By the time the gingerbread and Santas start piling up on supermarket shelves, at the latest, you should be gathering your company Christmas party ideas and think more closely about how you want to celebrate your corporate holiday party with your team this winter.
Why the rush? On the one hand, many fancy locations are booked up by the end of September at the latest. On the other hand, it simply takes a little intensive preparation time if you want to score points with your staff with something other than the usual holiday dinner once the holiday season is around the corner. Still in search for the right party idea, party game or party theme? The holiday party ideas in this blog post will help you out.
The company Christmas party – an event like no other…
If you take a look at the Christmas party and compare it to other events like any office party and celebrations throughout the year, it’s fair to say that the company holiday party is one of the most popular highlights of the corporate year.
At no other event does the workforce have the opportunity to get together with colleagues in an informal way, away from the office and the desk. As an entrepreneur, the event offers you the ideal occasion to review the old year and to thank your team for a successful cooperation.
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Special ideas for special occasions
Of course, you can fall back on already proven classic activities for the company Christmas party, such as the joint walk through the brightly lit Christmas market or the Christmas dinner already mentioned above.
With this post I would like to inspire you to try something new. Especially after the last few years, which have been dominated by the home office, it might be time to try new ways in terms of the annual celebration at Christmas.
We have learned over the last few years at virtual events to implement a lot of things that were only fun offline in the years before, now also virtually. In the post, you’ll also find some virtual company Christmas party ideas that are sure to delight your employees.
Why does a company Christmas party make sense at all?
Like no other event, a holiday party combines the official with the private.
In a pleasant atmosphere, colleagues can get to know each other better. This brings people together and is often more effective than many a team-building event (ideas for your next team event can be found here). This is not just another company party.
The Christmas season with its special atmosphere is also suitable for settling internal differences and showing appreciation to employees in a very special way.
With the right supporting program, a special location and a first-class menu, a simple company holiday party at Christmas time mutates into a small kick-off event at the end of the year.
What is your goal for your Christmas party?
Before you start planning your company Christmas party, please think about what basic goal you want to pursue with a joint holiday party. On which points do you want to put a special emphasis?
Do you want to look back on successful years together in general during the event? Or is your focus more on the special highlights of the current, perhaps also difficult year?
Do you want to use the time to strengthen your team before Christmas and use the celebration to push teambuilding? If that’s your plan, be sure to include joint employee and guest activities.
Maybe your main goal is to take a good mood into the next year. A good meal, a fancy theme, decorations that reflect the company image, an excellent social program. These are the ingredients for a truly fancy Christmas party that your employees will remember for a long time.
Key elements of a Christmas party
What should never be missing from a corporate holiday party… regardless of the size of the budget and the specific goal of your invitation to your employees?
The speech of the management
Be sure to plan for the all-important management speech. The speech should be given in the first part of the Christmas party. At this point, your team is still attentive… and most importantly, receptive. You’ll also find public speaking tips and all the presentation skills you need on how to give a speech.
One idea, for example, is to prepare the speech digitally afterwards and upload it to the internal company network or send it out again to the employees by e-mail.
Thanks, honors and anniversaries
Even if you want to honor certain employees for their individual commitment and dedication or celebrate anniversaries of long-time colleagues, the first or “official” part of the holiday party is the right time for this.
And of course, you or the company management should not miss thanking their employees for the achievements from this year.
Moderation and/or keynote?
Whether you hire a professional event host for your Christmas party involves several considerations:
- What is your goal with the company holiday party?
- What program have you considered?
- What budget have you set for yourself?
First of all, it should be said that a professional event moderator or, in the case of virtual events, a virtual emcee is something like the “all-round carefree package” for your company Christmas party. The moderator takes care of the time schedule and also gives your corporate holiday party the necessary framework and the appropriate dignity for your employees. So, if your budget allows, a professional moderator is an absolute recommendation.
As for the keynote speaker, the situation is a bit different… it depends. Basically, it doesn’t have to be a keynote at a holiday party – that’s much better suited to the next kick-off event… then it can definitely be a keynote speaker again.
What budget should you plan for?
If you are not an entrepreneur yourself, but you are responsible for the organization of company Christmas parties, be sure to discuss the budget with the company management. Even if you have the budget at your disposal, you should definitely plan the possibilities in which you want to experience your office holiday party together.
