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Everything You Need To Throw The Best Work Holiday Party Yet

Everything You Need To Throw The Best Work Holiday Party Yet

Holiday parties at work can create traditions and expectations for years as team members contribute to a festive and fun event that only comes around once a year. However, the pressure to throw a successful party at work can be overwhelming.

Picking a theme and basing every aspect of the party on it can help streamline your party planning efforts and create a cohesive party.

The following three themed holiday party ideas give you taste of what GettaMeeting's themed meeting modules look like. The comprehensive modules include everything you might possibly need to facilitate an engaging, fun and unique meeting with very minimal preparation. Here's what each module includes:

  • downloadable plug-and-play video
  • team icebreakers & games
  • refreshment & food ideas
  • themed music playlist
  • decoration ideas
  • proposed take-away items & prizes
  • inspirational quotes
  • related book recommendations & questions

Needless to say, we know what it takes to throw a fantastic themed event. From decor to food to activities, we hope the following ideas are helpful as you plan (and attend) parties this holiday season!

 Holiday Party Themes

The following themes can resonate with any team and be brought to life no matter how many resources or time you have or how extensive your budget is. Let's get into it!

Vintage Holiday

 A vintage holiday party evokes nostalgic feelings and fond, comforting memories. If you're looking to host a more laid-back and casual event, this is a great theme to pursue.

Attire

Pull your vintage items out of your closet or head to the antique store - now is the time to embrace past trends and wear something you usually wouldn’t! Just how vintage you want to go is up to you. Here’s some inspiration:

Alternatively, embrace the nostalgia and dress as one of your favorite Christmas characters.

Ambiance

Whether you choose to put up one large Christmas tree or multiple little ones, they absolutely need tinsel! Consider dressing up the tree even more by placing a train around the bottom of the tree and adding bows to accentuate the vintage feel. Lots of candlesticks and ribbon adds a sophisticated note to the party.

If you have some old decor items around such as a ceramic tree or even blow mold lawn ornaments, set those up around the office or event space.

Have someone bring their record player and everyone bring any Christmas vinyls they have. Take turns playing them and enjoying the tunes.

To stream music over a speaker(s), search on music streaming platforms for “retro christmas” or “vintage christmas” to find the perfect playlist.

Games & Activities

Every party needs some competition. For a vintage theme, put on an old Christmas movie or show such as Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life. While it plays, make popcorn garland to add to the tree. You can supply other items with the popcorn such as cranberries or beads so that the team can customize their garlands.

Split into small groups and play a game of trivia! Choose topics about Christmas staples and traditions, classic movies and songs. The winning team gets a prize such as branded ornaments, mugs or any small and useful holiday item.

If you want to take the party outside and spread some Christmas cheer, go caroling! Be sure everyone comes wearing warm clothing and have a route predetermined.

Consider getting a Christmas cracker for each team member and use them in a white elephant gift exchange or give them away as people leave the party.

Food & Beverages

Now is the time to finally break out the family cookbook and vintage recipes. A potluck style works great for this party - just have everyone sign up in advance for a dish, beverage, side dish, or dessert and they will be responsible for bringing it.

In a somewhat formal dinner setting, a Christmas goose can be prepared for all to enjoy.

Some beverage ideas are eggnog, mulled wine or a punch bowl. If you want the party to lean more sophisticated, consider serving different types of teas.

To pair with these drinks, coupe glasses and vintage glassware add a sophisticated and charming element.

Desserts like old fashion decorated cookies, gingerbread men and jell-o are always a hit.

Be sure to ask about any allergies before signing off on the completed sign up sheet.

 

Tacky to the Max

A tacky to the max theme embraces the kitschy, funky and fun of the holiday season. To throw a purposefully tacky holiday party, be sure to clearly include the theme in the invite and encourage everyone to participate in the theme.

Attire

A staple clothing item for a tacky holiday party is, of course, an ugly sweater. Throw on those over the top sweaters and vests and wear them with pride!

Alternatively, build an outfit out of different patterns and textures. Nothing has to match, in fact, the more your clothing clashes, the better!

