Holiday Parties Tips

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What should I avoid doing at the company Christmas party?

Do's and Don'ts of Company Christmas Party Etiquette

It's almost time for the company holiday party. We've all heard of those co-workers who have gotten really drunk and embarrassed themselves. This is perhaps an obvious example of what not to do at the company Christmas or holiday party. Here are some other do's and don'ts for your behavior at the company Christmas party:

  • Do remember that although office parties are intended as social events to reward employees and raise morale, they remain strictly business events. Do act as though your behavior is being observed every minute (because it probably is).
  • Don't pass up the invitation to an office party; not attending could hurt your reputation. And when you attend, do spend at least 30 minutes at the party for appearances. But don't overstay your welcome by partying until the wee hours.
  • Do conduct yourself professionally at all times. Don't use the office party as an excuse to blow off steam. It's still a company function, so proper etiquette and decorum matter.
  • Don't bring the party lampshade, gag gifts for the boss, or any other crazy stuff you might do at a personal holiday party.
  • Do enjoy yourself at the party. Employers spend the big bucks to reward their employees, so be sure to enjoy the only holiday gift you may be getting from the company.
  • Don't pull the nightclub attire from your closet for the event -- and do ask whether the attire for the party is formal or casual. The party is still a business function, so conservative party clothes are a good choice. So, do remember to skip anything too revealing or too flashy. Keep your reputation for good taste intact.
  • Do keep your hands to yourself. Don't flirt, and do avoid any other inappropriate behavior. The office party is not the time to end your career with the company by doing something inappropriate or illegal.
  • Don't spend all evening talking business. You'll forever have the label as the office bore.
  • Do keep all conversations positive and upbeat. Don't spend the evening complaining, bragging, correcting, whining, or ridiculing. And do avoid controversial subjects (such as religion, politics, etc.) and off-color jokes.
  • Don't monopolize conversations -- and, especially, don't talk about yourself or your accomplishments all night. Do show interest in others. Do be gracious and thank coworkers and team members for all their help and hard work during the past year. And don't even think about gossiping about others.
  • Do keep one hand free during the night so that you can offer handshakes to people as they come by. And do keep your drink in your left hand, so you are not offering people a cold, wet handshake all evening.
  • Don't feel you need to drink excessively just because it's an open bar. And don't pig-out at the food buffet either. Moderation is key. You can always eat and drink more after the party.
  • Do take the time to network and schmooze with people at the party who can influence your career or who you may not see regularly, such as top management, people from other departments, and employees from other locations. A holiday party is a great event to begin building or strengthening business relationships, so do introduce yourself and build your network.
  • Don't assume everyone celebrates the same holiday, so don't go overboard with the “Merry Christmas.”
  • Do be sure you know exactly who is invited to the party. Spouses or significant others are not always on the guest list for office parties. And if guests are permitted, don't bring an inappropriate person as your guest.
What are some Christmas party games that are fun to play?

Christmas Party Games

If you're looking to liven up your Christmas party or holiday party this year with some games, here are some ideas that are sure to please both adults and children.

Gift wrapping game: you will need gift items (as inexpensive or as expensive as you want), wrapping paper, tape, music. Wrap some gifts several times in preparation for the game. Start the music and have everyone pass a gift around the party. When the music stops, that person must unwrap a layer of wrapping on the gift. If the gift is still wrapped, the game continues until the gift is completely unwrapped and it is awarded to the person who unwrapped its last layer.

Story game: everyone brings a wrapped gift to the party and sits in a circle. The host reads a story that has a lot of directions in it. This story can be fabricated by the guest (this could be a fun way to include family members or friends in the story for some laughs) or borrowed from a source online. For example, one line in the story may read, "Suzie LEFT for the party in such a rush that she forgot her mother asked her to take the trash RIGHT out." As the guests hear the words "right" and "left" they pass the gift in their hands in the appropriate direction. When the story is over, the guest keeps the gift in his or her hands.

