The Christmas office party is back on the agenda. If you fear organising a potential festive farce, take a look at our five most cringe worthy Christmas party pitfalls and our Fresh approach to dodging the dodgy party.
At number five. The sit-down meal. Whether a joker has lumbered you with the tricky dining partner, or a trip to the loo left you with the last place at the table, being stuck for hours of enforced jollity with those you wish were strangers can really dampen the most festive spirits. We suggest a stand up buffet, fondue or canapé meal, with help yourself dessert and cheese to keep energy levels up for the night owls. If your staff can circulate, they can socialise, talk more freely and no one gets stuck with the office bore.
Four, The early guest. The tinsel is up, top 50 Christmas hits are playing on a loop, staff are in Santa hats but you are on your own. It’s a tough call arriving early when others are fashionably late… and being the first few to arrive means chatting awkwardly while the party warms up. Why not launch this year’s festivities with an activity and organise a Christmas themed treasure hunt in black cabs? The final clue leads to the party destination; teams share their tales of adventure and the party is underway.
Three: The over-indulger. The youngest member of the team has been let off the leash and got stuck right into the free bar… Soon it may all end in tears, or worse, with a huge dry cleaning bill or embarrassed colleagues. An unlimited bar bill could also be unpopular with the financial controller. How about organising a tasting evening? Wine tasting is the first thought for many, though beer, cider or vodka tastings are all growing in popularity. For the members of our team who choose not to drink; cheese or chocolate tasting evenings can be an excellent event to run alongside a wine tasting… giving everyone an opportunity to take part.
In second place, Festive Freebies. On the subject of chocolate, who really wants a single square of company branded chocolate or another pen as a take home gift. For a chocolate treat that will really get the team talking, working together and bonding incorporate the Fresh Tracks Chocolate Challenge into your festive celebrations. Each team creates, makes and takes home their own brand of chocolates in suitably festive packaging. As it’s Christmas, sampling is not just allowed, it’s obligatory.
Top of our list for Christmas cringe is the good old Secret Santa. Buying for someone who would not otherwise be on your list is a minefield of potential embarrassment, even with anonymity. Then, in the public gaze you have to open your gift… novelty shower gel (do I smell?). Or worse, the joker who pulled your name out of the hat popped down to Ann Summers at lunchtime…
If you’d like Christmas at your firm to bring a real smile in the form of gifts consider the Toy Factory, perhaps as a precursor to the party. Your team can work together to create quality wooden toys, which can be donated to a linked charity. In this way, you can all be Santa’s Little Helpers, and spread festive cheer.