Making Merry: How do you Celebrate Christmas with Staff?


As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how you can celebrate Christmas with your staff. This is a perfect opportunity to show your appreciation for their hard work throughout the year, build morale, and create a festive atmosphere in the workplace.

But with so many options to choose from, how do you decide which activities and events will be the most enjoyable for your team? In this article, we will explore some creative ideas for celebrating Christmas with your staff, including office parties, team building activities, employee appreciation gestures, workplace decorating, and more.

How do you Celebrate Christmas with Staff?

Key Takeaways:

  • Christmas is an excellent opportunity to show appreciation to your staff and create a festive atmosphere in the workplace.
  • There are many creative ideas to choose from, including office parties, team building activities, employee appreciation gestures, workplace decorating, and more.
  • When planning your Christmas celebration, consider your team’s preferences, diversity, and any budget constraints.
  • Engaging your staff in charitable activities can be a meaningful way to celebrate the season and make a positive impact in the community.
  • Adapting your celebrations to remote work and virtual meetings can still be enjoyable and engaging for your team.

Planning an Office Christmas Party

It’s that time of the year again when you start thinking about ways to celebrate Christmas with your staff. One of the best ways to create a festive atmosphere and show appreciation for your employees is by organizing an office Christmas party. Whether you want to throw a big bash or keep it low-key, there are plenty of office Christmas party ideas to indulge in.

Choose a Theme

A Christmas party theme can set the tone for the celebration and add an extra element of fun. Consider themes like ugly sweater party, winter wonderland, or Christmas movie marathon. You can even ask your staff for suggestions and vote for the most popular theme.

Theme Description
Ugly Sweater Party Ask your staff to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater and give out prizes for the best, worst, and most creative ones.
Winter Wonderland Transform your office into a snowy paradise with white decorations, twinkling lights, and snow-inspired treats.
Christmas Movie Marathon Screen classic Christmas movies like “Home Alone,” “Elf,” or “A Christmas Carol,” and offer snacks and drinks that match the theme.

Plan Fun Engaging Activities

No office Christmas party is complete without some fun activities to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Consider activities like a secret Santa gift exchange, karaoke, or holiday trivia. You can also organize team-building activities that are festive and engaging.

  • Secret Santa: Draw names to exchange gifts with a budget and gift rules to keep things fair and fun.
  • Karaoke: Rent a karaoke machine or use a streaming service to let your staff bust out their favorite holiday tunes.
  • Holiday Trivia: Create a quiz that tests your staff’s knowledge of Christmas traditions, movies, and music.

Include Food and Drinks

Food and drinks are essential for any celebration, and an office Christmas party is no exception. Provide a variety of options to cater to different preferences and dietary restrictions. You can also set up a DIY hot chocolate bar or a cookie decorating station for added festive fun.

Food and Drinks Description
Buffet-style Meal Offer a range of options, from appetizers to entrees, that cater to different tastes and dietary requirements.
Hot Chocolate Bar Provide different types of hot chocolate, toppings, and mix-ins to let your staff create their perfect cup of cocoa.
Cookies and Milk Set up a cookie decorating station with different types of cookies and toppings, and offer milk or non-dairy alternatives for dipping.

Planning an office Christmas party requires some effort and creativity, but it’s well worth it to see your staff enjoying themselves and bonding with each other. Whatever ideas you choose, remember to keep the festive spirit alive and make it a memorable event for everyone.

Festive Team Building Activities

Christmas is a perfect time to strengthen bonds among your staff and boost morale. To do this, you need fun, interactive activities that your employees will enjoy. Here are some Christmas team building activities that you can organize for your staff:

1. Gingerbread House Challenge

Divide your staff into teams and give each team a gingerbread house kit. Set a time limit and challenge them to build the best gingerbread house. To make it more interesting, add a theme or a rule that they must follow, such as using only green and red candies.

2. Christmas Trivia

Create a Christmas-themed quiz that covers popular movies, songs, and traditions. Divide your staff into teams and have each team answer the questions. The team with the most correct answers wins a prize.