Silly hats such as reindeer antlers or elf hats add another tacky layer to the party.

If you want to go totally casual, throw on some Christmas pajamas and call it a day.

Ambiance

Decor wise, the idea is to make the event space look over the top and mismatched. Using tinsel, feathers, patterns and bright and colorful lights, make the office or event space look as kitschy as possible. You really can't go wrong here as long as you avoid cohesion and embrace the chaos!

If you have a Christmas tree, decorate it with all different types of decorations and ornaments.

For music, consider playing funny and odd holiday songs like I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Hanukkah Song, etc. To find a playlist like this on streaming platforms, search for "silly christmas songs" or "funny holiday songs."

Games & Activities

One of the most fun activities to do together as a team at a holiday party is decorate ugly sweaters. Provide small decorations from a craft store such as tinsel, felt, fabric glue and googly eyes and ask everyone to bring a sweater to decorate. After everyone embellishes a sweater, hold an ugly seater contest and gift prizes to the top three ugliest sweaters! Prizes can be anything from ugly ornaments to funky mugs to colorful goofy socks.

Consider playing a silly holiday movie like How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Home Alone, or Elf. While this plays, your team can decorate or make ornaments to take home or add to the tree in your workplace.

You can also decorate cookies to look like sweaters or decorate willy-nilly (the uglier and more chaotic the better).

Consider putting together a photo wall with props and a tacky backdrop so that your team can remember your time together!

If your guests are up to it, you can have karaoke night! Just set up a karaoke machine and take turns singing holiday songs. 

Food & Beverages

Kitschy holiday staples like cheese balls, fruit cake, pigs in a blanket and yule logs bring the theme to life. Encourage everyone to bring a food item that they find to be kitschy and see what arrives!

If you're looking to provide snacks or a light meal, a messy charcuterie board is always a crowd favorite. Just throw together some meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts and crackers but don't worry about it looking perfect!

Like always, be aware of any allergies and plan accordingly. 

 

Formally Festive (Black Tie)

If your team is full of classy people who love an excuse to get dressed up, this is the theme for you! Or if your workplace is casual and could use a change of pace, Formally Festive makes for a memorable special event.

Attire 

Velvet, satin, and sequins are encouraged for the ladies. A long dress is customary but of course, there is room for personalization.

Men should wear a dark suit or tuxedo with a black tie or bow tie. Feeling particularly festive? Opt for black velvet or even a red or emerald green blazer.

Don't forget to accessorize with necklaces, bracelets, earrings, clutches, pocket squares, and cufflinks!

Ambiance

For decor, stick to a traditional color palette with red and green jewel tones with hints of metallic finishes, like silver and gold.

Keep the vibe of the party luxe by using simple yet elegant and cohesive decor such as white lights, garlands, candles, bows, and large ornaments. Create striking centerpieces yourself or pick some up from a florist.

Music is extremely important at a black tie party! Frank Sinatra Christmas, classical, or jazz holiday music will set the perfect tone.

Games & Activities

Mingling is usually the main event at black-tie parties. However, consider hiring a jazz band or classical musical group for the evening to provide live entertainment while folks talk.

You can host your own wine tasting by purchasing various wines and setting up a tasting station.

Provide a few polaroid cameras so that guests can take pictures together and leave with them at the end of the event to remember the night.

When the night comes to an end, you can send everyone home with a nicely wrapped tree ornament to commemorate the evening.

Story pin image

Food & Beverages

Champagne, sparkling wine, and holiday cocktails and mocktails are a must. Consider hiring a bartender for the night for a more customized guest experience.

Consider catering the party if you want to host a traditional dinner or stick to classy appetizers such as caviar, bruschetta, shrimp cocktails, flatbread, crab cakes and tarts (depending on any food restrictions).

Provide cloth napkins and no plastic wear if possible.

 

We hope these ideas are inspiring this holiday season and help you in your holiday party planning!

If you want your meetings to be as fun and successful as your parties, check out GettaMeeting's comprehensive meeting modules.

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