9 Unique Work Holiday Party Ideas

Holiday Celebration Kit

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9 Unique Work Holiday Party Ideas

We've got plenty to cheer for!

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We've created ready-to-use celebration kits to take the pressure off preparing for, and celebrating, all the most common office holidays. Get useful tips, fun ideas, and handy downloadables to make the day something truly worth celebrating. 

Holiday Party Office-Friendly Playlist
Listen while you browse and save it to your library for later.

It's the end of the year and it's time to celebrate at work! Use this playlist for your office holiday party.

It’s the holiday season! Whether you celebrate winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the end of the year, Ōmisoka, or nothing in particular, it’s a great time to get together at work. Winter can get dreary with some people suffering with seasonal depression and having to stay indoors more. It’s the perfect time to boost morale by throwing a party and getting in the giving spirit.

In order to be inclusive of those who don’t celebrate certain holidays you can refer to it as “the holiday season” or an “end of the year celebration.” Choose a celebration that works for your organization depending on location, size, culture, weather, and budget.

Make good use of those conference room TVs when they're not in use.



In addition to party ideas, we have an array of digital assets from emails to graphics to help fill your employees with holiday cheer! Now let’s party…

1. Play Santa.

Make someone else’s Christmas dreams come true. “Adopt” a family, or several depending on the size of your company, and get them the things they need to have a Merry Christmas. You can deliver the items as a group and either sing carols or leave them anonymously, because, you know, they’re from “Santa.”

You can also partner with a charity to do a general toy drive. Set up a collection bin and work and invite whoever can to donate toys. If you’re remote, encourage employees to find organizations close to them that may need donations.

2. Give away event tickets.

Give your employees tickets to a holiday activity. Is there a local light show or other holiday themed event in your area? This is especially good if you don’t have space for a large gathering or conflicting schedules.

However, if your employees aren’t in the same area you could give them movie tickets (or Awardco points to redeem for events in their area). 

3. Have a shopping spree.

Give employees a holiday shopping spree. But there’s a catch, they only have a limited time to use the money. Take everyone to the mall, Costco, or another store with lots of options. You can have them shop for themselves or get items to donate.

The benefit to this approach is it’s a chance for people who might otherwise use a bonus on something “boring” like putting it towards bills to use it for something fun. As a result, it feels more like a gift.

4. Send a Bonus Box.

You can curate a box full of items to send to your employees’ houses. This is a great option for remote teams. You can include anything from gift cards to games to company swag to winter gear. 

If you’re employees can’t be together, send a party-in-a-box. You can send drinks, snacks, a present, and even decorations.

If it’s cold where you’re at, consider sending some gourmet hot chocolate, scarves, hats, a fancy blanket (some people may disagree, but you can never have too many blankets), candles, or anything else that’ll make the dark winter months a little warmer.

5. Host a gift swap.

Gifts don’t always have to be brand new, host an exchange of gently used items. Recycle, reuse, and reduce! People can post items they have to give away on office communication channels and other people can claim them. This especially works with kids who tire quickly of their toys. Employees with kids can swap used toys for “new to them” toys.

6. Hang up a Recognition Advent Calendar.

Not sure what that is? We probably invented it. Here’s one you can download.

7. Assign Secret Santas around the office.

Giving can be just as fun as getting. Assign people to get gifts for their office mates. It’s helpful to have everyone fill out a form with things that they like so the gifter has some ideas to go off of. 

Giving and receiving gifts around the holidays brings employees together.

8. Celebrate “Holiday Extravaganza Week.”

Why not celebrate all the holidays? Invite employees to share their holiday traditions and do them throughout the week. You could celebrate Hanukkah on Tuesday, eat traditional food for Kwanzaa on Wednesday, build snowmen on Thursday, decorate Christmas cookies on Friday, etc.

9. Give employees points.

You can give points (using Award)or a gift card to help out with some of the holiday spending. A lot of spending happens all at once for people at the end of the year and extra spending money can be put towards presents, holiday dinners, or travel. 

Bonus Idea: Recognition Advent Calendar

If you're looking for a way to celebrate the holidays more than one day in the month of December, check these out and put them on an advent calendar:

  1. Recognize a fellow employee. 
  2. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
  3. Send a heartfelt email. Yes, emails can be heartfelt.
  4. Give someone a free or inexpensive gift. 
  5. Help someone for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Compliment a stranger.
  7. Write down ten things you like about yourself.
  8. Recognize someone in your life who has inspired you.
  9. Reach out to someone on social media.
  10. Send a relative a handwritten letter.
  11. Send someone a song that reminds you of them.
  12. Apologize for something...there’s probably something. 
  13. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in over a year.
  14. Offer to mentor/chat with someone for an hour.
  15. Smile at someone.
  16. Make a list of five things you’re grateful for.
  17. Tip extra well the next time you go out.
  18. Write someone a poem or a song (it doesn’t have to be good).
  19. Set a goal for the new year.
  20. Leave a nice review for a business you frequent.
  21. Play with a kid or an animal. Or both.
  22. Send someone a funny video or meme.
  23. Do something extra around the office or around your house.
  24. Leave a nice comment on a stranger’s post online or leave a note for a stranger.

The most important thing is to plan something that works for your organization. Of course, you can’t go wrong if you give them choices! Awardco points can be used for items on Amazon, hotel stays, gift cards, and more.

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Awardco was built to create a sense of belonging and loyalty in organizations by truly rewarding the best in people. We'd love to chat with you about doing exactly that.

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