Affordable Christmas party ideas

Some people begin the countdown to their Christmas party in June, while others dread feeling forced to celebrate with co-workers at an already expensive time of the year. It can therefore be hard to please everyone and reap the morale-boosting benefits of an end of year party in which you essentially want to thank your employees and celebrate your achievements. Additionally, regardless of the size of your organization, organising a Christmas party can be very expensive and time-consuming. In order to try and tackle these problems head on, here are a few ideas for organising affordable and enjoyable seasonal parties for your employees.

No party at all!

Take a vote and find out if your staff really do want a Christmas party. If the majority of people say no, it may be worth listening to them and organising something people can enjoy during work hours rather than after work. Then you can put the party budget to better use giving your staff gifts (see below) or making a donation to a charity that your employees choose together.  

A party in the office

Turn the office into your Christmas party rather than going off site and hiring an expensive venue. Ask everyone to bring something different - food, drink, decorations - and make getting the office ready a team effort. Alternatively, you could have a themed party, like a "bake-off" competition in which everyone makes their best cakes or cookies, but the party has to be Christmassy. There's a lot to be said for throwing tradition out of the window and adopting a completely different theme (like summer, or a 70's or 80's party) just to keep things interesting. This will also be more inclusive to those who don't necessarily celebrate Christmas.

Party with other companies

If you are a small organization then maybe there are other local businesses or organizations in your building that might be interested in joining forces on a Christmas party. This can often be cheaper and be a great way to network and get to know other businesses nearby.

Dress up (or down) and party on Fridays

If you had to wear a uniform at school, you'll know how much fun it was on days you got to wear your own clothes. Allowing your staff to wear what they want more often in the run up to Christmas - or making Christmas jumpers obligatory - and having a few party games or crackers on certain days will help extend the party atmosphere and keep the festive spirit alive throughout the month rather than having one big night of partying... and one big headache the morning after. 

Volunteer at someone else's Christmas party

Instead of organising a Christmas party for your staff, gather the team together and organise a party for other people at a community centre or residential home. Your employees will get a lot more out of this opportunity to help others than you or they think. There may even be an opportunity to head to the pub afterwards!

Presents for your staff

In lieu of a more traditional Christmas party why not buy your staff individual presents. While this may suit smaller organizations, larger organizations could put team managers in charge of buying presents for each person in their team. Making the presents as individual as possible can mean a lot to your employees.

Not all employees will expect or want a big Christmas party so before you storm ahead organising something first ask what it is they want. Listening to your employees and planning accordingly will go down much better than just organising a huge party nobody will enjoy. 

About the author

Jen Lowthrop is Findmyshift's own all-star writer and a blogger. With more than a decade of experience in volunteer management and marketing, Jen also ran her own local deli/cafe. When not writing for Findmyshift, Jen blogs about her travels at She Gets Around and can be found talking about travel, branding and business on Facebook and Twitter.