3. White Elephant Gift Exchange

A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a great way to create a festive and entertaining atmosphere. Ask your employees to bring a gift with a set budget and wrap it up.

Then, have them draw numbers to determine the order of choosing a gift. Each person can either choose a wrapped gift or steal a gift that someone else has already opened.

4. Holiday Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt that includes Christmas-themed clues. Hide the clues around the office or in a nearby park. Divide your staff into teams and have them race to find all the clues. The first team to find all the clues wins a prize.

5. Ugly Sweater Contest

Encourage your employees to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater to work. Hold a contest and have everyone vote for the ugliest sweater. The winner gets a prize. This is an easy and fun way to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

These interactive activities are sure to bring your staff together and create a fun, festive atmosphere. Remember, the goal is to encourage collaboration, cooperation, and holiday spirit. Happy celebrating!

Holiday Employee Appreciation Ideas

Christmas is a special time to show your employees how much you value their hard work and dedication to your company. Here are some creative ways to celebrate Christmas with your staff and express appreciation for their efforts:

  1. Personalized Gifts: Consider creating personalized gifts for each employee, such as custom mugs or ornaments with their names or initials. This shows that you value them as individuals and recognize their contributions to the team.
  2. Flexible Time Off: Offer your employees some flexibility in their schedule during the holiday season, such as early dismissal on Christmas Eve or extra days off to spend time with their families. This can greatly improve their work-life balance and show that you care about their well-being beyond the office.
  3. Holiday Cards: Show your appreciation with handwritten cards, expressing your gratitude for their contributions to the team. Mention their specific achievements over the past year and how they’ve contributed to the growth of the company.
  4. Host a Recognition Event: Organize a special recognition event to acknowledge your employees‘ hard work. You can hold it in the office or rent out a venue for a more festive atmosphere. Recognize each employee’s achievements over the year and offer awards for top performers.

Remember that showing appreciation and recognition isn’t a one-time event. It’s important to consistently acknowledge your employees throughout the year for their hard work and contributions.

This will create a positive work environment and inspire them to continue to excel.

Decorating the Workplace

Transforming your workplace into a festive wonderland is a great way to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

Not only does it create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, but it also shows your staff that you care about their happiness and well-being during the holidays. Here are some ideas for decorating your workplace:

Decoration Idea Description
Christmas Tree A Christmas tree is a classic decoration that can be the centerpiece of your workplace. Invite your staff to contribute their own ornaments, and consider having a tree-decorating event to get everyone involved.
Lights Hanging string lights around the office can brighten up the space and create a cozy ambiance. You can also consider using LED candles for a safer and more cost-effective option.
Garlands and Wreaths Adding garlands and wreaths to your office decor can instantly create a festive atmosphere. Consider using real greenery for a traditional touch or opting for artificial pieces for a long-lasting decoration.

Another way to involve your staff in the decorating process is to hold a holiday decoration contest. Encourage different teams or departments to decorate their workspaces and award prizes for the most creative, festive, and cohesive decorations.

By putting in the effort to decorate your workplace, you can create a fun and festive environment that your staff will appreciate and enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Organizing a Potluck or Holiday Food Event

Food is an integral part of any Christmas celebration, and organizing a potluck or holiday food event can be a great way to engage your staff and showcase their culinary skills.

However, you might be wondering what food to buy for the Christmas party to cater to different preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some tips to make sure your potluck is a success:

Determine the Theme and Assign Dishes

Decide on a theme for your potluck or holiday food event and communicate it to your staff.

Some popular themes include traditional Christmas dishes, international cuisine, or a dessert-only potluck.

Ask your employees to sign up for specific dishes they will bring and encourage them to be creative with their recipes. Make sure to have a good balance of main dishes, sides, and desserts, and consider dietary restrictions when assigning dishes.

Provide Guidelines for Food Safety

Food safety is crucial when organizing a potluck, especially if you have staff members with food allergies or sensitivities.

Remind your employees to label their dishes with a list of ingredients and highlight any common allergens.

Provide guidelines for safe food handling, such as keeping hot dishes hot and cold dishes cold, and using disposable utensils and plates to avoid cross-contamination.

