How to run an office Christmas party on a budget

by External16 Dec 2013
Have you left your office Christmas party to the last minute? Maybe you are on a really tight budget and have 'settled' for simply heading out to lunch or off to the pub for a few drinks? Mike Symonds has some tips for budget-friendly Christmas parties.
No matter how 'little' money you have it's imperative you make an effort to thank your staff. You can appreciate and value your team without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas you can easily implement to give your work Christmas party a 'Little Christmas Spirit' without it costing you a fortune.
Kris Kringle with a difference - Easy to organise, easy to implement and cost next to nothing. Kris Kringle's are an essential part of Christmas. However this year give it a twist and try something a little different.
  • Intentional Act of Kindness Kris Kringle - Instead of buying a present for their Kris Kringle. The 'gift' staff give is an intentional act of kindness. Wonderful for helping build a spirit of giving and sharing.
  • Novelty Kris Kringle - Place a $10 limit and 'gifts' need to start with the first letter of the person's name. For example if you are buying for Sally you could purchase socks, soap, sardines, super glue, strawberries or shorts. This is great fun and allows people to get a little creative. It's always a treat watching people open their gifts.
Bring in a Plate - Instead of heading out to a fancy restaurant or spending thousands of dollars on food. Have each person bring in a plate of food. If you really like living on the edge, allow staff to bring in what they want (no planning!) you may end up with 10 deserts and 1 main meal, but guaranteed it will be fun and cost effect.  
Get outside - Christmas time use to be about relaxing and unwinding after a busy year. Unfortunately it's now gone the other way. Get back to basic's. Grab a Cricket set, Frisbee, picnic rug and a few meats and salads and head to the park or beach. Slop on the sunscreen, have fun and relax.
Make it a 'Family' Christmas - Let's face it. We spend more time with the people we work with than our own families. Turn your office Christmas party into a 'family like' experience. Set up your conference boardroom like a family dinner table. Throw a cloth over, lay out a few bon bon's (its essential the jokes are really bad) and stick up a stocking for each staff member (filled with their Kris Kringle presents). Each staff member needs to bring in a family Christmas item of tradition and share it with the team. It could be a song, a game or even a type of dish. This is lots of fun and wonderful way to get to know your team a little more!
Good luck. Whatever you decide to do for Christmas, what's important is you enjoy the process and time your spend with your team. Have a wonderful and fun Christmas.

About the author
Mike Symonds is the owner of Funergizers. Funergizers provide a series of programs and workshops to help businesses boost staff morale and create more fun at work.