Seven festive end of year business party ideas

After a long year of work, it’s time to celebrate with your dedicated staff all that they have done throughout the year: meeting deadlines, crunching numbers, interacting with customers.

And what better way to spread holiday cheer than congratulating your team for their dedication with a holiday party?

As December rolls around, it’s time to take a break and let your staff relax and unwind. To show them how much you appreciate them, consider these seven end-of-year business party ideas.

1) Ugly sweater contest

Ugly sweaters have become increasingly ubiquitous with Christmas time, especially as the resurgence of red and green, snowman printed, and pom-pom infused sweaters snowballed into popularity within the past decade.

Back in the 70s, television sit-com stars were huge fans of these iconic sweaters, and now people all over are storming their grandparents’ closets and thrift stores like Goodwill in search of a hideous, yet charming, ugly sweater.

To get your team’s morale up, hold an ugly sweater or Christmas shirts party. Then, the sweater that garners the most votes wins a special prize!

2) Company potluck

The week of Christmas, give your employees a break to balance work and family over the holidays by hosting a half-day with a company potluck. You can never go wrong with food, so create a chart and have employees sign up for a dish they’d like to bring in.

This is an excellent way for different departments to interact with each other, as well as a time for workers to unwind and enjoy some delicious food. 

3) Cookie swap

Cookie swaps are another holiday favorite. With a cookie swap, have each employee make enough of one cookie for everyone to try. Then, make sure you have plenty of to-go containers, or have your employees use the cookie tray they brought in, to bring any leftovers home.

People can either bake them themselves or, if they don’t know their way around a kitchen, they can always bring some treats in from a local bakery.

4) Happy hour

We all love a happy hour for two reasons: half-priced drinks and half-priced eats. And when it’s on the company card, forget about it. Happy hours are always a staff favorite, and team bonding away from the office removes the pressure for employees to get work done and offers a change of pace.

All you have to do is find a local bar in town and reserve a room in advance, or at least give them a warning that a large group of people are expected to come.

Once at the happy hour, you can give a toast commemorating all of their hard work throughout the year, and even hand out company gifts for them to bring home to their families. 

5) Team lunch 

As you can tell, food is a popular theme when it comes to throwing a celebration. Another option for a festive end of the year party is hosting a team lunch at a local restaurant or ordering a food delivery service.

Allowing coworkers to bond over a meal is a great way for them to foster deeper work relationships, which in turn will boost productivity and efficiency. 

6) Holiday activity

If you don’t want a food-related activity, you can book a holiday activity that also serves as a team bonding experience. While it may be cold outside, there are plenty of fun things you can do inside to get the party going this holiday season.

Some fun winter activities you should consider include:

  • Bowling
  • Seeing a Christmas play such as A Christmas Carol
  • Ice skating
  • Holiday scavenger hunt
  • Trivia night
  • A hands-on class such as a pottery or painting class

7) Christmas party

Finally, if you like more than one of these ideas, you can mash them all together for the ultimate Christmas party! Whether you host it in the office or at a venue such as a hall in a hotel, your employees will be extremely appreciative of your thoughtfulness.

At your company Christmas party, you can have food catered, host a white elephant gift exchange, and have everyone wear an ugly Christmas sweater. The options are endless!

Wrapping up your work Christmas

Christmas is a time of joy, love, and cheer. As the year begins to close and people go out of their way to help one another, make sure you do your part as an employer and give thanks to your dedicated team members.

These end-of-year business party ideas are a surefire way to boost morale, form deeper relationships, and create a positive company culture.

Photo by Toa Heftiba