you are talking to has Brad Pitt on their back, you might ask how he feels about his zombie movie doing so poorly or how all of those children are doing. The person wearing the card may also ask questions to try to guess who is on their back.

Once they have guessed who they are, they must find their partner who matches the other half of their couple. First couple to be united wins the game, but it should continue until everyone has found their pairs. Those who have already completed the game should go around and assist in giving clues to those who haven’t guessed yet.

2. Pass the Bowl –

When people arrive to the party, have them write down names of well-known celebrities or characters (e.g. Harry Potter, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Clinton) on small slips of paper. These papers should be folded in half and placed into a large bowl. When the bowl is full of names, divide the group into two teams and have everyone sit down in a circle with the teams seated together.

If Team A is first, Team B will be responsible for timing the round. When the timer begins, the first person who begins with the bowl will draw a name. They will then give their team clues to get them to guess the person or character. They may not say any part of the name or say “it rhymes with _____.” They may describe the movie the person acted in, or what book the character is from, who the person is married to, etc. The rest of the team should shout out guesses and once the name is guessed, the first person should pass the bowl to the person beside them. Each team will try to guess as many names as possible over the course of 1 minute. Once time is called, count how many names were correctly guessed and mark down the score. Then it will be Team B’s turn while Team A times them.

If a person draws a name that they do not know, they can put the paper back and draw a different one – this may only be done one time! Once the second name is drawn, they are stuck with it and may have to get creative for their team to guess.  For example, get them to guess a different person or character who has the same first or last name as the person on their slip. Just make sure that successfully guessed papers do not go back in the bowl! There may be duplicates since everyone is contributing names.

To end the game, you may set a point goal such as first team to 50 points will win.

3. Paper Airplane Contest

Each person will be given a piece of paper to create a paper airplane. Once their planes are created, everyone will pair off and two at a time, the paper airplanes will be thrown. Whichever person’s plane travels the farthest will stay in the game for the next round. Once all couples have faced off, the winners will pair off to go again, and so on until there are only two people left. The last two will face off and the farthest airplane throw will win. You may want to choose one person to be the judge.

4. White Elephant Gift Exchange

This is a great game to play at a holiday party or an “Everybody’s Birthday” party. Set a budget (e.g  $5-$10 or $10-$15) and have everyone who wishes to play bring in a wrapped gift. Ideally, have everyone sit in a circle with the gifts in the center or a similar set up so everyone can be seen. Everyone should draw a number out of a hat to decide the order. The person who draws the number 1 is first and should choose one of the gifts.

Once their gift is chosen they should return to their seat and either unwrap the gift, unwrap it partway, or leave it wrapped. It will then be the second person’s turn. This person will have the choice of choosing a gift from the pile or taking the first person’s gift and again either unwrapping it, unwrapping it partway, or leaving it wrapped. If the first person’s gift is taken, they should choose another from the pile.

This will continue down the line with each person taking a gift from someone else or from the pile. Each person who has a gift taken from them should either take a new one from the pile or take someone else’s gift. At the end when everyone has a gift, all of the gifts should be unwrapped and shown off!

The most important thing at a party is to let loose. Talk to people you don’t usually get a chance to see at work and be willing to be a little silly and have fun with these games or whatever else you come up with! Enthusiasm, competition, and silliness are contagious and will always make for a fun party atmosphere.

What Are Some Fun Office Party Themes?

Being in charge of planning office parties is tough, but I do enjoy the challenge. Every year we have at least four office parties. There is the annual Christmas party, and our office Thanksgiving feast. And then twice a year my company likes to throw a shindig to show the staff how much they appreciate all the hard work they have done. A day to just let go and have fun. We have had some really nice parties. Some of our office party themes have been “Fabulous 50’s” where we came dressed in poodle skirts, ponytails, leather jackets, and bobby socks. We had root beer floats, french fries and burgers. Hula hoop contests, bubble gum blowing contests, we even had a phrase contest. The person who wrote down the most words or phrases from the 50’s won a gift card. We’ve had the “Stars from the 70’s” theme. Everyone got to dress as their favorite star from that era. Trying to guess them was fun. We’ve also had “Country Western Roundup”, “Country Fair Jamboree” and “Desert Island Scavenger Hunt.”

70's Office Party

I think my all time favorite would have to be “A Day to Say Mahalo.” Have you ever seen a grown man hula? Everyone received their grass skirts, their coconut cups, and their leis (plastic of course). Whenever you saw someone do or say something nice, you gave them a lei. The person with the most leis at the end of the day won a gift card. We had a really nice buffet lunch also. Pulled pork, pineapple upside cake, coconut shrimp, and fish of course.

Office parties are a great way to show your staff that you really care. You can even have a contest on what the next office party theme should be. You would be surprised at all the great ideas people have.