Be sure to make a list of the costs and also consider expenses such as
- Hotel accommodations for employees from other offices and/or
- Expenses for food and catering,
- possible costs for your location,
- acts, DJ and moderator, and
- possibly also an event agency
A sore point that absolutely must be clarified in advance:
Which drinks will be paid for by the company or provided at the bar? This way you are protected from unpleasant surprises if your colleagues get the idea to end the party in the middle of the night with fine wines from the wine cellar and champagne.
Which guests should you invite to the holiday party?
Several questions arise…
- is this Christmas party for the whole company or just an office party for one department?
- is it planned for the company’s own branch or for several branches?
- Are only internal guests invited or also external guests (such as friends of the company, valuable customers and suppliers, possibly even family)?
Of course, the number of guests and who attends will also have an impact on your budget. So think about who should be invited to the Christmas party early on, as the composition of the invitees also strongly influences the character of the party.
What do I have to consider for a Christmas party location?
Always remember that colleagues should be able to reach the location easily and also get home safely. Especially at Christmas parties, it can come to a humid and cheerful mood. It is then useful and helpful if sufficient cabs or other rides are available.
Of course, it’s also nice if you don’t choose an 08/15 location. Historical locations such as castles or a palace or locations with a view often offer that certain something. Perhaps the planned location also offers opportunities for your employees to retreat in smaller groups. Likewise, the location should of course also be “party-suitable”.
The ideal location
- offers rooms to retreat and exchange ideas and has a great restaurant
- is easily accessible
- has space for extraordinary activities
- offers excellent food
- has decorations adapted to the Christmas season
- may have its own catering service
- can help you with the supporting program (e.g. already offers the infrastructure for a dance floor)
You will certainly not find a location that covers all points in the short time available. Always remember that good food and the right program make a lot of difference.
When is the right time for a Christmas party?
December is naturally full of Christmas parties on the calendar. Some companies quickly combine the kick-off event in January with a Christmas event after the fact. Some companies kick things off as early as November with mulled wine at Christmastime.
Think about what makes sense for your company….
- End of November
- beginning – middle of December
- just before Christmas (when there may not be much work left to do in the old year)
- instead of the Christmas party, some program points flow into the kick-off event in the new year
If you’re still not clear, feel free to ask a coworker.
Here’s what you should keep in mind for a Christmas party
Establish the general conditions with the invitation. This way, your guests will know in good time whether the little black dress is in order, whether there is a certain party motto and which costs will be covered by the company. Especially when it comes to covering the costs of late-night drinking, it’s good to be clear in advance, so that everyone experiences their own winter wonderland.
5 joint activities & ideas for your corporate holiday party
You are still in need for a great party idea for your company’s holiday? Here you can find some fun ideas and party games that will help you in your holiday event planning and bring your coworkers into the holiday spirit.
1. Joint Christmas tree cutting
A classic is certainly the joint Christmas tree cutting with a subsequent stop in a good restaurant for some holiday food together. Usually, the colleagues are allowed to take their tree home afterwards or have it delivered there. Holiday themed gift cards and Christmas gifts are a recipe for holiday spirit around the world.
2. Escape adventure with subsequent visit to a restaurant
A previous visit to an Escape room particularly promotes team building. The teams work together on various puzzles and try to escape from a locked room in this game. With a little luck, you may even find a Christmas version of the Escape Room for your employees. Lots of fun and excitement is guaranteed here.
3. Mobile Christmas market on your own company premises.
Why not bring a mobile Christmas market to your office holiday party for Christmas? Your employees and colleagues can enjoy punch, hot chocolate, mulled wine, gingerbread and other Christmas treats without the crowds and hustle and bustle. With some fun activities, party games, a food truck, fake snow and a few santa hats the holiday spirit comes automatically to your office team members.
4. Motto Party Theme
You can arrange an individual evening, completely tailored to the team, with a holiday themed evening that turns the workplace into a playground. Make sure that as many colleagues as possible feel comfortable with the chosen holiday party motto and that no one is embarrassed. Additional holiday party ideas within a party theme is a photo booth and party games to eternalize the motto for later.