Decorate the Potluck Table

Make your potluck table look festive and inviting by decorating it with Christmas-themed tablecloths, centerpieces, and serving platters.

Set up a separate table for drinks and provide festive cups and napkins. Encourage your staff to bring their own reusable plates and utensils to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Dish Ingredients Dietary Restrictions
Roast Turkey Turkey, herbs, butter Gluten-free
Vegan Mushroom Gravy Mushrooms, vegetable broth, thyme Vegan, gluten-free
Green Bean Casserole Green beans, cream of mushroom soup, fried onions Vegetarian
Cranberry Sauce Cranberries, sugar, orange zest Vegan, gluten-free
Gluten-free Stuffing Gluten-free bread, celery, onions, herbs Gluten-free
Apple Pie Apples, cinnamon, sugar, pie crust Vegetarian
Chocolate Truffles Chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla extract Vegetarian, gluten-free

Create a Festive Atmosphere

Play some Christmas music in the background and encourage your staff to wear their favorite festive attire, such as ugly Christmas sweaters or Santa hats.

Consider organizing a holiday-themed game or activity, such as a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest or a White Elephant Gift Exchange.

Have fun and enjoy the delicious food and company of your colleagues!

Off-Site Celebrations and Outings

Looking for a unique way to celebrate Christmas with your staff?

Consider taking your team off-site for a festive celebration or outing!  With so many options available, it can be hard to choose the perfect venue that can accommodate your team size and provide a fun, holiday atmosphere.

Where Should I Have a Christmas Party for 50 People?

If you have a large team, finding a venue that can accommodate everyone can be a challenge.

Look for event spaces that offer flexible seating arrangements and can provide customized menus to fit everyone’s dietary needs. Here are some ideas:

Venue Capacity Features Location
The Grand Ballroom Up to 500 people Customizable menus, dance floor, stage, parking Downtown area
The Lodge Up to 100 people Fireplace, cozy atmosphere, outdoor deck Wooded area
The Fun Center Up to 200 people Arcade games, bowling, laser tag, food and drinks Suburban area

If you want to add some adventure to your Christmas celebration, consider booking an outdoor activity such as ice skating, sleigh rides, or snow tubing.

Research local venues that offer these activities, and be sure to book in advance to secure your spot.

Whatever venue you choose, make sure to communicate all the details to your staff well in advance, including the date, time, venue, dress code, and any special instructions.

Festive Ways to Give Back to the Community

Christmas is not only about celebrations and merrymaking; it’s also an ideal time to give back to those in need.

Consider involving your staff in charitable activities that can make a difference in the community. Here are some Christmas staff celebration ideas that can help you give back:

Activity Description
Toy Drive Organize a toy drive to collect gifts for children in need. Encourage your staff to donate new, unwrapped toys and deliver them to a local charity or hospital.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen Coordinate with a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter and schedule a day for your staff to volunteer. Serving meals, cleaning and interacting with those in need can be a humbling and fulfilling experience.
Charity Walk/Run Participate in a charity walk/run event that supports a cause close to your company’s heart. Encourage your staff to join you, and consider matching their donations to incentivize more participation.

In addition to these ideas, you can also consider donating a portion of your company’s profits to a local charity or non-profit organization. Giving back during the holiday season can bring your team closer together and foster a sense of purpose outside of the office.

Virtual Celebrations and Online Activities

With remote work becoming increasingly common in today’s world, it’s important to find ways to engage your virtual employees in the festive celebrations.

Luckily, there are plenty of fun and interactive online activities that can be enjoyed by everyone in the team. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  1. Virtual Secret Santa: Use an online tool to randomly assign gift-giving partners and set a budget for the gifts.
    Host a virtual gift exchange where everyone can show off their gifts and express gratitude to their Secret Santa.
  2. Online Holiday Games: Organize a game night on a video conferencing platform, playing holiday-themed games like Christmas trivia, Pictionary, or charades.
    Give out virtual prizes, like e-gift cards, to the winners.
  3. Customized E-cards: Encourage your staff to create and share personalized e-cards with their colleagues.
    You can even host a competition for the best-designed e-card and award the winners with a prize.
  4. Virtual Potluck: Encourage your team to cook and share their favorite holiday dishes, and have everyone present their creations on camera.
    You can even share recipes and cooking tips to make it a collaborative experience.
  5. Holiday-themed Zoom Backgrounds: Spice up your virtual meetings by using festive Zoom backgrounds, like snowy landscapes or Christmas decorations.
    You can even host a competition for the best-decorated virtual background.