Yankee Swap: each guest brings a gift (it is a good idea for the host to set a monetary limit on the gift such as an item that is under $20). The host creates scraps of paper with a number for each person at the party. For example, if there are 30 people at the party, she will drop numbers one through 30 into a hat. Everyone draws a number. Whoever draws lucky number one is the lucky one who gets to choose the best prize in the house at the end. The guests, in order of their number, choose a wrapped gift, open it and decide to keep it or trade it with a gift that has been opened before them. After number 30 has gone, number one gets to choose to trade his or her gift with any from the 30 gifts opened.

What are some ways I can avoid being stressed out at my Christmas party?

Avoid Christmas Party Pitfalls

A Christmas party at your house can be a lot of fun. It can also be pretty stressful. Avoid possible problems now by thinking ahead. Here is some advice from the experts so this holiday soiree will be a blast and not your last.

  • When deciding who to invite, take into account the size of your place and the fact that some guests will probably bring a friend or two without asking you.
  • If you're trying to cut down your guest list, think about cutting work friends first. Remember, if there is a company Christmas party, you can mingle with your co-workers then.
  • Do all your inviting at once so no one feels like they were an afterthought.
  • Give clues as to how people should dress on your invite. Use words like "casual" or "black tie" or "business casual" to avoid making quests feel self-conscious when they arrive too dressy or too dressed down.
  • Have your party on a weekend leading up to Christmas and not after Christmas as most people have turned their attention toward New Year's Eve at that point. Do not have your party on Christmas Eve, as most people prefer to spend time with their families on that day.
  • If you're on a fixed budget plan a potluck dinner and ask everyone to bring a dish.
  • Set a budget for decorations and food. Write down all the must-haves and estimate how much each item will cost next to it. Once at the market, don't buy anything that's not on the list unless it's something important that you forgot. Impulse buys are the quickest way to go over budget. Expect to spend at least $50 on food if you're feeding 10 -- more if you are feeding more people than that.
  • If you are planning on serving alcohol, give guests a heads up so they can plan on a designated driver or other way home. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is the most deadly on United States roads due to driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How do I plan a tree trimming Christmas Party?

How to Plan a Tree Trimming Christmas Party

If you'd like to plan a tree trimming party, when you send out invitations ask guests to either buy or make an ornament for your tree. If you are having a lot of mixed friends who might not know each other, name tags are a good idea. A fun way to do this is to give everyone a Santa hat with their name on the brim. Decorate your home using Christmas party supplies such as garland, Santa figurines, Christmas candy wrapped in green and red and mistletoe.

Play Christmas music and let everyone take turns showing off their ornament and what made them choose or make that particular one. This little show-and-tell session has the potential to be very entertaining and fun. Then have them approach the tree and hang the ornament.

A nice touch is to have an ornament for everyone to take home as a gift as well. Perhaps you made it yourself or it says something memorable on it like the calendar year.

How can I throw the company holiday party everyone wants?

A Survey Can Help You Plan a Company Holiday Party

There are some important factors to consider if you want to throw a company party. First off, do the employees even want one?

After all, a party isn't a party if no one attends. Experts suggest circulating a survey to get a feel for what suits your office best in the way of a holiday party. Here are some items that should be on the survey.

  • Would they like a company Christmas party or holiday party?
  • When is it most convenient for them? During a workday? On a weekend evening?
  • Would they prefer an employees-only gathering or should spouses/dates be invited? For some an evening out with a spouse is a delightful and romantic idea; for others it's a frantic scramble to find a date or a babysitter.
Please note that you aren't going to have agreement between everyone on this survey. So simply let the majority rule.

What are some ideas for a Christmas party?

Ways to Create a Cozy Atmosphere at Your Christmas Party

A Christmas party or holiday party is a memorable event, especially if you're the host. It's normal for you to want everything to be perfect, so start planning now. It's not too early to decide on drinks, food and Christmas party supplies.

If you have the space, you may decide to lay out your best china for a dinner party. Otherwise, why not set out six or seven hors d'oeuvres that are as delicious and filling as they are beautiful. Trim your tree and set out your traditional holiday decorations well in advance. On the day of the party, spruce up your home with fresh greenery. Hang a pine wreath on your front door and dress your mantle in holly. A welcoming fire in the fireplace will make your guests feel tranquil and cozy. Set out twinkling white lights and glistening candles.

