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office party

The holiday season brings joy, camaraderie, and festivity, making it the perfect time for office holiday parties. These events are not just about celebrating the end of the year but also about building relationships, appreciating employees' hard work, and setting a positive tone for the upcoming year. However, organizing a successful office holiday party requires careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the essential steps to ensure your office holiday party is memorable, inclusive, and enjoyable for everyone involved.

happy coffee day

Year-Round Tips For Celebrating Holidays At The Office

One of the things I really miss about being in an office space is that there was always sometime being celebrated with each turn of the season. Sure, Heather and I decorate at home and celebrate a wide variety of holiday from different traditions but it's different "us" doing it for ourselves vs an office manager or HR team working to put up some decorations, plan a food truck visit or searching to find flowers online that match a seasonal theme. 

You don't always need a big office party to celebrate the season, here are some quick tips and ideas for observing seasonal celebrations. Additionally, you don't need to be limited to just traditional things like Christmas, New Years, Ramadan, or Diwali for instance. An office celebration based around International Coffee Day can be impactful and fun as well. Here's how that might look ...

Let's choose a universally approachable holiday that can be celebrated in many office settings: International Coffee Day. This holiday is a celebration of the coffee beverage itself, acknowledging the hard work of those who produce it and the joy it brings to many around the world. It's typically observed on October 1st.

AspectIdeas for International Coffee Day Celebration
Breakroom Food - Coffee-Flavored Treats: Offer a variety of coffee-flavored cakes, cookies, and pastries. <br> - International Coffee Bar: Set up a coffee bar featuring blends from around the world, including Ethiopia, Colombia, and Italy. <br> - Coffee Pairings: Provide snacks that pair well with coffee, such as biscotti, chocolate, or croissants.
Decorations - Coffee Bean Decor: Use coffee beans as part of the table centerpiece, perhaps in clear vases or bowls. <br> - Coffee Quotes & Posters: Decorate the breakroom with fun coffee-related quotes and posters celebrating coffee cultures worldwide. <br> - Themed Tableware: Use coffee-themed tablecloths, napkins, and cups.
Employee Newsletter Ideas - Coffee Facts & History: Include interesting facts about coffee and its origins. <br> - DIY Coffee Recipes: Share recipes for homemade coffee drinks and encourage employees to try making their favorite café-style brews at home. <br> - Coffee Quiz: Create a fun quiz about coffee types, brewing methods, or famous coffee scenes in movies. <br> - Employee Coffee Preferences: Conduct a survey of employees' favorite coffee drinks and share the results.

Celebrating International Coffee Day in the office not only acknowledges a globally beloved beverage but also offers a unique opportunity for employee engagement and cultural appreciation.


Introduction to Office Holiday Party Planning

The key to a successful office holiday party lies in planning. Start by setting a clear budget and date, then move on to the venue, theme, and activities. Remember, the goal is to create an inclusive environment where all employees can relax and enjoy themselves. It's essential to consider your workforce's diverse backgrounds and preferences to ensure the party is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Finding the Perfect Decorations

Decorations set the mood for any party, and for an office holiday party, they can transform your usual workplace into a festive and inviting space. Decorations are key whether you're aiming for a winter wonderland theme or a more generic festive atmosphere. Flowers and greenery can bring life to any room, offering a welcoming and festive vibe.


In addition to flowers, consider incorporating lights, garlands, and themed tableware to enhance the atmosphere. Remember, the decoration should be visually appealing and reflect the spirit of the holiday season and your company culture.

Planning Fun and Inclusive Activities

The activities you plan can make or break your office holiday party. Selecting options that encourage interaction, laughter, and team bonding is important. Here are a few ideas:


  • Photo booth with props: A photo booth is a fantastic way to capture memories of the night. For added fun, include holiday-themed props.
  • Secret Santa or gift exchange: This classic activity is a great way to spread holiday cheer and encourage team members to get to know one another better.
  • Holiday trivia: Organize a game based on holiday movies, traditions, and history to spark a friendly competition and team spirit. Tailor the questions to suit your team's interests and add a mix of easy and challenging questions to keep everyone engaged.
  • Crafting Corner: Set up a station where employees can make holiday decorations or gifts. This will serve as a creative outlet and allow team members to take home a personal memento of the party.
  • Team-building games: Opt for games that encourage collaboration and problem-solving. These can range from escape room challenges (which can be brought in-house) to simple group activities that focus on teamwork and communication.

Catering to Diverse Tastes

One of the most anticipated aspects of any party is the food. For an office holiday party, catering to a wide range of dietary preferences and restrictions is crucial. Offer a variety of dishes, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and halal options, to ensure that everyone can enjoy the meal. When selecting a caterer, discuss these requirements and consider including labels on the buffet or serving tables to indicate which dishes meet specific dietary needs.


Additionally, think about the beverage selection. Alongside alcoholic options, provide an assortment of non-alcoholic drinks, such as mocktails, juices, and flavored waters. This thoughtful approach ensures that everyone feels included and has options to enjoy.

