Sunday, December 18, 2016

5 Creative Ideas For Throwing An Office Holiday Party People Will Love

Holiday office parties can be maligned and/or dreaded for a multitude of perfectly understandable reasons. Sometimes the camaraderie is forced and employees resent the "gift" of socializing with people they wouldn’t want to otherwise. Sometimes the party’s so cheap it makes people feel unappreciated (I remember one workplace where we were "rewarded" for our efforts with an employee potluck from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the lunchroom). And sometimes the big blowout comes off as tacky or soulless, especially when it involves party goers who have a lot to say, a lot to drink, and not much to eat.

Not all office holiday parties, however, are recipes for social disaster; in fact, many workers have happy memories of holiday parties, and not just the ones with the biggest budget or the longest mashed potato bar. Here are some creative ideas to help your next office party sparkle—and create real holiday warm and fuzzies among your colleagues:


The alumni relations department at the University of Chicago throws lavish annual Christmas bashes, but interactive content editor Joy Olivia Miller’s favorite party took place at a different sort of venue: Her team went to the Ronald McDonald house and cooked together. "We spent the afternoon chatting and laughing while we made a huge pot of gumbo and sugar cookies for the families staying there," Miller recalled. "We brought some drinks and holiday tunes and kept it casual."

To Miller, actually helping meant more than just paying lip service to charity by asking employees to toss an old winter coat into a bin on the way into an opulent fete. "I think that one remains so special because it wasn't a huge to-do at a noisy place: It felt more like giving back because we actually gave our time, too." 


Emily Graslie, chief curiosity correspondent at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, is a fan of the way the museum's holiday parties involve everyone, from staff to interns to volunteers. Plus, she says, "parties with research and collections scientists are a blast because it's a jovial time to share stories of expeditions and discoveries. The amount of history and knowledge contained in a party like that is a great reminder for why we work here in the first place. While I love the science, it's really about my colleagues, those people who pursued obscure passions into novel careers."

"You know what everyone really wants for a holiday party? A day off! Give me $20; I'll get my own dinner and go home and spend it with my family."

Your partner in health, 

Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant
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Nominated Top 100 Health Promotion Professional  

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