Employees work hard all year long. Now it’s time to have a little fun with an office Christmas gathering. Playing games is a great way to get the holiday party started and keep the fun going. Check out our list of 30 ideas to keep your team entertained.
1. Most Festive Work Space Contest - Before the party, encourage employees to decorate their cubicle in a seasonal theme. At the Christmas party, announce winners. Consider giving out prizes.
2. How Many Ornaments - While everyone is arriving, have people guess how many ornaments are on the Christmas tree and record their picks. After everyone assembles, announce the winner and hand out a small prize.
3. What’s in the Stocking? - Fill a stocking with 10 random holiday items like a roll of tape, candy cane, Christmas bow or miniature Christmas tree, and tie at the top so no one can see inside. Pass around the stocking and employees use their sense of touch to determine what’s inside, writing down every item they can figure out. The person with the most correct answers wins.
4. Desk Personalities - Have everyone provide one unique item from their desk and then display the items at the party. The fun is to have everyone guess who owns each item. Consider labeling the bottom of the item with the name of the person it belongs to, so you don’t get confused.
5. Candy Cane Relay - You will need a lot of small candy canes, a handful of stockings, chopsticks and several large bowls. Divide the group in teams and place the unwrapped candy canes in the bowls. Each player places a chopstick in their mouth, their hands behind their back and attempts to hook as many candy canes as possible on their chopstick. The player then transfers their “hooked” candy canes to their team’s stocking. The team with the most candy canes in their stocking is the winner.
Organize holiday office party games with an online sign up. SAMPLE
6. Reindeer Antlers -
Divide players into equal teams, and give each team a pair of pantyhose with the toes cut off, 15 small balloons and two pieces of ribbon. One person puts the pantyhose on their head, while other team members inflate the balloons and stuff them one at a time into the legs of the pantyhose (each leg making an “antler”). Tie off the ends with ribbon. The fastest team wins.
7. Snowball Fight - Blow up 50 balloons or more depending on your group size. Use painter’s tape to create a divider line down the middle of the party room. Each team has two minutes to get as many balloons on the other side as they can without crossing the line.
8. Blind Christmas Tree - Pass out a piece of green construction paper to each player. Each person rips the paper into the shape of a Christmas tree after placing the paper behind his back. The winner is the one with the best-looking tree.
9. Toilet Paper Snowman - Group staff into pairs. One player plays the role of the snowman while the other is the wrapper. Pass out rolls of toilet paper to each team and whoever wraps up their snowman from head to toe the quickest wins. Have each team top off their snowman with a hat and scarf for the perfect photo opp.
10. Wrap Race - Hand out boxes, wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and scissors. At the starting signal, players begin wrapping a box and the fastest person wins. Consider a “style” bonus by deducting a few seconds from a team’s time for the neatest wrapping job.
11. Holiday Jeopardy - Everyone watches Christmas movies over the years, so this game will really get people excited. Come up with trivia like, “What’s the name of George Bailey’s guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life" and “In A Christmas Story what do the Parkers eat for Christmas dinner?”
12. Name That Christmas Tune - Say or sing one line of a song and have employees shout out the name of the Christmas carol.
13. Holiday Two Truths and a Lie - Ask employees to think about the worst Christmas gifts they ever received. Each person comes up with two that are true and one that is a lie. Employees start sharing, and the other participants try to figure out which ones are real and which ones aren’t.
14. Christmas Scavenger Hunt - Before the party, hide Christmas-themed items around the party room. Once everyone has arrived, hand out cards with a photo of all the items the hunters must find. The player who finds the most items is the winner.
15. Christmas Guess Who - Before the party date, ask employees to bring in a photo of them as a child at Christmastime. Label with a number and post on a wall in the party room. Employees write down their guesses, and the person with the most correct answers is the winner.
Plan an employee dessert contest with an online sign up. SAMPLE
16. Holiday Food Taste -
Employees blindly sample an assortment of edibles related to the season. The person who correctly identifies the most items wins.
17. Secret Santa Exchange - Those who are interested in participating draw names and purchase a gift for that person. Make sure to set a spending limit and any other ground rules if you’re worried about what might show up under the tree.
18. Snowball Toss - Have your group pair up in twos. One person in each pair puts a bowl on top of his or her head while a partner tosses marshmallows trying to land them inside the bowl. The team with the most marshmallows in their bowl at the end of the game wins.
19. Holiday Photo Booth - Set up a Christmas-themed backdrop and provide holiday-themed props for your guest along with a selfie stick. Prop ideas: Santa’s beard, elf hats, ginger bread man tie, spectacles.
20. Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest - When you send the party invitations, encourage guest to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater. A panel of judges votes on Ugly Sweater, Uglier Sweater and Ugliest Sweater. Consider handing out awards to the top three winners.
Organize a Secret Santa gift exchange with an online sign up. SAMPLE
21. Holiday ABCs -
Divide employees into teams and give each team a piece of paper and pen. Instruct them to write the alphabet vertically from A to Z. Then, instruct the teams to write a holiday word for each letter. The first team to complete the list wins.
22. Christmas Tie Game - Several weeks before the event, ask for employees to donate Christmas or ugly ties. At the party, group employees into pairs and give each team a tie. Using only one hand, one person must tie his partner’s tie. The winning team is the first one finished.
23. Christmas Balloon Pop - Have inflated red and green balloons ready for everyone, and tie one to the ankle of each employee. The goal of the game is to burst other player’s balloons by stomping on them while guarding one’s own balloon. Once a balloon pops that player is out. The winner is the one left with the only unpopped balloon.
24. Christmas Charades - Play this classic game by using names of Christmas carols or other Christmas-related words. Break into teams and tally points to make it a competition.
25. Hot Bow - Play this game like Hot Potato, but with a large gift bow! While the music is playing, pass the bow around. Whoever is caught with the bow when the music stops is out. The last player standing is the winner.
26. Christmas Tree Drawing - Sturdy paper plates and a marker for each employee is all you need for this game. Players place their paper plate on their head. Participants draw on their paper plates without looking. The host will give out instructions such as draw a Christmas tree, add decorations and draw a star on top to complete a Christmas scene.
27. Christmas Carol Limbo - Do the limbo to Christmas carols. Decorate your pole so it looks festive, with garlands or lights.
28. Cookie Exchange - When handing out the invitations, encourage employees to bring two or three-dozen homemade Christmas cookies. Provide containers so that each participating employee can take home an assortment.
29. Fun Employee Awards - It’s the perfect time to recognize coworkers for their achievements. Make them sincere or silly. Create awards or present gag gifts for the person who makes the coffee or the person who is the early bird.
30. Ornament Exchange - Have people bring a gift-wrapped ornament in an unlabeled box. Place in a pile and let every participating employee choose one as they depart.
The annual holiday party doesn’t have to be stiff. Take a few of these ideas, and your employees will be reveling in the Christmas spirit.
Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.