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8 Must-Haves for an Unforgettable Holiday Party

Can you believe it’s almost the end of the year? With all the hustle and bustle of our work lives, it’s often hard to forget that the holidays are just around the corner. If you have yet to begin planning the office holiday party, this thought might cause some stress. Whether you’re planning a party that is months or weeks away, here are eight essential items you need for it to be a success:

1) Happy holiday playlist

There’s nothing quite like the first high-pitched note of a Mariah Carey Christmas classic that brings life to a festive gathering. What’s a holiday party without a playlist?

If you choose to create your own playlist, be sure to add an album cover—maybe one with all your coworkers in their holiday wear. Make the music selection a group activity! Ask everyone what their favorite holiday tunes of all time are and add them to the list.

If you don’t have time to build your own playlist, consider these top Spotify playlists:

If you need more music inspiration, check out this complete guide to holiday music.

2) Festive cocktails

If good music is first, spirits to get everyone in the holiday spirit (get it?) is a close second on the list of party must-haves. From the classics to drinks that might as well be dessert, there is certainly no shortage of delicious cocktails on the internet. In the end, give your guests plenty of options and be sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages, too!

Festive Holiday Beverages

Try your hand at some of the following seasonal delights:

Want even more cocktail ideas? Check out our recent blog full of holiday cocktail inspiration!

3) A slideshow recap of the year

A slideshow full of all your memories together throughout the year is a great way to capture the heart of the season. Along with photos, you can also add music and text to make it more personal. There are many different templates and slideshow makers out there. It’s all about the timing of the slideshow, too. Consider sharing it during a meal or right before the annual gift exchange or cookie swap.

4) Meaningful words from the boss

Words certainly go a long way. What better way to spread Christmas cheer than to thank everyone for a day full of hard work? Be as specific as you want. And the more personal, the better. This could be the perfect opportunity to share everyone’s standout moments. If this holiday gathering includes significant others or close family, the acknowledgement of their loved one will certainly mean a lot to them.

5) Holiday theme with matching gear

Themes make parties extra fun. It’s time to bust out the ugly sweaters and reindeer antlers. Or what about flannel and frost? Or how about a holiday movie theme? Everyone dresses as their favorite holiday movie character. And everyone would certainly look nice and cozy in a festive onesie, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. The right holiday theme can be tricky. It has to fit your unique batch of people, of course! If you’re looking for even more holiday inspiration, check out more themes here!

6) A sprinkle of holiday flair

A little bit of decor can brighten any holiday party setting. Consider light-filled centerpieces, wrapped wall decor and hanging snowflakes. It’s amazing what a few ornaments and a poinsettia can do to liven up any atmosphere. If your office has its own tree, ask everyone to bring in one of their favorite ornaments to hang on it.

Holiday dessert table featuring mini cookies
Maria Harte Photography

7) Seasonal dishes

Okay, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the holiday spread. Depending on the type of party you’re having, you’re going to want the holiday favorites as well as those with a twist. It’s important your party has lots of delicious eats for everyone.

Holiday Party Passed Hors d'eouvres

What time is your party taking place? If it’s happening during the day, consider a corporate brunch complete with scrambled eggs, potatoes, french toast, fruits and various types of meats. Or maybe get employees excited about a make-your-own omelette station.

If you’re planning the party of the season, consider inviting everyone to bring their own family dishes. Or can anyone say “chili cook-off”?

Appetizers can make or break any party. Here are a few of our own favorite holiday creations:

  • White Cheddar, Cranberry and Chipotle Dip
  • Balsamic Tomato Jam Crostini
  • Sweet Thai Chili Meatballs
  • Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders
Sweet Chili Meatballs on a white serving tray

For more holiday spreads, take a look at our complete holiday menu!

8) Games to get the party started

The arsenal of activities you choose for your holiday party is a big deal! It’s how you break the ice and hopefully get everyone to shake off a little of the year’s stress. Here are some game ideas that will certainly get everyone to smile and relish the holiday fun:

  • Holiday karaoke
  • Ornament-making station
  • Game show or trivia
  • Non-traditional tree contest
  • Gift wrap toys for charity
  • Holiday murder mystery

Are there more must-haves that need to be on this list? Tell us in the comments below! Or if you need help planning your next party, contact our team to get started!


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