These virtual celebrations and online activities are a great way to engage your remote employees and foster a sense of togetherness during the holiday season.

Find ways to incorporate these activities into your Christmas celebration and make it a memorable, engaging, and fun experience for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions – Celebrate Christmas with Staff


frequently asked questions

frequently asked questions

How do you celebrate Christmas with staff?

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas with your staff. You can plan an office Christmas party, organize festive team building activities, show holiday employee appreciation.

Decorate the workplace, organize a potluck or holiday food event, have off-site celebrations and outings, give back to the community, or engage in virtual celebrations and online activities.

What are some office Christmas party ideas?

When planning an office Christmas party, consider different party themes, festive activities, and game suggestions to make the celebration memorable.

You can also involve your staff in the decorating process to create a joyful atmosphere.

How can team building activities be incorporated into the Christmas season?

Team building activities during the holiday season can strengthen bonds among your staff. Explore interactive games and challenges that encourage collaboration, cooperation, and holiday spirit.

These activities can foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among your employees.

What are some creative ways to show employee appreciation during the holidays?

Christmas is a perfect time to express gratitude and show appreciation to your employees.

Find creative ways to acknowledge their hard work and contributions throughout the year. From personalized gifts to heartfelt gestures, these appreciation ideas will make your staff feel valued and cherished.

How can I decorate the workplace for Christmas?

Transforming your workplace into a festive wonderland can create an enchanting ambiance.

Explore ideas for Christmas decorations, from traditional to unique, that will bring joy and cheer to the office environment. Involve your staff in the decorating process to foster a sense of ownership and participation.

What are some food ideas for a Christmas party?

Food is an integral part of any Christmas celebration. Consider organizing a potluck or holiday food event where employees can showcase their culinary skills and share their favorite holiday dishes.

Discover tips on what food to buy for the Christmas party to cater to different preferences and dietary restrictions.

Where can I have a Christmas party for a large group?

If you have a large group, consider taking your staff off-site for a Christmas party or outing.

Explore different venue options that can accommodate your team size and provide a festive atmosphere. From a cozy restaurant to a fun-filled activity center, there are exciting possibilities for celebrating Christmas outside the office.

How can we give back to the community during Christmas?

Engaging your staff in charitable activities can be a meaningful way to celebrate the season.

Explore ideas for community service projects, charity drives, or volunteer opportunities that align with your company’s values. Encouraging your staff to make a positive impact during Christmas can foster a sense of fulfillment and togetherness.

What are some virtual activities we can do to celebrate Christmas with remote employees?

In the era of remote work and virtual meetings, it’s important to adapt your Christmas celebrations.

Look for  fun and engaging online activities that can be enjoyed by your remote employees.

From virtual Secret Santa exchanges to online holiday games, these festive activities will bring your team together, regardless of their physical location.


Celebrating Christmas with your staff is a great way to spread joy and appreciation in the workplace.

By planning an office Christmas party, organizing team building activities, showing employee appreciation, decorating the workplace, engaging in charitable endeavors, and embracing virtual celebrations, you can create a festive and memorable experience for your team.

Remember that the holiday season can be stressful for some people, so be mindful of your staff’s needs and preferences and ensure that everyone feels included and appreciated.

Whether you opt for a traditional Christmas party, a virtual gathering, or a charitable event, make sure that your celebration aligns with your company’s values and culture.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!

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Lisa Lawrence

Written by Lisa Lawrence

Lisa Lawrence. is a certified facilitator and team building expert with over 12 years of experience in the field.  She has a passion for helping to build stronger teams and has worked with a wide range of fortune 500 businesses to improve communication and boost morale in the New York City Metro Area.

November 1, 2023


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