Year-end is quickly approaching, and with COVID restrictions largely lifted, companies are eager to celebrate.  Though some companies view this year’s “holiday party” as a retention solution – a chance to (finally) reengage employees after 2 long years, others feel different. With a projected recession and inflation on the rise, businesses all over are faced with a taut budget.

Spokesperson, Tracy Clayton stated that Meta’s holiday parties will “likely happen on a team-by-team basis,” unlike their 2019 Game of Thrones-themed year-end bash. Many companies were reluctant to plan their holiday celebrations in the earlier portion of the year with pandemic uncertainties lingering. According to Adam Sloyer, CEO of New York City-based event planning company – Sequence, words like “last-minute” and “scramble” are being used to describe corporate holiday party inquiries.

Additionally, over the last two years, remote work has tripled from roughly 9 million to 27 million people. Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by the “virtual cocktail hour.” People want to feel engaged and, let’s be honest, they want more effort than logging onto a Zoom or Teams call like they already do 75 times a week. It’s time to get creative!

Holiday Party Suggestions (In-Office):

*Office Lunch* – This can be adjusted, budget depending. Lunch can be provided by the employer, or you can ask everyone to pitch in and bring their favorite holiday dish. Make it fun and give it a theme! Have a unanimous vote via email to keep it interesting!

*Secret Santa* – Again, this option keeps things budget-friendly. Be sure to plan this one ASAP and set a budget-friendly limit ranging from $10-20 so people don’t feel obligated to break the bank (we live in a time where a singular tomato is $7). Make it interesting and label it a Yankee Swap! If you aren’t familiar with the concept, you can find the instructions (here).

*Holiday Game Night* – Who doesn’t love a game night? Include spouses, find a free, printable, Bingo template online and get to gaming! You could also do Holiday themed trivia! Add on a Christmas cookie swap and you have yourself a fun, affordable, holiday celebration!

*Office Decorating Competition* – Find an unbiased person to be the judge. Everyone decorates their door, cubicle, etc., and gets their competitive juices flowing! Additionally, it will bring a feeling of joy to the office around the holidays and likely keep your employees happier and more engaged through the remainder of the year. Win-Win!


Holiday Party Suggestions (Remote or In-Office):

*Holiday Dinner* – You could go a more traditional route and host a dinner. This could be at a venue or in-office. Allow your employees to bring their significant others/guests. People are more enticed to attend and enjoy themselves if they can bring a buddy.

*Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition* – This can be done virtually or in person. Let everybody get their creative juices flowing. Keep the vote unanimous via email using a points system – 1st place = 3 points, 2nd place = 2 points, and 3rd place = 1 point. Get ready to laugh!

*Holiday Party in a Box* – This is a company favorite! Send your team a box filled with goodies for an interactive event. Fill the box with wine and cheese for a tasting, holiday chocolates paired with coffee, or even ingredients for baking a favorite dessert! The point is you’re doing it together!

The options above can be paired in combination with others, based on your budget, the size of your company, and your employees. Know your audience! If you’re stuck between options, have a vote! Let your employees tell YOU how they’d like to celebrate!

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