As things wind down, present your departing guests with small pots of Christmas-tree-shaped rosemary, sold in stores around the holidays. Aromatic rosemary is the traditional herb for remembrance. Good memories will come together if you treat your Christmas party as a project and get going on it now. Remember: a relaxed host sets the mood.

What are some ideas for themed Christmas parties?

Ideas for Themed Christmas Parties

Looking to do something fun and different with your annual Christmas party this year? Read up on party Web sites to find Christmas party themes that have worked for others. The ideas can be inspiring.

Themed invitations set the mood for your unique holiday party. From there, the options are endless. From the "Christmas in Scotland" party in which the hosts asked everyone to come in 18th century Scottish costumes and dance to a traditional Scottish band to a "Christmas Under the Sea" party in which the bar was decorated as a giant clam, the Christmas tree in seaweed and shells and a Calypso band encouraged quests to dance the night away island-style.

How about a Victorian dessert Christmas party in which guests show up in Victorian costumes, the house is decorated in candles and burgundy velvet and guests each bring a savory dessert to share? These are all ideas that worked famously for some people. Don't be afraid to copy their creativity! The ideas are endless (and not necessarily expensive) if you have the energy, time and motivation to pull them off.

What are my options in Christmas party supplies?

Christmas Party Supplies

There is no end to the Christmas party supplies on the market. Everything from decorative toothpicks to plates to napkins to punch bowls can be found in stores or on the Internet. For Hanukkah celebrations, there are also a lot of products on the market.

For more simple shopping, some stores carry Christmas or Hanukkah party packs which include, for example, a set amount of plates, cups, napkins, utensils and decorations that all match.

Deck the halls, walls, doors and mirrors with countless hanging objects, stickers, figurines and photos. And don't forget the mistletoe!

Where can I find a Santa Claus for hire for my Christmas party?

Hiring a Santa Claus for Your Christmas Party

If you can't get a family member or co-worker to volunteer, you may have to turn elsewhere to find the a jolly bearded man to liven up your Christmas party. The Internet has become a wonderful source for hiring a Santa Claus as companies crop up to meet the demand. Many of these companies have rules of conduct the Santas must follow. Make sure your Santa is a reputable professional before hiring him. Check out the following sites:

  • allows you to hand pick your Santa from the Website -- the men have profiles and pictures and are listed according to geographical region. Many pride themselves on having real snow white beards.
  • click on the state you live in and you will be sent to page with several links to companies in your area that hire out Santas for the holidays. You can email the companies to request a price quote.
  • just click on the state you live in and you will be provided with local men who are private contractors you can hire for your party.

What are some ways I can cut costs?

Entertaining Party Ideas - Less Is Best

This holiday has become one of excess. Take a step back and simplify - Here's a couple of tips on make the most with less.
1. Cut the guest list - Only invite those you want to - instead of have to.
2. Only serve Beer, Wine & Champagne (and maybe a punch bowl) No need for a bartender.
3. It is not in poor taste to ask each guest to BYOB you provide the ice and mixers.
4. It is not in poor taste to ask each guest to BYO(appetizer) you provide the bar set-up (nice for a wine tasting event)
5. Simplify your menu - serve the foods that are proven winners - don't be experimental.
6. Make a budget and stick with it!!! The real reason to have a party is not to go in the hole - but to have fun. You won't be smiling in January when your credit card bill arrives if you spent too much on one night of fun.
7. Candles and white X-mas lights are a simple and affordable way to make any home glow for the holidays.

What can I serve for Christmas Dinner?

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner doesn't have to have turkey or ham as the entree. Prime rib, Cornish Hens or Squab are excellent and delicious alternatives. Or try a different ethnic Christmas feast each year.

How do I cut down my invite list?

