Everywhere you look, Christmas is in the air – from blinding amounts of fairy lights in the neighbour’s front yard to an overwhelming amount of Christmas drinks. Embrace the holiday season by adding a little festive cheer to your office, donning hilarious Christmas-themed hats and praying for a good Kris Kringle present.
Nothing says Christmas like inordinate amounts of tinsel and singing Santa Claus’! It’s time to dust off last year’s baubles, re-string the bells and deck out the office in some holiday cheer.
Try putting up a simple but elegant Christmas tree in a communal area (without blocking an exit and causing an OHS disaster). Get the office involved in decorating the tree one afternoon, making it an event with a few beers and a cheese platter, it’s a great opportunity for various departments to get to know each other.
Ensure your reception area, waiting room or foyer is the most festive part of the office. You don’t want to appear as a grinch to potential clients and stakeholders, so put up some decorations that reflect the company culture. For example, if you’re in the world of finance or law, sleek silver decorations or a classic red and gold combination will speak to your professionalism. For those in the more arty side of advertising, experiment with bespoke, crafty Christmas decorations and quirky banners.
Christmas is all about giving, so it’s time for the annual Kris Kringle draw! Putting some parameters in place will limit the confusion about this annual gift giving exchange, so decide whether it will be an office-wide or department based event depending upon your company culture.
Sending out a prep email is imperative, you’ll need more than 5 people participate for it to be a success. Ensure the email details the date the gifts will be exchanged and a dollar limit – anywhere between $20-$40 should be suitable.
Mix up the classic Kris Kringle by theming the exchange, perhaps in line with your Christmas party theme. Giving it a theme will produce more novelty gifts, meaning no one will be eyeing off the $80 bottle of wine they didn’t receive, while allowing people to get creative and playful with ideas.
Skip the awkward ‘thank you’ and fake smile as you unwrap another ornament by playing a pass-the-parcel Kris Kringle. Ask everyone to buy a unisex present to a certain dollar value, ensure each present is wrapped up and don your favourite Santa hat as you pass along these gifts, hoping and praying you get the pricey bottle of wine.
The best part of every working year, the Christmas party is a time to wrap up the year and create stories for the next.
The key to throwing a great Christmas party is being organised. Don’t leave it to the last minute to book a venue – your employees won’t appreciate ending up at the pub down the road with a hundred dollar bar tab.
Try and find a location that is central and accessible for everyone, with a private room so you won’t have to fight the public for space. Look for something a little out of the ordinary, perhaps a function centre with a view of the city rather than your local with views of the neighbour’s brick wall.
Now for the golden rule. Always, without question, have enough food and alcohol. Keeping your employees substantially fed and watered will ensure a successful evening, so don’t stinge on the food and wine packages.
Despite the joviality, you don’t want your work Christmas party to end up like Schoolies 2.0, so maintain order by putting forward a reasonable bar tab, ensuring there is plenty of food and water, and providing transport options at the end of the night such as mini-vans, buses and cab charges.
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