15 Office Christmas Party Ideas That Employees Actually Want To Do
If you're in charge of organising your office Christmas party but aren't sure where to start, don't worry. We've pulled together a bustling Santa's sack of awesome office Christmas party ideas that will ensure 'tis the season to be jolly.
There are certainly many benefits of throwing a festive shindig for staff. Office Christmas parties:
- ● Make employees feel valued
- ● Help to retain employees
- ● Boost employee motivation
- ● Develop stronger friendships.
So it's no wonder the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) describes Christmas parties as the most popular Christmas perk.
The number one thing employees look forward to at an office Christmas party is socialising, so our festive season countdown contains a flurry of group activities and fun games ranging from ugly sweater parties to Secret Santa gift swaps.
Oh, and no matter what office party you choose to host this holiday season, don't forget that 55% of employees agree that bosses should let them come in later the following day!
1. Ask your employees
Sure, this isn't exactly a party idea in and of itself, but you should ask your team what they want from their office holiday party. That's because there's no one-size-fits-all solution to ensuring everyone has a merry Christmas.
Some staff will prefer a sit-down annual holiday party with delicious food, others will prefer lively office holiday parties decked with ugly sweaters, Santa hats, and classic games. Plus, in the spirit of inclusion, remote employees will naturally opt for virtual parties and online games.
The key is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to voice their opinions about corporate party ideas. This is the perfect time to also check everyone's dietary preferences and accessibility requirements.
2. Christmas jumper party
In recent years, wearing Christmas jumpers (also known as ugly sweaters) has become something of a festive tradition in the workplace.
And, let's face it, there's a small window of opportunity to wear them before they return to hibernate in the wardrobe for 11 months of the year.
So, let your employees showcase their festive knitwear with a Christmas jumper party. Remote teams can join the Christmas catwalk online. You could even turn it into a fun contest and hand out prizes for the loudest, brightest, ugliest, most outrageous, or best homemade jumpers.
3. Christmas karaoke party
According to one survey, 34% of employees admit to embarrassing themselves on the dancefloor at corporate holiday parties.
So why not host a Christmas Karaoke party so your employees have the perfect festive soundtrack to dance like no one is watching!
Whether your employees favour classic holiday carols or pop-tastic Christmas number ones, it's the perfect party activity to strengthen bonds within the office whilst creating fun festive memories.
4. Christmas cooking party
Here's a recipe for a fun holiday party idea: a Christmas cooking class where employees get to embark on a culinary adventure before enjoying the festive feast they've created together!
You could even split employees into teams to prepare different Christmas-related items from the festive menu. If you haven't got a suitable event venue, you could host a virtual Christmas party version so budding chefs can don their aprons (and Santa Claus hats) and whip up seasonal delights from home.
5. Christmas party in a box
One creative office Christmas party idea is to give employees a selection of holiday gifts so they can celebrate the festive season at work or at home.
Depending on your spending limit, your box of Christmas-themed items could include:
- ● Gift card
- ● Scented candles
- ● Holiday gourmet treats
- ● Branded Christmas ornament
- ● Personalised Christmas card.
Alternatively, you could ‘gift’ your employees money-saving employee benefits such as:
- ● MyGymDiscounts - employees get up to 25% off a gym membership
- ● bYond - employees get up to 15% cashback with over 70 UK high street brands
- ● Extras Discounts - employees save up to 15% on the cost of gift cards
Not only will these employee benefits help to ease the financial pressure on employees (who feel that employers have a responsibility to help them through the cost-of-living crisis, according to our research) but it’s a ‘gift’ that will keep on giving all year long.
6. Christmas quiz
As corporate office party games go, you can't beat a good old quiz. Inject a dose of festive fun by having a Christmas theme.
Whether it's testing knowledge of yuletide traditions, holiday music, or classic Christmas movies, employees can split into teams, don their Santa hats, come up with festive team names, and enjoy a friendly rivalry with their colleagues.
To spread the holiday cheer further, have some gifts for employees who correctly answer random pop quiz questions.
7. White elephant gift exchange party
It doesn't matter if your name's on the naughty list - everyone gets a gift in the white elephant gift exchange! Here's how it works:
- ● Set a spending limit for employees to buy a party gift, wrap it, and add it to a pile in the office
- ● Let employees take turns choosing a wrapped gift or 'stealing' one that's already been opened.