Cutting down the Invitation List - Invitations for Parties

Make your list and check it twice - before you crank up your label maker take a hard look at your list for any possible conflicting relations, a falling out or a move. Think of your party as a theatrical production your home is the stage, you are the director (and star) and your guests are the cast. Make sure they work well together. And finally don't be afraid to introduce some "new talent" to the "old pros" , My motto is Mix, Mingle and Be Merry!

I need a punchbowl recipe

Party Celebrations- Punch Bowl Favorites

Make a varieity of punches and have them scattered throughout your home. Here are some of my favorites -
Spiced EggNog - You can go to for an official recipe or you can cheat by using store bought Egg nog, and pouring 2 cups of light rum to each Quart. Garnish with nutmeg, cinnamon and whipped cream.
Sparkling Punch - this recipe can be made non aloholic by ommitting the champagne.
1 Bottle Champagne/Sparkling Wine
1 Bottle Ginger Ale (2 Liter)
1 Bottle lemonade (12 oz/Snapple)
1 Quart of Sherbert or your picking.

Rum Party Punch
1 Bottle of Light or Spiced Rum (I like Malibu)
1 Bottle 7-up/Sprite
2 cups of Pineapple Juice
2 cups of OJ (no pulp)
1 shot of Grand Marnier (Triple Sec)
Put Sliced Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Star Fruit, and maraschino cherries in a bowl of water in your freezer, when frozen put in punch bowl, to keep punch chilled.

Any ideas for the 4th of July?

Americana Trifle - Holiday Party Decorations

A twist on the red, white and blue! Instead of the traditional flag shaped pie with raspberries, blueberries and cool whip, try yummy trifle instead. Start with a large clear bowl. Make up a bowl of raspberry jello following the directions on the packet. Place plain sponge cake in the bottom of the bowl and pour the jello over it. Chill in refrigerator until jello is set. Add a layer of cool whip or whipped cream, then a layer of blueberries, another layer of cream/ cool whip, and a layer of raspberries. Finish with a layer of cream/coolwhip. Enjoy.

Are there alternatives to large floral centerpieces?

Easter Flower Arrangements

Instead of one large centerpiece, cluster a variety of small vases and bud vases in the center of the table. Either stick to one type and color of flower per vase - imagine a center piece for your Easter table comprised of tiny vases of grape hyacinths, white crocuses, creamy yellow daffodils, and pink tulips - or use dramatic flowers that can handle being alone in a vase (poppies, aliums, gardenias, peonies, gerbera, ranunculuses).

What ideas do you have for my Christmas table?

The Holiday Table

Use a dark green tablecloth. Add gold accents: chargers, flatware and gilded pinecones, to create a beautiful Christmas setting.

What´s a different idea for holiday invitations

Christmas Party Themes - Tree Hanging Party

The best ideas for invitations are ones that simply relect what your party will be about. Be creative and think out of the box - For a Tree Trimming party send a Ornament Hook with a HELP WANTED Sticker, or send a construction paper tree cut out with colorform(like) trimmings, Remember being Creative does not have to be expensive

What are some Holiday Party Themes?

Holiday Party Themes

Themes for the Holidays can be really fun. Some of my favorites are:
1. Tree Trimming - This one's close to my heart as it was the theme for my wedding shower. As a newlywed to be I had no ornaments - so everyone brought one for the wishing well. This works well for first time home owners too. Or you can flip it and just invite friends your friends over to help create a masterpiece with your own holiday supplies. String up a popcorn garland and paper chains.
2. Caroling is fun for all ages, have kids go online and download their favorite song verses. Make songbooks, Grab some lanterns and candles, and don your most outrageous ski hats. Hopefully your holiday cheer will spread and you will pick up some more revelers along the way - the more the merrier. Invite everyone back to enjoy a warm fire, hot cocoa and a raucous game of name that holiday tune.
3. Progressive Dinner Party - A variation on the Mexican celebration of Los Posadas, which celebrates Mary and Joseph's journey to find a place for the evening. Use Luminaries to light the way to each neighbors home to enjoy some holiday treats. I like to think of it as a winter block party.
4. Cookie Swap - Think "Dinner and a Movie" from TNT - Invite over a couple of your favorite friends, put on your favortie holiday movie, pour some hot toddies and share the wealth of your guests baking prowess. Plus everone goes home with cookies.
5. Stocking Hop and Swap - We did this for my kids school, but I'm sure it'll work for anyone. Guests are invited to come and dance the night away in their stocking feet. For admittance yu must bring one pair of clean socks which will be donated to a local shelter. The kids went overboard and collected over 500 pairs - a lot of fun which celebrates the true meaning of the holiday - giving.
6. Holiday Around the World:
From Yule Logs to Kwanza and Hanukkah to Los Posadas to Christams - Make your party into a global festival by highlighting fodds, drinks, decor and customs from each holiday celebration. Hand out passports for guests to have stamped at each destination.

