Office workers spend 11 months of the year slogging away in an office cubicle, filing TPS reports, and dodging conference calls. It’s no wonder that most look forward to the holidays, the one time of year when employees can let their hair down, eat too much free food, and maybe, if they’re lucky, throw one heck of a party. Here are 10 of the best holiday party ideas the interwebs have to offer.
1. Wear Stupid Hats
Whatever else you do, you should do this: Provide a dumb hat for every employee. People might start out reluctant to swap their pride for cookies and punch, but eventually, almost everyone caves. Think of the pictures you can snap for the company calendar.
2. Yankee Swap
Are we still allowed to call a party a “Yankee Swap,” or is that somewhat biased against people from Connecticut? Anyway, if you want to see your coworkers duke it out over the punchbowl, the best way to do it is to organize a Yankee Swap.
3. “The Office” Themed Office Party
Every office has a weirdo. Convince yours to dress up like the weirdest weirdo of all time, Dwight Schrute. Elf hats required; homemade neti pot optional.
4. Fax Machine Pinata
Want to put a smile on your employees’ faces? Give them sticks and let them beat all holy heck out of some obsolete office equipment (i.e. every fax machine you have). You know they don’t work.
The best thing about the holidays is that it’s an excuse to eat everything in sight. If you can make your coworkers bake for you, so much the better. Take our advice and organize the bake-off. Then you can volunteer as a judge and skip the whole part where you actually make something.
6. Office Sing-Along
Now that everyone is full of baked goods and wearing a stupid hat, it’s time to enforce the mandatory fun rule and get folks singing. This is easier if you go the full karaoke route and haul out the Guns ‘N Roses catalogue. Listen, you have your Christmas carols and we have ours.
7. Decorate a Tree
Some offices skip the tree out a fear of offending people. We say, keep the tree and just go with neutral decorations. Nothing levels the playing field like watching the CEO try to thread a tree hanger through an ornament.
8. Bring out the Booze
We know, we know: All the experts say that alcohol and company parties are a dangerous mix. Still, having attended many office holiday parties with alcohol (and one interminable party without), we can tell you that dealing with crankypants coworkers is probably worse that dealing with tipsy ones. Spring for the trash barrel full of beer.
9. Dance Party
Here’s another reason to take our last suggestion: It makes it easier to follow this suggestion. Which makes it easier to obtain blackmail material in advance of your next review. (Camera phones are amazing inventions.)
10. Whatever You Do, Don’t Forget Santa
It isn’t a holiday party without Santa. Elect your favorite (or least favorite) coworker to don the suit and beard and take gift requests. Or you can all just dress up. Remember: If one Santa is good, more Santas are better.