Mottos that always go down well are, for example :
- 20’s themed motto
- Holiday Super Hero Party where coworkers meet in a different universe
- Christmas with elves, Christkind, Santa Claus and Rudolph. Ask your employees to bring their favorite Christmas sweater
5. The christmas rallye
Equipped with Christmas provisions, the teammates set off in search of the “lost Christmas star”. With precise instructions and a puzzling message, they set off on a scavenger hunt through town, country and field. Tasks must be solved, hurdles overcome and stage victories achieved under time pressure. Creatively and ambitiously, the right path must be explored to solve the puzzle. The fastest team to find the poinsettia first wins the Christmas cup. A delicious Christmas dinner afterwards rounds off the event.
5 virtual company christmas party ideas
This year, too, some Christmas parties will be planned virtually. Since 2020, many companies have taken a liking to virtual work in the home office. Then why not have an online Christmas party of a special kind.
6. Campfire talks
With a virtual campfire background, you’re ready to go. Sitting comfortably at home in front of the screen, the participants of your Christmas party tell each other campfire-worthy stories. This also works in small groups in breakout rooms. And of course… you could also send out the virtual background to everyone in advance.
7. Prepare and drink mulled wine
Drinking mulled wine on remote – not possible! Wrong! Conjure up a wintry mulled wine creation with your guests in their own kitchens. All the ingredients have already been sent to the colleagues in advance and are prepared together according to instructions. Even just opening the package can be celebrated together.
8. Digital Christmas candy
Most people know about Christmas Secret Santa in the office, where everyone draws a name and then gives that person a Christmas present. With the right planning and organization, this also works virtually. Once again, the gift is sent to the person in question – if possible, in good time so that it arrives at the Christmas party – and then opened together. In this way, the participants are also happy to receive small, surprising gifts within their own four walls.
9. Virtual christmas pub quiz
Here a gamemaster creates a series of questions in advance, which he or a virtual moderator then asks and in between music is played, which can also be guessed.
Such a pub quiz, which is played in real teams (in a pub), can of course also be adapted online and must be adapted here from the level of difficulty so that there is something solvable for everyone. As a yardstick: a question is good if at least one person can solve it, but not all. At the same time, the questions should be adapted so that there is something for everyone, otherwise it quickly becomes boring.
After the game, some time must be allowed for evaluation. Of course, this time can be well used with other activities.
10. Virtual Murder Mystery Crime Challenge
Go on an exciting crime hunt with your colleagues and solve a tricky, if possible Christmas-related, murder mystery criminal case. A challenge in digital format that focuses on investigative skills, strategy and creative thinking. This party game idea is now being offered by a number of agencies. As a complete package, this kind of pastime is accompanied by a professional gamemaster or virtual moderator.
3 last minute ideas for the late planners
Even if you actually started planning and organizing way too late and are running out of ideas, our 3 last-minute ideas can still save your Christmas party. Even in an improvised celebration can lie a special charm.
11. Christmas is the time of giving
Especially at Christmas, we often remember the people who are not as well off as we are. Perhaps there is a homeless shelter, orphanage or children’s home in your area that you and your team can do something good for. Maybe you can cook something together, sing Christmas carols or even bring a Christmas present or two. Maybe there is even a donation pot set up in the company.
12. Sport first, then pleasure
Maybe there is a frozen lake near your company or you rent a whole ice skating rink for your Christmas event. Ice skating is fun, and afterwards, over mulled wine and Christmas snacks, you can talk about your company and review the past year.
13. Santa Claus cannot be missing
It doesn’t get much more Christmasy than a visit from Santa Claus. You can plan a small party in the office, have a catering company set up a Christmas buffet with delicious food and have Santa Claus come in a red costume. In a fun atmosphere, he then hands out small gifts and tells whether all colleagues and even the executive floor have been good all year.
My tip for your contemplative Christmas party
It doesn’t matter if you want to celebrate live or virtually with your employees. I can only recommend you not to miss this unique opportunity. You can get to know your team better here and can show them that you value them… and just this appreciation is often worth much more than just a little Christmas card.
Have you already planned your company Christmas party? If you still need help and support in this regard, or are still looking for the right presenter for your event, then feel free to contact me by mail or phone.
I look forward to hearing from you… and of course to your comments.