Office Holiday Party Ideas

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Office holiday party ideas to make your office party really fun this year.

Ok, let’s be honest, holiday theme parties kinda suck, especially when you are expected to dress up as a 70s disco dude or queen and you weren’t even alive in the 70s. Save those ideas for your next home party, where your closest friends don’t mind making fools of themselves. Rather than give you a long list of ideas, most of which are just so theme-y and not all that appreciated, I am going to give you just five ideas that your fellow employees will be darn excited about. So, for the best holiday Christmas party ideas, let’s focus on things people love: good food, strong drinks, art, pampering, and great music. The goal here is minimal forced interaction with that weirdo guy in the corner cubicle.

MEET THE FARMERS

Have a local farm-to-table caterer hire some of the farmers they work with to talk about their products (bringing a cow may be challenging unless you take the party out of the office to a barn). Do a cheese and charcuterie table, so the local cheese monger can talk about the process of making a cheese, while a local hog farmer can talk about his charcuterie. Another table could serve roasted organic turkey and the farmer can talk about how they raise their turkeys and what heritage breeds are all about. Creating some interactive cooking classes around this can be team-building without being obnoxious and the results are getting to eat tasty food. Find the right caterer to plan the entire menu and cooking lessons around this idea and have them make festive holiday desserts at the end of the party.

office holiday party ideas - farmer

GET ARTISTIC AT THE COMPANY HOLIDAY PARTY

A fun corporate Christmas party theme that doesn’t skew tacky: hire a company like Drawing Booth www.drawingbooth.com who send extremely talented artists on site with I Pads and portable printers, roaming the party sketching guests, then printing the results. The guests also get a PDF of the drawing emailed to them, and the results are truly frameable. We had our assistant try it out at the Event Planners Expo this month, and his portrait was remarkable. A keepsake. This idea elevates the caricature artist into something hipper and modern. In conjunction with the roaming artists, you could have one or two of the drawing company’s staff training your office mates to give it a go with a fellow employee. Then laugh at the results.

Office holiday party ideas - artistic

MIXOLOGY LESSONS

An updated variant of the wine tasting, hire a few professional mixologists who will craft specialty cocktails for employees, based on their tastes and personality. A fiery Cherry Bomb for the office siren, a Sazerac for the CFO. The mixologists will show them how to concoct the cocktail for themselves and hand out the recipe on a beautifully printed card. Lessons could include how to balance flavors, how to make an orange peel, how to infuse simple syrups, all intoxicating fun for a holiday party. Some mixology companies also use dry ice and other concoctions to create visual excitement around the bar. As a giveaway, the company may provide bottles of hand-crafted bitters or herbal infusions.

office holiday party ideas - mixology lessons

A SPA PARTY

Great for an afternoon office party and a way to get groomed for the fun holiday party you are going to that evening with your best friend from college. Don’t you love the idea of seeing your boss in a plush white bathrobe? Or maybe not. SParty ⦁ www.spa-party.com and other companies with similar services offer everything from branded events to in-office parties with massage, nail stations, brow bars, make-up application, a cat-eye station and for the gentlemen, a shave bar, shoe shine and nail grooming. Some companies bring in the cocktails and food or you could work with your local caterer to create light, spa food such as finger sandwiches and petites four.

Office holiday party ideas - spa

LIVE KARAOKE

How is this less tacky than recorded music Karaoke you ask? Well, for one, if you have any self-proclaimed musicians among your staff this is their chance to be Keith Richards or Rivers Cuomo for an evening. Not only can guests get up and sing a requested song, but the wannabe guitarists, drummers and horn players in your company can get up there too. The live musicians will add elements of surprise that recorded music just cannot. Plus, good deed factor, you are supporting artists who play around town and do this as a side gig, so feel good about hiring them to keep them from being “starving artists”. All good!

If you are indeed in charge of your company holiday party this year, I have just two words for you: INSPIRE FUN. These tips will win friends and influence your superiors, so I hope you take my advice.  Need a catering service for your office holiday party?

Give us a call to create the perfect holiday menu for you 212.888.2664 or email me at leslie@bartlebyandsage.com

Photo by @maggiemarguerite

Leslie Levin Nilsson, event planner, caterer, educator, Glamour editor, moved to New York from the Midwest with three passions: literature, food and throwing fabulous parties. Bartleby & Sage grew from those passions: early clients were fashion designer Thom Browne, Sarah Jessica and the gals at Sex & The City, rock and roll greats Sting and Gwen Stefani, Over the past 20 years, Leslie and her team have orchestrated thousands of cocktail parties, dinners, and weddings. Her "little black dress" of entertaining? The Venetian cheese toast.

Leslie Nilsson,
Founder & Creative Director
Bartleby & Sage

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