How to Plan an Amazing Office Christmas Party

Planning an office Christmas party can be a daunting task. The food has to be great, the activities have to be engaging, and the atmosphere has to be fun. Miss one of these elements and the whole thing could flop. It’s a lot to handle, but with our thorough guide to throwing an office Christmas party, you’ll be equipped to make yours one to remember.
How to Throw and Amazing Office Christmas Party
Christmas is the season of giving, and you should give back to your employees for all they’ve done for you throughout the year. Throwing a work Christmas party can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before, but keep reading and we’ll give you an outline off of which you can base your party.

When to start planning

The earlier the better. It’s a great idea to talk about the end-of-year Christmas party in Q1. You’ll probably need to book the venue early in the year to get the date that works best. From there, the planning of activities, themes, gifts, etc. can all be done around October.

Make sure to mention the Christmas party at least a month in advance, then send out more formal invites about two weeks before the event. 

Theme

We like to pick a theme each year to center everything on. in the past, we’ve had themes like Buddy the Elf, Flannel and Frost, The Grinch, and Winter Wonderland. 

Using a theme will help you make the event more memorable and shake it up each year. Your theme will also help you with ideas for the invites, décor, games, and all the little details that people will remember.  

Make sure to mention the Christmas party at least a month in advance, then send out more formal invites about two weeks before the event. 

Gifts

At EddyHR and all the Tesani Companies, we LOVE giving. Especially when it’s something from someone’s wish list.  It’s great to see their faces light up as they unwrap their gift. A week before Thanksgiving (gotta hit up the Black Friday deals) send a survey out for people to add links and pictures of their Christmas wish lists. 

We give everybody a budget of $50. Some people ask for gift cards, but others have asked for axes, popcorn machines, shoes, etc. People get creative! we think it’s also important to make the spouses of employees feel appreciated, so we give them a $50 wish list too. All gifts are bought and wrapped to be opened at the Christmas party. 

Food

You can make food the main event at your party no matter your budget. Depending on the venue you may have to do your own catering, so be prepared for that. Catering companies have holiday menus, but make sure to schedule them in Q1 when you book your venue.

If local catering companies would put you over-budget, then plan your own menu and order al la cart from your favorite restaurants.

**If you are in Utah and on a budget, here is a dinner menu for you!**

Agenda

It can be tough to figure out how long your party should be and still have enough time for everything you want to do. We usually plan on three to four hours. That may be a bit longer than you’ll prefer, but hey, we like to party.

Here’s one idea for a basic agenda:

  • 6:30-6:45 Welcome Everybody
  • 6:45-7:30 Eat
  • 7:30-8:30 End of Year Presentation
  • 8:30-9:30 Activity.

End of year presentation. A big part of your company’s Christmas party should be recapping what happened that year. We do this by having our CEO lead a presentation while people are finishing up eating before the real party begins. 

    1. Recap of the year (use stats, goals achieved, etc.)
    2. Recap video (have your creative team put together a movie of pictures and videos that were taken)
    3. What’s coming up (what goals do you want to accomplish next year)
    4. Awards (we give out awards for our company core values)

Awards

Tesani has 5 core values. Each year we award an employee who exemplified each core value throughout the whole year. Send out a survey to get your employees’ thoughts, but decisions should be heavily based on executive input.

Activities

We are a competitive group, so we love games. Minute-to-win-it games are a huge hit because they are short and a lot of people can participate. Karaoke, gift exchange, board games, swimming, ping pong tournament, and photo booths are just a few activities that our employees have loved over the years. 

Conclusion

A company Christmas party shouldn’t seem like a chore. You can have a great party that your employees will be excited about if you create an atmosphere where they can enjoy each others company. Creating a theme, giving gifts, competing in games, and recapping your year will take your Christmas party to the next level. 

History of Tesani’s Christmas parties.

  • 2019- Dinner and games at Joseph Smith Memorial Building
  • 2018- Dinner, games, and breakfast at Timber Moose Lodge
  • 2017- Dinner, games, and breakfast at Timber Moose Lodge
  • 2016- Dinner and Jim Gaffigan Show at Vivint Smarthome Arena
  • 2015- Dinner, games, and breakfast at a cabin in Heber

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

It's not bingeing, it's learning.

Subscribe to keep getting HR and business tips and insights straight to your inbox. Don’t worry, we hate spam as much as anybody else.
Scroll to Top