What Should We Do For Our Christmas Party?

Published October 2023

Christmas parties are an annual staple of the season and a great way to celebrate the year together with your team. Are you in charge of planning this year’s Christmas party? Well, you’re in luck because our latest update provides a whole heap of ideas and a few things to consider.  

Whilst this may seem like an obvious one, a team lunch or dinner at a nice venue with a few sneaky beverages included never disappoints. Besides, it may not be that often you get to dress up with your team and have a sit-down meal together.

If you’re stuck trying to find the right venue, maybe pick your top three and ask your team to vote on where they would like to go. When trying to choose, be mindful of any food allergies or restrictions that may need to be accommodated – you may even need to ask the team if there are any to be aware of.

You could even step your sit-down meal up a notch by trying a different setting, such as:
• On a river cruise;
• High tea;
• Visiting a comedy club or theatre venue;
• Visiting a dessert bar afterwards;
• Playing putt putt or golf;
• Going dancing.

Depending on the budget and size of your team, you may consider a team activity that you and your team can complete during the day and then finish off the evening by going out for dinner. Alternatively, some of these events might be catered, depending on when and where you choose to go.
Team activities don’t have to be boring or corny, plus you’ll be mixing things up from the same old Christmas party you may normally have every other year. You can even step up your festivities with matching team merchandise, such as polos, fishing shirts, caps or loud Xmas shirts.

Here’s some ideas – we’ve even included a few family-friendly suggestions:

COOKING CLASS: Because who doesn’t love food?! A cooking class is a great option for your team to bond and learn something new. Plus, it will give the team the energy to keep the party going!

ESCAPE ROOM: If your team likes a good challenge, then completing an immersive adventure game in an escape room may be a good option for you.

AMAZING RACE / SCAVENGER HUNT: Depending on where your team are located, a scavenger hunt or amazing race-style challenge could work. This allows you and the team to get out of the office and explore your local city together.

BOWLING: Whether ten-pin or lawn bowls, this is a great idea that caters for everyone, any time of day, especially if you are allowing partners and little ones to attend the event.

PUTT PUTT: Another one that caters for everyone, including kids, and can be held at any time of day.

GO-KARTING: Go-karting is always a hit for the kids and adults alike, and you’ll be impressed by the competition and camaraderie you witness between team members. Some places even offer a podium finish and trophies!

KARAOKE NIGHT: Whilst this may not appeal to everyone at first, you can guarantee that it will be a fun night for everyone involved.

VISIT A THEME PARK: There are many theme parks in Queensland (and other states) offering group packages during the day and night.

DEEP SEA FISHING: Pack your fishing shirt and hat and make a day of it! Usually, these charters and tours are catered too, so food and drinks won’t be a worry!

PAINT & SIP: Take the stress out of Christmas by putting on your aprons, getting creative with your team through painting, music, and good times in an art studio. Oh, and did we mention? It’s BYO.

AXE THROWING: Axe throwing places are popping up in most capital cities and may be the perfect place for your next Xmas event!

GIVE BACK: Embrace the true meaning of Christmas and spread some cheer by doing something special for those in need. You may want to consider donating to a charity or arranging hampers and meals to a shelter.

Many offices welcome employees’ families to the holiday celebration, yet few employers extend that invitation to team members’ furry friends. Now is your chance to be a #1 employer and throw a pet-friendly Christmas party at an animal friendly venue or set up a picnic in a park.

Things to consider:

  • All pets are properly vaccinated and play well with others;
  • No one is allergic to any animals attending the celebration.

If the company or a group of employees organises a ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange, ensure that employees understand that any gifts they purchase must be ‘G’ rated. This means that the recipient or others who will see the present (or even hear of it afterwards), should not have cause for offence leading to a possible breach of the organisations Sexual Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Policy. All gifts must be family viewing!
Also be sure to check with everyone beforehand that they are happy to be included and the gift budget is suitable for them.

Many employers had great success with virtual Christmas parties in recent years and we may see them happening again in 2022. They are a brilliant idea for those with teams who work remotely or across different locations.

There are numerous ways you can host a virtual Christmas party, and to help you start planning we have provided some ideas below:

Have a dress code: Give your team an excuse to dress up and add a fun dress code for your virtual party. An obvious one is to have a Christmas theme where everyone is asked to wear something festive – for example, having the team wear a Santa hat, reindeer ears or an ugly Christmas sweater!

Send out a party package: Before your virtual Christmas party, why not send out a party package to your team that is filled with festive goodies to enjoy during the party. This could include Christmas bon-bons, a decorative tablecloth, wine glasses and a bottle of wine.

Food and Drinks: One that should be high on the priority list is organising food and drinks. Depending on where your team are located you could set up a food and drink budget for your team or you could organise food to be delivered straight to their door. Whatever you decide, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare beforehand!

Try a virtual happy hour: You could make happy hour more interesting by sending out some recipes and ingredients, and having the team make drinks together. Who doesn’t love a good Christmas cocktail!?

Don’t forget the music: Like any Christmas party, you will want some music to help set the mood. It may not be a good idea to have the music playing throughout the whole event, but you could include some festive music while your team are joining in and then have some background music while you are all eating.

Have some party games: Just because your team may not be all in the one place doesn’t mean they should miss out on all the fun. Party games are a great source of entertainment that gets everyone involved and could include bingo, trivia games or card games. There are also plenty of online games and gaming apps that would be perfect to use for your virtual event, depending on your theme. Check out these cool ideas here.

You could even decorate Xmas cookies or gingerbread men together as an alternative to games.

Try a competition: Everyone likes a good prize, so encourage everyone to be involved in a competition such as the ‘best decorated gingerbread house’ or the ‘loudest or ugliest Xmas shirt’. You’ll be amazed how much the team will enjoy this one!

Set a time limit: Just like you would with any other Christmas party, make it clear when the event starts and finishes. This way none of your team members will feel obliged to stay online till the early hours of the morning. You may also want to consider organising an after-party event for those that may want to keep the party going.


There are many risks and obligations for employers that come with end of year parties and functions. And while we do not intend to dampen the mood, it is important that all employers are aware of these. You can read about these risks and how to manage them in our Quick Guide to Xmas Parties & Functions. 

The employer should ensure employees enjoy the festive season safely. It’s advisable to remind employees that end of year events are still a work function that they need to comply with the company’s policies and procedures as they would in the usual workplace.

This memo would be a way for the employer to:

  • comply with its obligation;
  • demonstrate duty of care; and
  • show proactiveness when comes to employee’s safety, health, and wellbeing.

Apart from reminding employees of their obligations and encouraging them to be safe and responsible at the function and afterwards, it is also evidence that the employer took all reasonably practicable steps to prevent conduct in breach of its policies.

No matter what you decide to do, having a Christmas party is a great opportunity to say thank you to your team and provides them with the opportunity to bond at a fun and enjoyable event.

Look out for more Christmas updates from the Edwards HR team over the coming weeks!

For more guidance about this update, or to find out how Edwards HR can support your business, contact our team today on 07 3568 0866.

Feel free to share this update with others in your network.

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