Published October 2021
It is almost that time of year again, where many employers are trying to answer the big question – what should we do for our Christmas party? And while usually HR are known for being the #funpolice who give the run down on what you can’t do at your Christmas party, we thought we change it up this year and give you our top suggestions on what you can try for your 2021 Christmas party!
A sit-down lunch or dinner
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;
Visiting a comedy club or theatre venue;
Visiting a dessert bar afterward.
A team activity
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, 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-carting: Go-carting 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!
Virtual Christmas Party
Many employers had great success with virtual Christmas parties last year and it’s likely that we will see them happening again in 2021. They are a brilliant idea for those with team who work remotely or in different locations.
There are numerous ways you can host a virtual Christmas party, and 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 in the morning. You may also want to consider organising an after-party event for those that may want to keep the party going.
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!