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The Business Owner's Guide to Holiday Parties

By Jake Nordquist   |    November 28, 2018   |    4:16 PM

How to Throw a Holiday Celebration The Whole Office Can Enjoy

Here's how you can throw a fun, inclusive company party where everyone can celebrate the year's successes.

    Where to host the holiday party (and how to handle food)

    Speaking of food, be sure to choose options that cater to a wide range of dietary restrictions. You could even send out a quick survey asking employees to share any of their food allergies and preferences, then plan the menu or pick the restaurant accordingly. Don’t forget to ask about guest preferences, too.

    Hosting your party off site also has a number of benefits. For starters, you won’t have to deal with setting up or cleaning up, and people won’t be milling around important paperwork or equipment.

    Plus, it’s always nice to get away from the office!

    Navigating the employee gift exchange

    Gift exchanges can be tons of fun, but they can also backfire tremendously. Someone might choose an inappropriate gift or blow past the established budget, so having some parameters in place will help if you decide to do a gift exchange:

    • Set a reasonable price limit that everyone can afford. Even $5 - $10 is doable with some creativity.
    • Pick a theme for gifting, like food, games, or local favorites.
    • If you’d prefer non-alcohol based gifts, make it clear from the beginning (though, for many employees, getting a bottle of wine might be a party highlight).

    Decorating for the holiday party

    If you’ll be decorating the party space, keep the decor seasonal and festive… not religious. That means no nativity scenes, seasonal greetings that reference a deity, and similar.

    This ensures that everyone will feel included, regardless of their beliefs. Since you’ve followed the other tips in this article you can relax and enjoy the party yourself, too!

    Serving alcohol at the company party

    Serving alcohol comes with certain liabilities... If you’d like employees to have the option to imbibe, keep these tips in mind:

    • Consider giving each employee and their guest(s) drink tickets to help limit consumption.
    • Cut off bar service at least one hour before the party ends.
    • Be sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages for anyone who doesn’t drink alcohol.
    • Encourage the use of designated drivers and/or ride sharing services. You could even cover the cost of a taxi or rideshare for guests if the budget has room.
    • Serve something more than light snacks. If alcohol will be involved, it’s always smart to have real food.