Discover how you can plan the best office Christmas party

How to plan the best office Christmas party ever

They say it’s the most wonderful time of year… we say it’s time for a big ol’ party. The annual office Christmas party is a time-honoured tradition, and if you plan it right, you’ll be a true office hero. Seeing your work friends all dressed up, dancing the night away (and discovering that quiet Steve from Accounting is actually a party animal after a few pints) is one of the best things about Christmas – but if the planning of the biggest night of the year has fallen to you, don’t stress. 

Enter our complete guide with some of the best office Christmas party ideas you’ve ever seen – get ready to knock the socks off last year’s do!

Work out your numbers and budgets for your office Christmas do

It’s all in the details

It may not be the most fun part of the party planning process, but it has to be done! The admin bit of the party is boring, but it’s the only way to make sure your night goes smoothly.

The numbers

The first step is also, annoyingly, maybe the worst – it’s admin time. You need numbers, and to pin down who’s actually going to be at the Very Best Office Christmas Party Ever (start calling it that now, and maybe it’ll catch on). But hey, it’s all uphill from here! If you’ve ever tried to organise an entire office into one place at the same time, you’ll already know this is a bit like herding cats, so get yourself organised. You’re going to need a list of everyone in the office who’ll be invited to the party, budget signoff from the boss, and some work Christmas party ideas for making your event a standout success.

Work out your costs and cash

Send out a placeholder invite to let people know that you’re planning the work Christmas party and ask them to RSVP yes or no to the Very Best Office Christmas Party Ever (yep, keep calling it that, it’s absolutely, definitely going to catch on). Our thortful top tip: set a firm deadline for the RSVP. Inevitably, you’ll end up chasing people to make sure they’ve responded, but once you have a headcount and you know how much cash you’ve got to splash, you can work out a rough cost per head. With a budget to work from, it’s time to pick the place to throw your awesome  Christmas office party.

It's time to start planning the office Christmas party

Plan the party

Now you know your numbers and costs, you can start planning the Christmas office party of the century!

Choose the venue

The big question – where is your party going to be? The venue will set the tone for the whole night, so choose carefully. For office Christmas parties for an entire organisation, you might need to look at hiring a big space for your exclusive use – that could be something grand, like a local hotel, or maybe somewhere you can put your business’ unique stamp on, like a hall or event space where you can really go big with the decorations. If your office Christmas party ideas are more chill and low-key, think about a cool restaurant with private dining, then onto a bar for drinks elsewhere. Or, if your company is open to it, you could always throw your work Christmas party in your office – then you have complete control over decoration, budgets and music! Just remember, someone will have to co-ordinate the clean-up, so you may have to avoid heavy drinking and a Saturday hangover…

Pick a good theme

Don’t just throw up a couple of paper chains and some sad bunting – think about a theme to really make your office Christmas party pop. There are plenty of Christmas office party ideas out there, so don’t be afraid to get creative! You can go classic – think Winter Wonderland with plenty of fake snow and snowflakes – or something a little bit more elegant. A theme like a Masquerade or a Casino Night will get everyone really glammed up, and set a smart tone for the night’s festivities. Stuck for ideas? Take a look at our quirky Christmas card ideas to get some inspiration for potential themes.

The food, drink and fun is the most important part of the office Christmas party!

Eat, drink and be merry

A party wouldn’t be a party without copious amounts of food, drink and fun!

The food

Don’t skimp on the food – the last thing you want is for everyone to end up with a dry slice of turkey and some bullet-hard boiled sprouts. Most important, though, is making sure you find out any special requirements ahead of time – are there vegans, vegetarians, or allergy sufferers in attendance? Nothing knocks the wind out of a work Christmas party like someone being struck down with a nut allergy in the first course!

Here are a couple of Christmas office party ideas to keep everyone well-fed:

  • The classic Christmas dinner – nothing will get people in a festive mood faster than turkey and all the trimmings! Add some cheesy Christmas crackers and paper hats, and you’re guaranteed good vibes.
  • Fondue is a little bit quirky, and honestly, who doesn’t love cheese, bread, and meat? It’s very wintry ski-chalet – just make sure there’s a vegan option on hand and everyone’s a winner.
  • A buffet is always a crowd pleaser, because there’s a little bit of something for everyone – and it’s easy to suit all requirements, from the picky eaters to the pile-the-plate high scoffers.

The drinks

Let’s be honest – office Christmas parties live and die on the drinks package. Everyone wants to let off steam, and a few drinks will get your colleagues to let their hair down and relax. It’s all down to budgets – if your boss/senior team/CEO is generous, there’s nothing like a free bar to get the party going, but then you may want to look into drinks tokens or vouchers to make sure no one is taking advantage and outdrinking the rest of the company! 

If you’re throwing the office Christmas party in the actual office, then it’s time to impress and break out your mixologist skills – check out our guide to Christmas cocktails that you can make in a few shimmies of a cocktail shaker. That’ll impress the cute new receptionist, right?

Christmas office party games

If you’re looking to plan a really memorable party, why not arrange some Christmas office party games? This could be something as simple as Christmas movie trivia or a music quiz – but don’t raffle off some naff chocolates. You could give a bottle of sparkling wine, extra drinks tokens as prizes, or something that will really get people competing – like an early finish or an extra hour lie in one morning!

For something a bit more involved, get everyone together with Christmas karaoke, or create an inventive, interactive scavenger hunt – with tasks like ‘get a photo of someone wearing red’ or ‘convince three people to wear reindeer ears’. This is absolutely guaranteed to get people chatting, giggling, and sneaking around to win points, and get your work Christmas party off to a great start.

Now it’s over to you – get your party planning hat on, focus on the key details, and feel free to nab some of our office Christmas party ideas. Just please – heed our advice, and make sure there’s plenty of food, and enough alcohol to go around. Follow our guide, and you’re sure to have the Very Best Office Christmas Party Ever – see, we told you it would catch on. For more Christmas party ideas, check out the rest of our blog, and head over to browse our Christmas card range for some festive inspiration.