You and your team work hard year-round to achieve your goals so it’s important to celebrate your successes as a group. The holidays are a great time to get the crew together one last time to celebrate and unwind before diving into another year.
This Christmas, try a unique spin on the traditional office party with one of these five party themes. Your employees will appreciate the change and will remember the party for years to come!
Woodstock Themed Party
Treat your employees to a blast from the past with a groovy Woodstock-themed party. Send formal Woodstock imitation flyers as invitations and decorate your space with the era’s famous symbols: peace signs, hearts, flowers, and tie-dye.
For your Woodstock-themed party, ask employees to come dressed in the famous hippy garb: bell-bottoms, leather vests, funky sunglasses, and long wigs. Play the music of popular Woodstock artists including Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead.
Food and entertainment are the two most important pieces of the event, so make sure you get them right! Hippies of the Woodstock era were very holistic and preferred organic and natural dishes. Dining ideas for this theme include veggie pot pies, salads, vegetable platters, and homemade granola or protein bars.
For entertainment, incorporate some of the hippy subculture’s favorite pastimes: friendship bracelets, tattoo art, or even a tie-dye booth.
Movie Marathon Theme
Treat your staff to dinner and a movie this holiday season. Find a listing of popular new releases and allow your team to participate in the planning by selecting their top choices. You will need to rent or stream the movie on a large projector in the office.
Invite your guests to come in their slippers and pajamas or dressed as their favorite movie characters. Consider investing in comfy bean bag or pillow-like seating to create an even more inviting feel. Decor can include a mock box office, imitation movie tickets, and a candy and popcorn bar.
While the movie is the main source of entertainment for the evening, you can incorporate additional games and activities throughout the night. Try movie trivia or charades and organize a competition for those dressed in costume. For food, consider a simple buffet of finger foods and of course, popcorn.
A party gift is always a good idea, and you could purchase your staff a gift card to the local theater or gift wrap some boxed candies and popcorn. Your staff will feel appreciated and pleased with the night of comfort and fun.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
This is the most traditional of all the themes, but is always a major hit. Design a Christmas card invitation and instruct employees to dig deep in their closets and come bearing their ugliest sweater. For entertainment, you can create an ugly-sweater contest, facilitate a white elephant gift exchange, or set up a mock photo booth with lots of fun Christmas props.
Decor should be Christmas-themed and tacky. There are lots of do-it-yourself decor options but adding little details like mistletoe, tinsel and funky ornaments will help bring out the holiday spirit.
For food, offer your staff a smorgasbord of holiday dessert and appetizer options. There are lots of creative ways to incorporate Christmas into your food. Offer cheeses and fruits in the shape of Christmas trees or cake balls disguised as snowmen. Additionally, consider having a hot chocolate bar with peppermint schnapps, mulled wine and eggnog.
Murder Mystery Theme
The Murder Mystery party takes a lot of preparation but is well worth the work! Your team will be thrilled by the fun and mystery of this unique idea. Plan to assign fake identities to each attending guest and ask employees to dress the part.
There are many ways to execute this murder mystery theme, but one popular strategy is to assign one person as the detective (it may be fun to have the boss serve as the detective). The detective must leave the room as the rest of the guests determine who will be the killer for the evening. Once this is determined, the detective is allowed to reenter the party as the killer goes about “killing” guests with a wink. The detective’s ultimate goal is to identify the killer before all the employees are gone!
The nature of this party provides plenty of entertainment throughout the night, but you’ll want your food and decor to reflect your theme as well. Set tables in intimate groupings that allow guests to plot throughout the night. Include spooky candles and mock weapons as a centerpiece at each table. You’ll want to serve a multi-course meal that contains as many courses as there are clues. Your guests will marvel at the detail and fun involved in this spooky theme.
A Hawaiian Luau
Generally speaking, the winter blues bring an inescapable chill with them. Why not help your staff escape the doldrums with a fabulous Hawaiian-themed party?
The Hawaiian Luau tradition incorporates colorful flowers, cheerful Hawaiian customs and a relaxing, but social setting. In addition, a luau mixes together the must-haves of every party: food and entertainment.
For food, consider catering a buffet-style meal with the traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Tropical fruit, grilled chicken and pork, and grilled vegetable skewers are pretty standard in the Hawaiian culture. For drinks, make sure you offer an option to try the classic Hawaiian mai tai which blends fruity juices with a tropical rum.
Of course, the party won’t be complete without the appropriate costumes and decor. Decorate the space with tropical details like flowers, inflatable animals, palm trees and mock ocean waves. Prepare name tags with Hawaiian names and purchase plastic leis as a party gift for your guests. You’ll want your crew to look the part, so ask employees to come dressed up in beach attire or in their best Hawaiian shirt. Once everyone has arrived, make sure you offer plenty of Hawaiian themed entertainment options. Hula hoop, hula dancing, ukulele practice, and lei creation are just a few fun options.
Overall, your office Christmas party is a time to celebrate and come together as a team. Choose a theme that best fits your culture and treat your employees to a night on the company. They will feel appreciated and rejuvenated for the coming year, which will also reflect in their work!
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog.