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Holiday Office Party


Holiday Office Party Ideas That Sleigh: 17 Team Building Activities That Boost Employee Engagement

If coming up with corporate holiday party ideas or planning your office Christmas party idea fills you with dread, it’s time to flip the switch on the stereotypical “office holiday party” event and look at new ways to engage your employees. Here are 17 office holiday ideas to get you thinking (and planning) in a new direction.

The Why Behind Holiday Office Parties

Are holiday parties passé? No, but, over the years, they have transformed from cringe-worthy events to parties employees want to attend. According to research by FourLoko, while 54% of people dread holiday parties, 47% look forward to them.1

The new onsite or virtual team-building activities and parties of today are designed to engage employees and further build and facilitate teamwork. Leaders look to holiday parties to help boost morale, reduce stress, and connect with coworkers. It’s also the perfect time of year to celebrate big wins and recognize the entire team.

Inclusivity is Key: Pick the Right Date, Menu, and Name

The date, menu, and the name of your holiday office party can make or break the event for employees. Pick a date without regard to Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other cultural and religious events, and you have signaled your blindness to diversity and inclusion. On the other hand, having every employee bring a dish allows kosher, halal, gluten-free, or vegetarian team members to ensure they have a dish they like and can share with colleagues.

Feel free to take the idea of sharing food further by making the party a potluck – with the main dish and drinks provided by company leadership. As a point of reference, over 60% of holiday office parties offer free alcohol.

Of course, calling the event a “Christmas Party” has also morphed into the more generic “holiday party,” and more celebratory names are now en vogue. Onsite and virtual holiday party idea examples include:

  • Mingle Ball
  • A Clause for Celebration
  • Believe in Your Elf Celebration
  • Deck the Crockpots
  • Holiday Cheer-a-Bration

Tie The Event into Your Brand

Since this party is a company-sponsored event, try to weave your brand into the event design and activities as much as possible. For example, a not-for-profit organization focusing on math could start its event at 3:14 PM (the first three digits of Pi). A shoe company can request employees wear their craziest pair to celebrate the company spirit. This is your chance to think outside the cubicle.

Add Activities and Themes to Foster Teamwork

Research shows that employees working together on an activity increase communication, collaboration, and motivation.2 Turn your onsite and virtual holiday party ideas into focused events to reap the rewards.

#1 Volunteer Event

Coming together as a team to serve holiday dinners for needy people, organizing a holiday coat or food drive, or seeking gifts for kids is an excellent add-on to any party planning ideas.

#2 Gingerbread House Decorating

The joy of this event is laughing with your colleagues…and finding out who can and can’t draw!

#3 Ugly Sweater Contest

Eat, Drink, & Be Ugly is the perfect name for this themed holiday office party. It brings out the class clowns and ensures everyone has a good laugh.

#4 Holiday Office/Cube Decorating Contest

If you’ve ever witnessed a highly competitive team, wait to see what your trusted employees can do. From lights to bells to icicles, your employees’ creativity will explode into a riot of designs.

#5 Casino Night

Are you feeling lucky yet? Using “fun money”, employees can discover the ace of cards lurking in their midst.

#6 White Elephant

A white elephant gift exchange, whereby you ask all employees to purchase a gift with a dollar cap of $10 or $20, is never a bad idea. Employees wrap the gift, watch the unveiling, and then have the opportunity to steal the opened gift or open a new, unwrapped gift.

#7 Ornament Exchange

This fun interaction works like a white elephant, except the wrapped gift is an ornament.

#8 Scavenger Hunt

The joy of a scavenger hunt is that employees can be divided into teams that generally don’t work together. They are then sent scavenging throughout the workspace to find secret items. Allow employees to take smartphone photos to prove they’ve found the correct item.

#9 Photo Booth

Say cheese and cheesy all at the same time. The photos are priceless for company social media platforms and even company recruiting.

#10 Secret Santa

A significant benefit of acting as a colleague’s secret Santa is allowing employees to ask the intended recipient three questions. These questions can help build a stronger connection – particularly between employees who normally do not get a chance to work together.

#11 Office Escape Room

Balancing thrills and fun fosters analytical thinking.

#12 Name That Tune

This holiday party idea benefits from an emcee who plays the first few seconds of a popular tune and then allows employees to guess. Feel free to add prizes.

#13 Wine Tasting

It’s easy to turn a wine-tasting event into a brown bag contest, with employees guessing which wine is inside.

#14 Movie Night

December is the perfect time of year to take in an award-nominated movie before the winners are announced in the new year. Remember to buy the popcorn.

#15 Putting Contest

A day on the greens or even a round of miniature golf allows for friendly competition.

#16 Board Games

From Monopoly to Life, let employees unleash their inner child.

#17 Raffle Event

Managers hand out raffle tickets and randomly pick winners. Who wouldn’t want to win an extra day off, a gift card, or a free lunch?

Smart Lockers as a Gift Distribution Hub

With hybrid workers not coming to the office daily, there’s a need for safely and securely transferring physical resources between employees who aren’t in the office at the same time. Implementing a solution such as Parcel Pending by Quadient’s Corporate Campus Hub™, for instance, allows employees to leverage smart lockers to safely store and retrieve items within 10 seconds using a unique six-digit access code or by scanning a unique barcode from their mobile device. It also allows for easily transferring the holiday prizes from the abovementioned ideas.

Ready to find out more about how commercial parcel lockers can improve your employee experience? Contact one of our package management experts today.



  1. Holiday Party Regrets. 2022. Infographic. Four Loko, December 11, 2022. https://fourloko.com/holiday-party-regrets/
  2. Turner, Jamie. 5 Research-Based Insights on the Value of Good Teamwork in the Office. www.linkedin.com. March 16, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-research-based-insights-value-good-teamwork-office-jamie-turner/