Do you have any good Christmas party ideas?

Christmas Party Themes - Tree Trimming

A tree trimming party is a great idea! Have cocoa and cookies for the kids. Let them hand decorate an ornament as a gift for each guest. Share the history of your most cherished decorations and finish the evening off with a story, or Christmas carols.

What kind of party ideas do you have for Christmas?

Party Ideas Christmas - Tailgate Party

Grab family, friends and assorted kids and head off to cut your Christmas tree. Pack a hamper filled with deli meats and cheeses. Tuck a couple of thermoses full of hot Irish coffee and hot chocolate. This is a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

Do you have some ideas for flower arrangements for the Easter Table?

Spring Easter Flower Arrangements

Check out your garden center before the flower shop. Living plants can often be cheaper in the long run. And check this out - no last minute running around, you can pick them up a few days before the party, and they can double as your party favor. The possibilities for enhancing your parties theme with live plants is endless.

For a spring brunch, buy small violet and pansy plants in various shades. Pot them in small terracota pots you have painted first with acrylic paints. Select your paint colors to closely match the shade of the flower that will go in that pot. Instead of a centerpiece, place one pot at each placesetting. Simple place holders can be made by writing names of pieces of paper cut in the shape of a butterfly which you can make "hover" over the pots with florists wire.

What´s an easy 4th of July centerpiece idea?

Party Centerpieces - Independence Day Idea

This is a really easy party centerpiece to make:

Purchase red and white geraniums. Place the flowers in 4-inch pots and tie blue ribbons around the pots. Or you can paint the pots white and stamp blue stars around then add only red geraniums.

What can I do to have a really special New Years Eve?

Party Celebrations - New Years Eve

Go all out for New Years Eve! Splurge and buy the best champagne you can afford. Serve lox, caviar and silky pate with shaved truffles on top. Borrow or buy the best silver and china to accent the wonderful foods.

What can two people do for New Years Eve?

How to Plan Parties

Two people can have their own very special New Years party. Light the candles, throw a log on the fire, and share very special memories together. Serve oysters on the half shell, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for a romantic meal.

What´s a good dessert for an Easter Party

Easter Desserts - Marshmallow Bunnies

This is a cute idea for an Easter party treat.

5 large marshmallows
1 8-inch piece of shoestring licorice, ribbon or string
10 miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp canned white frosting
Assorted candies for decorating

1. Stack 2 large marshmallows, securing with some frosting, for each bunny. Tie licorice, ribbon or string around middle of each marshmallow to separate head and body sections of bunny.

2. Cut remaining large marshmallow into quarters lengthwise; using frosting attach 2 quarters for ears to each bunny head.

3. Attach 4 miniature marshmallows for bunny paws and 1 for cottontail to each bunny with remaining frosting. Use assorted candies to make faces. Let dry.

How can I add a personal touch to my Christmas party this year?

Free Seasonal Patterns on Websites Help Create Special Gifts

Perhaps you're having an intimate family Christmas party this year and want to add a personal touch. How about creating a special hand-crafted gift for each family member? There are free websites that offer hundreds of patterns for those that enjoy crochet, cross-stitch, quilting, sewing, crafts, plastic canvas, knitting and tatting, woodworking and paper projects. You'll just have to plan early to ensure these precious gifts are ready by Christmas!

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Guru Spotlight
Carma Spence-Pothitt