It's a fun activity - unpredictable, exciting, and full of Christmas cheer.
8. Pantomime party
Is this idea a fun holiday party theme? "Oh, yes it is." "Oh no it isn't!" That's just one of the classic pantomime phrases you're sure to hear if you host a pantomime-themed corporate Christmas party.
Let employees' creative juices flow as they step into the world of fairy tales and theatrical flair and dress as their favourite pantomime characters.
An unforgettable night is guaranteed as colleagues dressed as the likes of Aladdin, Widow Twankey, and Buttons take centre stage to cries of 'It's behind you!'
9. Secret Santa party
Christmas hasn't really arrived in the office until everyone has drawn the name of the person they have to buy a Secret Santa gift for!
The goal of this gift-giving holiday classic is to buy that person a gift that's perfect for them. To make the gift distribution more of an event, host a Secret Santa party where everyone has to open their gifts together.
A cost-free alternative to the traditional Secret Santa gifts is to ask employees to create personalised Christmas-themed cards, which could include heartwarming compliments or funny anecdotes.
By the way, to help your employees pick gifts their colleagues won't immediately re-gift, here's a list of the top five worst Secret Santa gifts:
- Toys & Games
- Home Accessories.
10. Photo booth party
It's estimated that 92 million selfies are taken each day. So, it's clear that people have a passion for memorable snapshots.
That's why having a holiday photo booth installed in the office will serve as a wonderful keepsake for your employees.
Be sure to set a Christmas backdrop and have plenty of festive props, such as Santa hats, elf ears, and reindeer antlers, to hand so colleagues can get creative as they commemorate the happy holidays with a seasonal snap.
11. Remote office party
One in four employees works partially remotely in 2023. So, it's unlikely all of your employees will be in one place at one time for an office-based Christmas party.
Luckily, it's never been easier to include remote employees in the festivities with a virtual holiday party. Here are a few virtual holiday party ideas to get your employees celebrating together online:
- ● Virtual trivia quiz
- ● Virtual gift exchange
- ● Virtual carol singing
- ● Virtual Christmas jumper contest
- ● Virtual holiday recipe swap.
12. Festive escape room party
Turn your office Christmas party into an immersive adventure by turning a room within your office into a Christmas-themed escape room. Your festive scenario could be Santa's workshop, a winter wonderland, or a gingerbread house.
Working together in teams, colleagues will need to solve puzzles, riddles and codes in order to escape from the locked room. It's a great party idea for teamwork, collaboration, and an adrenaline rush.
Just don't forget to set a time limit or your employees could be in there all day!
13. Charitable party
Did you know that 37% of employees feel more connected to their company if they have the opportunity to participate in charitable events?
To extend the spirit of giving this holiday season, bring employees together to take part in charitable pursuits such as:
- ● Collecting items for the local food bank
- ● Volunteering at a local shelter
- ● Hosting a charity auction.
As well as helping those in need, these acts of kindness help to foster a sense of community and culture of togetherness in the organisation.
14. Winter wellness party
Whether it's due to the thought of buying presents or the financial impact of the holiday season, more than a quarter of Brits feel stressed during the festive period, according to YouGov.
For that reason, you could ditch the traditional work Christmas party in favour of a day of self-care and wellbeing. Let employees unwind and recharge with a pampering spa session, yoga class, massage, aromatherapy, or even meditation.
15. Christmas movie party
Transform the biggest meeting space into a cosy cinema for the office premier of a classic Christmas movie. Fill it with comfy seats and cushions and plenty of seasonal snacks, such as roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, stollen, and mince pies. Oh, and mulled wine and eggnog to wash it all down, of course.
To get everyone involved, ask colleagues to vote for their favourite festive film. Here are a few classics to add to the mix:
- ● National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- ● Scrooged
- ● Home Alone
- ● It's a Wonderful Life
- ● Elf
- ● Jingle All The Way
For an added dose of festive fun, encourage employees to dress as characters from the film.
Want to keep the Christmas cheer going?
Although we can’t organise your office Christmas parties, we can help set up employee benefits guaranteed to give your employees a happy new year.