Setting the Right Tone with Music and Entertainment

Setting the Right Tone with Music and Entertainment is pivotal in cultivating a festive atmosphere that resonates well with the spirit of the season and your team's diverse tastes. A carefully curated playlist that seamlessly blends holiday classics with contemporary hits can cater to a wide audience, ensuring there's something for everyone. If the budget permits, hiring a DJ or a live band can amplify this experience, injecting an extra layer of excitement and compelling attendees to engage on the dance floor.


Beyond musical entertainment, introducing a magician caricature artist or organizing a short comedy set can elevate the event's uniqueness and memorability. Such entertainment options do more than just amuse; they serve as excellent conversation starters, facilitating interactions among team members who may not interact frequently. This can be particularly effective in larger companies where departments seldom cross paths. The laughter and shared experiences these acts generate can break down barriers, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie.


Incorporating interactive entertainment options, such as a live performance where the artist involves the audience or a magic show that requires a volunteer, can further enhance engagement, making the event more personal and memorable for those involved. The choice of entertainment should not only aim to entertain but also to embody the company culture and the holiday spirit, ensuring it complements the overall theme and objectives of the party. This thoughtful approach to music and entertainment selection is key to setting the right tone for a joyful, inclusive, and unforgettable office holiday party.

Unique Holidays Offering An Excuse For An Office Party

There's always an excuse to celebrate, here are some non-traditional holiday dates that should help you get started thinking about fun ways to bring some levity to your workplace!

Here's a table of unique holidays suitable for office celebrations, including the month they occur and ideas on how to celebrate them:

MonthHolidayCelebration Ideas
January International Fun at Work Day Breakroom Food: Snack potluck where everyone brings something fun. Decorations: Balloons and streamers in common areas. Activities: Office-wide scavenger hunt or a talent show.
February Random Acts of Kindness Day Breakroom Food: Coffee and doughnut morning to kick things off. Decorations: Heart and smiley face decorations. Activities: Encourage employees to perform and share acts of kindness throughout the day.
March Pi Day (March 14) Breakroom Food: Assortment of pies (savory and sweet). Decorations: Math and pi-themed decorations. Activities: Pie baking contest and trivia about pi and mathematics.
April Earth Day Breakroom Food: Organic and locally sourced snacks. Decorations: Plants and recycled material decorations. Activities: Plant a tree initiative, recycling drive, and a workshop on sustainability in the workplace.
May Star Wars Day (May the 4th) Breakroom Food: Themed snacks like "Wookiee cookies" and "Yoda soda". Decorations: Star Wars banners and character cutouts. Activities: Costume contest and movie marathon during lunch breaks.
June International Yoga Day Breakroom Food: Healthy snacks like fruit and yogurt parfaits. Decorations: Peaceful and zen decorations with a focus on relaxation. Activities: Organize a group yoga session and invite a local instructor.
July National Ice Cream Day Breakroom Food: Ice cream bar with various toppings. Decorations: Summer and ice cream-themed decorations. Activities: Ice cream making contest or a visit from a local ice cream truck.
August International Friendship Day Breakroom Food: Foods from around the world potluck. Decorations: Flags and cultural decorations from different countries. Activities: "Get to know your coworker" quizzes and friendship bracelet making.
September Talk Like a Pirate Day Breakroom Food: Seafood snacks and "grog". Decorations: Pirate flags and treasure maps. Activities: Pirate lingo contest and a treasure hunt around the office.
October Halloween Breakroom Food: Halloween-themed treats and pumpkin-flavored everything. Decorations: Spooky decorations, pumpkins, and cobwebs. Activities: Costume contest and office decoration competition.
November Gratitude Day Breakroom Food: Potluck where everyone brings a dish they're thankful for. Decorations: Autumn and thanksgiving-themed decorations. Activities: "What I'm thankful for" board where employees can post messages.
December Ugly Sweater Day Breakroom Food: Holiday cookies and hot chocolate. Decorations: Holiday and winter wonderland themes. Activities: Ugly sweater contest and secret Santa gift exchange.

These holidays provide a fun and unique way to bring some excitement into the office environment throughout the year, fostering teamwork and boosting morale.


Celebrating Together

The ultimate goal of an office holiday party is to celebrate the year's successes, foster a sense of belonging, and look forward to the future with optimism. By carefully planning the event with a focus on inclusivity, engagement, and enjoyment, you can create a memorable experience that employees will appreciate and talk about long after the party. Remember, the most successful parties are those where everyone feels valued and part of the team. So, take the time to ensure your office holiday party reflects your company's spirit and your team's diversity.


In the end, a successful office holiday party is not just about the food, decorations, or activities; it's about bringing people together in a festive and meaningful way. With thoughtful planning and a focus on inclusivity, you can create an event that strengthens bonds, boosts morale, and celebrates the unique contributions of every team member. Happy planning, and here's to a fantastic office holiday party!