Each year, when the Christmas is coming, you will dust off last year’s decorations, book the room, and you’re just about to call the caterer to order the same platters of finger sandwiches and sausage rolls you order every year … when you get a brainwave: why not do something a bit different for the team this year?
The office Christmas party is a way to thank the staff for their awesome work throughout the year. You’re trying to make the whole team feel appreciated, and have a bit of fun at the same time. So put away the cringe-worthy banners and mini-trees, and try one of these new Christmas party ideas.
- The Amazing Race Party
Inspired by the TV show, The Amazing Race is a Christmas party and team-building exercise rolled into one. Organize a scavenger hunt to different locations in your area – it’s great if you can rope clients and other stakeholders into hosting some of the stops. You can also throw some “roadblock” challenges in there; where participants aren’t allowed to move to the next stage until they’ve completed a specific task, such as achieving some sort of physical feat or eating something disgusting.
It’s good to get teams to collect a flag or stamp or some kind of object at each stop, or take a photograph of a specific scene – that way you can ensure they’ve actually been to every pit stop.
The last pit stop should be back at the party room, where a feast and some refreshing drinks await the weary travelers.
- The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
You know those horrid Christmas sweaters, featuring a felt Santa with a fluffy wool beard and reindeer with silver stitching around their antlers? I’m talking about the sweaters in horrible shades of green and brown and purple – the ones your Grandma buys you every year and you throw into the darkest depths of your closet as soon as Christmas is over. Well, dig out those beastly sweaters, because this year’s Christmas party theme is “embrace the ugliness.”
Everyone is instructed to find a Christmas sweater to wear to the party. Anyone who doesn’t show up with a sweater will be given one of the spare sweaters you have on hand, and a pair of reindeer ears or some other kind of embarrassing prop for good measure. Decorate the room with bright and fun decorations and offer a reward for the most impressive sweater.
Winter Wonderland Christmas Party
Even for those of us who grew up in the Southern Hemisphere, there’s something magical about a white Christmas – where the whole world is covered in snow, and there are ice skating and hot chocolate and bright scarves and hats. Embrace the season with a Winter Wonderland theme. Decorate your party space to look like a winter place, with white draping, fairy lights, ice sculptures, glittering snowflakes, and cuddly polar bears.
For drinks, serve an icy vodka cocktail and some delicious, warming mulled wine. Food should be warm and funky – crudites, savory bites, coconut balls, baked Alaska and panna cotta.
A Winter Wonderland could be a particularly interesting theme if, like me, you live in the Southern Hemisphere and Christmas occurs over the height of summer. Have everyone dressed in their winter best – scarves and hats and gloves essential. You could include a trip to an indoor ski slope or ice skating rink to amp up the winter factor.