Is there something more than drinking to spread holiday cheer? Of course there is! Anytime you get your employees together, it’s a great opportunity to interact, have fun, bond and get to know each other a little better. It doesn’t have to be a full blown organized activity. There are some simple and very fun things you can do to engage people at your holiday party—whether a small gathering of 5 or a larger group of hundreds. Here are a few simple ideas that you can easily use:
For a small group of less than 20 people:
Great fun during cocktails. Before the party, make up slips of paper with the name of a holiday movie or song on each one. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “White Christmas,” etc. You can find songs or movie titles online. Put 8 slips in a drinking glass. You need one drinking glass per team. If you can’t find enough titles, you can have some duplicates, but it is better not to have too many. Divide the group into teams of 4- 8 people. Have each team either stand together or around a dinner table. Give each team a glass with the movie slips in them. At the signal to “start” one person on each team pulls out a slip of paper and uses gestures so their teammates will guess what holiday movie they are trying to convey. Once someone has guessed, the glass with the movie slips is quickly passed to the next person, who must pick one and again, using only gestures and facial expressions, try to communicate the title of the movie to their teammates. This goes on until one team has gotten through all 8 of their movie titles. They are declared the winners—and get served first (or win a small prize).
This is a fun game that can be done during dinner or after. Each table represents one team, and you want to make sure that each table has close to the same number of people.
You can buy Scrabble Games to get enough “letters” for this event, or you can just make them using card stock paper and cutting out small squares. For place settings, spell each person’s first name using Scrabble tiles and put them just above their dinner plate. If there are people with the same first name, also provide a last name initial.
For the game: ask the teams to make a “Scrabble crossword” on their table and using the letters provided by their names, they must spell as many words as possible. Give them a time limit of 3 minutes. At the end, the table with the most words (all connected) wins.
You can also have multiple rounds. For example, in the first round, every team must spell words that have to do with the holidays (i.e. turkey, feast, presents, Santa, gifts, etc.). Again, there is a short deadline of 2-3 minutes, and the team with the most words (all in crossword form) is the winner of the round. Other rounds could be “Company Products, Services and Trivia,” “Spare Time” (hobbies or what people do in their spare time), “ What’s on Your Desk.” The categories are endless, and you can even have the players make them up.
Fun team games you can play after dinner:
These are available at any toy department and are perfect for teams.
For mid-size groups of 40- 80:
This is a fun mixer that starts during cocktails and finishes at dinner. It gives people a reason to mingle and talk to others. You can use cards from a standard Clue games from the store, or you can make up your own. Basically, each participant gets a clue card and a list of all the clues on the back of the card. The cards have either the name of a room, a weapon or a character on them. Participants mingle and compare cards during cocktails. On the back of their card, they check off the cards that they have seen from other participants (as well as their own). During dinner, everyone sits a round tables. The people at each table also can compare notes. Then, each table submits its Solution on paper (name of the Body, name of the Room and which Weapon was used to do the deed). The teams with the correct answer are applauded or win a small prize.
For mid to large groups 40- several hundred
For every 50 participants, have one Christmas Tree (live or artificial) with lights. If you do this during cocktails, have tables around the room with craft supplies (paper, scissors, glue, ribbon, styrofoam balls, beads, etc.). Ask people to design and make holiday ornaments. Make sure they put their names on any they create. These are hung on one of the trees. People can make as many as they would like, but everyone should attempt to make at least one.
During dinner, a panel of “judges” picks the 3 most beautiful ornaments. These are announced and displayed after dinner. The designers of these are given a prize. The trees are either auctioned off—or given to charity (to a family that cannot afford a tree).