Officegiving: A Fun Holiday Party Served with Gratitude

This year, throw a holiday party that your staff will be thankful for – Officegiving.


It’s a fun, low-key affair that is focused on the heart of your business – your people. Bring them together around a table of delicious food to celebrate their achievements, show your gratitude and encourage them to get to know each other better.

We have a few suggestions to make your Officegiving shine.


The host supplies the turkey or main course and the gravy. (Not a cook? We can help, and no one will ever have to know. 😉) Ask your employees to contribute a side dish, dessert or beverage of their choice. It helps to suggest categories to ensure that you have a variety of dishes: potatoes, vegetables, special dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or sugar-free, if needed), hors d’oeuvres, stuffing and so on. Don’t forget to have plenty of ice on hand.


Set Up

Impress your guests with a beautifully set table to create the tone for your event. (Presentation matters in business, right?) A tablecloth (or runner & placements), cloth napkins, china dinnerware, stemware, place cards, flowers/centerpieces and candles will make your staff feel special and appreciated. You can either assign seats to encourage mingling or allow your guests to take their place cards to the seats of their choice. Remember any serving platters, bowls or utensils that you will need and have plenty of water. Whether you have it on the table or in a designated beverage area, good food and constant talking will make your employees thirsty! Pleasant background music creates a comfortable atmosphere.


/ Activities

As a show of gratitude, hold your Officegiving on a week day if possible. You can work a half day and then close the office for your celebration. Can’t lose your entire staff for that long? Block out two hours mid-day where everyone can get together. Invite your employees to dress casual for the day; it will be a nice treat if you typically have a more formal dress code.

While there’s no need to plan additional activities, they can add some fun and serve as icebreakers to get employees chatting.

  • Photo Booth: Create some fun, seasonal props and designate an area where guests can take selfies. Want to go all out? Roll out the red carpet (or leaf-lined trail) and rent a photo booth complete with props and photographer.
  • Awards Ceremony: Tastiest side dish? Best photo booth appearance? Most likely to eat turkey throughout the year? Everyone likes to win awards, even nonsense ones, so get creative with your categories and award names. Need inspiration? Check out The Dundies.
  • Get Physical: Depending on where you’re located, you can head outside to plan a friendly game of football or hold a competition indoors. Pin the feathers on the turkey (blindfolded, of course), an egg spoon race or obstacle course relay race will help burn calories and encourage teamwork.
  • Employee Trivia: This is a great way to help employees get to know each other better. Have everyone complete short questionnaires leading up to the event with questions such as, “Where did you grow up?”, “What was your first job?, “What’s your favorite hobby?” and so on. It will be fun to see who knows their co-workers the best.
  • Cook-Off: Encourage employees to bring in family recipes or branch out and try new foods. Allow everyone to vote for their favorite side dish and dessert or create your own categories.
  • Spend Time Together: Looking for more low-key indoor activities? Play a board game, watch a movie, work on a puzzle or color. Bring employees into the planning process by asking them to vote for their preferred activity and go with the top two or three choices, depending on space.


Show Your Gratitude

Officegiving centers around people and gratitude, so make sure to include the latter. Have each guest say one thing he or she is thankful for to kick off the meal or write them down to display in a common area in the office. It’s also a nice touch to give each employee a hand-written note from management thanking them for your hard work and contributions to the company during the year. The more personalized the notes, the better. If you’d like to go a step further, include a physical token of your gratitude, such as fresh baked cookies and brownies or a gift they can use in the office every day. While physical gifts aren’t necessary, they add an extra dose of appreciation.
Reduce your stress this holiday season and put the focus back where it should be – on people and gratitude. By holding Officegiving earlier in the holiday season, you’ll free up your employees to enjoy the special events and magic this time of year. So set a table, gather round and enjoy each other’s company. Cheers to a wonderful Officegiving!

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