Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or nada, it’s a great time to toast the end-of-the-year with your team. A holiday party is a seasonal staple for most companies. But if a big bash is off the table or you’ve simply run out of time, host an event that’s simple and quick to pull together.
Here are 8 last-minute holiday event ideas to bring cheer to your team as you kick off the winter holidays!
TLDR: As the days get shorter and darker, a small festive event can add a splash of light and cheer to your team! Gather your colleagues for some fun activities this holiday season that are quick and easy to execute.
- Winter Movie Night
- Office Decorating Competition
- Winter Mixology Class
- Holiday Karaoke
- Gingerbread House Decorating
- Winter Coat & Accessories Drive
- Cookie Recipe Swap
- Feed the Community
1. Winter Movie Night 🎥
Entertain your team with a wintery film. Come together and share laughs, tears, wonder, and fears. Kick it up a notch with refreshments and a post-movie discussion.
- Select. First, choose a movie. Consider holiday classics or movies set in the winter, like Die Hard (action), Snow Day (comedy), I Tonya (drama), Happy Feet (animated), Home Alone (comedy), and The Holiday (rom-com).
- Set up. If you have an office, fill a meeting room with chairs and set up a projector or large monitor. Whether in-office, remote, or hybrid, stream the movie from your favorite streaming service, like Netflix or Disney+. Include those working from home, by sharing the movie on Zoom.
- Snacks and sips. Provide classic theatre refreshments like candy and popcorn. Serve microwave or pre-packaged popcorn. For a festive twist, toss in red and green chocolate candies, like m&ms. Prepare a selection of teas, soft drinks, and coffee. Level up with a seasonal drink like sparkling cranberry punch–a crowd-pleaser, with or without alcohol.
- Savor. Kick back and enjoy Winter Movie Night. What was the funniest, scariest, or most visually captivating moment? What character do you relate to the most? Take time to discuss what you watched.
2. Office Decorating Competition 🎄
Set the winter scene with a holiday office decorating competition.
- Encourage employees to decorate their home or office workspace. Offer decorations, like lights and tinsel, and encourage homemade decorations.
- Get employees to share a snap of their decorated workspace on Slack with the rest of the team. Award prizes for the best office spaces and most creative displays.
3. Winter Mixology Class 🍸
Those who drink together, come together.
- Spirits. Host a winter-themed spirits class for colleagues and their significant others. Find a festive cocktail recipe, like apple cider mule, peppermint patty drink, cranberry martini, pomegranate margaritas, and peppermint martini. Add a dash of class, by adding a salt or sugar rim to the glass and top with a garnish.
- $ Use mason jars for shaking, regular spoons, and available glassware.
If you’re hosting in-office, you don’t need to purchase equipment for your entire staff. Schedule turns for each department. And let others mingle while waiting for their turn.
- Little Sprites! Invite everyone, plus-ones, and little ones for a family-friendly hot chocolate-making class! Try recipes with a festive twist, like peppermint hot chocolate. Bring marshmallows and whip cream for a snowy effect.
- Remote team. Send mixology kits to your remote staff and host a virtual class. If you’re facing a tight deadline, have your staff purchase supplies themselves ahead of time. Send gift cards for local stores or fund an Instacart purchase.
4. Holiday Karaoke 🎤
Set the seasonal stage for your team with Holiday Karaoke!
- In the office. Rent a karaoke machine. To encourage duets and group singing, get at least two microphones. If you can’t find a karaoke machine, just rent microphones and speakers and use online karaoke sites, like Karafun or Karaoke Online.
- Out on the town. Skip the setup and rent a room at a karaoke bar. It's the perfect, hassle-free way to host a private party with a built-in service staff offering drinks and snacks.
- Online. Include your remote colleagues in a digital singsong. Take advantage of online karaoke services and host the event in a Zoom room. Consider using Watch2Gether, so everyone can interact with song selection.
5. Gingerbread House Decorating 🍬
Who doesn’t love a house made of cookies? Baking a gingerbread house from scratch is a wonderful holiday activity when you have time. In a pinch? Take a shortcut.
- Purchase gingerbread house kits from a grocery store or through Instacart. For more bang for your buck, purchase a gingerbread village that includes multiple houses.
- Make sure you have enough decorations and icing. Purchase small candies like m&ms, candy canes, licorice, chocolate-covered pretzels, and sprinkles.
- Decorate the houses in the office or give your staff funds to purchase kits to build at home. To virtually celebrate, share pictures of the creations with each other!
6. Winter Coat & Accessories Drive 🧣
‘Tis the season to give back. As it becomes colder, donate warm clothes to those in need.
- Partner with a local charity or find a thrift store accepting donations, like the Salvation Army.
- Send out an email invite to staff asking them to donate their unused winter clothes, like coats, hats, and mittens.
- Set up a festive drop-off area at the office. And make sure all donations are clean and dry.
- Have your team sign a card and gift wrap a large cardboard box, so it looks like a present. Drop off the donation and snap a photo of the festive delivery to share with your team!
7. Cookie Recipe Swap & Bake 🍪
Get on a sugar-high with your team by hosting a cookie recipe swap.
- Plan. Set a date for an in-office event and book off half a day. Ask everyone to share their favorite cookie recipe. Write down a list and gather all ingredients. Alternatively, ask staff to buy their own ingredients and expense the cost.
- Bake. Mix it up and have everyone follow someone else’s cookie recipe. If your office doesn’t have a kitchen, hold a potluck-style cookie-eating event.
- Celebrate. Commemorate the recipe swap with a holiday cookie recipe book or PDF for the team.
8. Feed the Community 🥫
Give back this holiday season, with food!
- Donate. Collect non-perishable foods and deliver them to the local food bank. Make it festive, by wrapping up the donation box and including a card from your staff.
- Volunteer. Help cook and serve meals at a local soup kitchen. See what locations need help and create a signup sheet.
There are many fun ways to celebrate the holiday season with your team. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Your staff will be grateful that you’re making an effort to bring them together in celebration!
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