The office Christmas party is an annual event that could be described as a bit like Marmite – you either love it or loathe it.
Many a traditional office festive celebration, which inevitably involves eating too much and drinking even more, has ended in Ann from accounts getting drunk and professing undying love to a stunned Graham from marketing, while Jeff from sales is sick all over the boss’s new shoes and Theresa, the PA, insults the chief executive’s wife.
It is little wonder that many offices want to tone down the festivities this year; however, it is still a time most of us want to get away from the usual serious, sober behaviour and find our inner child for a while. If you can’t let your hair down at the Christmas party, when can you?
Here are five fun office Christmas party ideas that won’t have you needing the services of HR on Monday morning:
Get everyone to bring in games from home so you can have a cheesy games championship. Employees with young children will probably have some lurking in the cupboard; if not, you can always buy a few cheap ones from the supermarket.
The games that work best will be those that are easy and quick to play – so no Monopoly, please – and involve some sort of childish behaviour. Twister is a firm favourite, with others that will work well including Buckaroo, Guess Who? and Mousetrap.
Even if nobody brings in games, you could always play charades! With the right atmosphere, you are guaranteed to get everyone laughing by the end of the party.
Best Christmas jumper competition
Invite everyone to wear their best Christmas jumper; alternatively, if they do not have one, get them to create their own with tinsel and baubles. Get everybody to vote on both the best and worst jumper of the day and offer prizes to the winners.
Two truths and a lie
A great icebreaker at any party, the game two truths and a lie involves everyone telling – yes, you’ve guessed it – two truths and a lie about themselves and letting their colleagues guess which is a lie.
This is a fantastic game for helping you get to know people better, especially for new staff; however, even those who have known you for some time will enjoy having to guess, for example, whether you really did once nearly fall into a volcano.
If you are hosting a ‘proper’ party at a venue somewhere other than the office, you may want to make it more interesting by making it fancy dress. Perhaps you could introduce a theme, such as heroes or film and TV, and give out a prize for the most innovative; however, remember that not everyone enjoys dressing up and make it clear that ‘normal’ dress is also fine.
A good way to get people working in a team, a traditional festive quiz with Christmas-themed questions will pass a good hour or so at any party. Vary the questions, so that some are easy while others are more difficult, to give everyone a chance. Topics could include the history of Christmas, Christmas songs, festive traditions around the world, and lyrics to carols.
Appoint a quizmaster, put everyone into teams and give out prizes for the team that gets the most correct answers. If nothing else, this will get your employees working together towards the one goal.