With the Holidays fast approaching, your team may be given the arduous task of planning a party for all your co-workers. Holiday or End of the Year Parties can sometimes be lots of fun or a complete flop. Whether your party is here at 502 East Event Center, or in your company break-room, we’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your party fun for everyone!

Gifting Games:

A great way to show appreciation for your team is giving them a small gift. Encouraging gift giving is also a great way to boost morale. If everyone is sick of “Secret Santa,” here are some gift-focused party games that show gratitude for your personnel.

Raffles or Silent Auctions:

If you can provide a few big-ticket items for a raffle or silent auction – your staff will take notice. Gift Cards, Cool Company Swag, and Free Meals are just a items that can get a crowd motivated. Rather than having co-workers shop for one another, encourage employees to buy prizes or gift baskets.

Raffles and Silent Auctions are a great way to not only give to your employees, but also to local charities. Tis the season of giving after all!

Goodness Gracious, Great Ball of Presents:

For this, you will need one big money prize for the core of the ball. Begin wrapping the core with Plastic -Wrap, Crepe Paper, or Gift Wrap cut into strips. As you continue to wrap, add smaller prizes such as candy, lottery tickets, small toys, toiletries, small denomination gift cards, or Cash. Once the ball is full, it’ll probably be bigger and heavier than a basketball

At the party, have everyone stand in a circle and take turns unwrapping layers of paper until someone hits a prize, and then passes the ball to the next person. Keep passing until someone gets the big prize at the core.

This game can be adapted easily for whoever is going to play, and you can make your ball as big or as small as needed based on the number of people playing.

White Elephant:

An Office Christmas Party Classic, this game can please a crowd, especially if they all don’t know each other very well.  Have everyone bring in a wrapped present; the sillier the better. Make sure the number of gifts is equal to the number of people playing. Put all the gifts in a pile and then have one person choose a present and open it so everyone can see what it is. The next person can choose to steal the previously opened gifts or pick a new one from the pile. When someone’s present gets taken, they can either choose from the pile or steal someone else’s gift (but they cannot steal their gift back) until all the presents are gone.

If this game seems a little cliché, feel free to change it up a little. Gift themes can help your shoppers decide. Some variations on the gift could be;  re-gifts, movies, books, ornaments, or handmade gifts only.

More Games:

Maybe money is tight for you and your employees, and buying an extra gift isn’t in the cards right now. Here are some other party games for your employees to play to your company party that will keep wallets tight.

German Chocolate Game:

Not to be confused with German Chocolate Cake, but we promise, this game will be just as yummy.

Have players gather at a table around a pile of chocolate bars with their wrappers on.  To play this game you will also need a winter hat, scarf, mittens, kitchen utensils (pasta spoons, two-tined forks, spatulas, etc.) and a pair of dice.

Players start by rolling the dice and then passing them to the next player until someone rolls doubles.  The player that rolled double must don the winter apparel and attempt to unwrap and consume a piece of chocolate using only the kitchen utensils. While they are dressing and eating, players continue to roll dice. When someone else rolls doubles, whoever is dressed and eating the chocolate must stop and pass the clothing and utensils onto that player. The game ends when all the chocolate is gone.

Costume Relays:

If you have lots of space, this is a great competition to get everyone on their feet. You’ll need props and holiday apparel, the same number of items for each team. Have one person from each team be the designated model that the rest of the team will attempt to dress.  One by one, each person will run to the model and add something to them. When the model has been dressed by everyone – they must run to their team. The first team to have their fully dressed model return is the winner.

This can be a lot of fun and can fit most any theme. Get a bunch of stickers and other wacky items and make the model their own ugly sweater. Antlers, noses, tails can make anyone a reindeer. Top hat with a lab coat and a corncob pipe can fashion someone into a snowman. And of course, make anyone into Santa with a beard, hat, and coat.

Contests:

If you have a large staff that can’t all get together, photo contests are a fun way to get everyone to pitch in digitally or on a community bulletin board and get everyone in on the fun.  Contests are also a great way to incorporate a theme. If you want everyone to dress a certain way to match your theme, offer prizes to those who are best fit the theme.

Santa Babies:

If you have a lot of young parents in your office, have everyone send in photos of their children or grandchildren in Christmas costumes or on Santa’s lap. For those without kids, pets dressed up as elves are always good for a laugh as well.

If you’d rather keep it employee-centric, ask employees to see if they can dig through the archives and find old pictures of themselves from Christmases long passed.  Not only can people vote for their favorites, you might have employees try to guess whose childhood picture they’re looking at. Guaranteed for some laughs from the past!

Cookie Contests:

Cookies are a great treat that most everyone loves. Small portions and a wide variety will guarantee that everyone will eat more than just one. Encourage your employees to participate in a Holiday Cookie Bake-Off, and get entire staff to taste test.

Cookie Decorating Contests are another fun activity for individuals or a group.  Provide blank sugar or gingerbread cookies, frosting, sprinkles and candies and see who makes the sweetest treat! Don’t forget to take pictures so everyone has a chance to see each entry.

Clothing Contests:

Ugly holiday sweaters are the new trend sweeping the nation. Ugly sweater parties are great if you have lots of multi-cultural employees. Ugly sweaters don’t necessarily need to be ugly CHRISTMAS sweaters.  Many sports teams, movies, and tv shows have gotten in on the ugly sweater game.  If you have an Ugly Sweater Party, give out prizes to best, funniest, and other categories to make everyone get in on the game.

If you’re looking for a crafty contest, buy some plain sweaters at a second-hand store and get some fun things to stick on them. Tinsel balls, googly eyes, big stickers, and letters are just some of the pieces you can get to start a sweater factory. Have everyone break off into teams and decorate an Ugly Sweater of their own creation.  Have everyone vote for the best sweater and see who wears it best.

If your Holiday Party is combined with a New Year’s Party, or you want your attendees to be more dressed up than a sweater, have a “Merry and Bright” party. The theme being sparkles and bright colors. Sparkles are the new fashion trend for 2018.  Gold and silver are perfect colors for a winter backdrop. I’m sure you’ll be surprised with how bright people will shine!

With the Holidays right around the corner, it’s good to start thinking of games and fun early so your Holiday Party isn’t the stale like in years past. 502 East Event Centre has lots of large spaces for all your employees to gather and have fun! If you need food for the party at the office, call us for catering options. We have meats,  sweets, and everything in-between!

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