Although many companies have cut back on holiday parties, some companies use the party as a way to thank their employees for their hard work in the past year.  We’d like to give you some tips on planning  your company Christmas party this year.

Consider the venue.  If you want people to have a good time, select a venue outside of work, yet close to your business location.  Book early as this is a popular time of year for parties.  Consider a “fun” activity such as bowling and glow-in-the-dark miniature golf.

Day & Time
It is always a good idea to hold it on a work day about an hour after work ends for most employees.  This way, employees don’t have to go home and then come back and if spouses are invited, it allows them time to arrive.  You will obtain a better response if people don’t have to attend on their days off.  Do consider that it is a busy time of year regardless of your religion.

Depending upon your budget, you can serve appetizers and desserts, or a full meal.  If you cannot afford much, consider having your company cafeteria provide a holiday lunch at no charge to the employees.  Use any extra money for gifts.

Should you serve alcohol or not?  If the party is being held on company property, I wouldn’t serve alcohol due to the liability.  If it is held at a restaurant or hotel, then consider it.  You will probably receive a better turn-out if alcohol is served.

Gifts are always appreciated and if your company has given gifts in the past, you will have a better turn-out.  Some companies give more expensive gifts which you can win in a raffle.  If you are going to give less than $50 per person, cash is king.  A gift card will also work. Small gifts could also include movie passes, car wash certificates (make sure it is near work or a chain), golf balls, ornaments, and turkeys or hams.  If you are going to raffle off larger gifts to those who attend the party, presents could include gift certificates for restaurants or retail stores, Blu-Ray players (< $100), theatre tickets or Ticketmaster gift certificates (minimum should be $200 to cover a guest).  Other ideas include an overnight stay at a hotel, days off without having to use vacation days,  Spa/Beauty Salon gift certificates, Golf course certificates, IPOD’s, IPOD Players, and small TV’s (≤ 32 inch).

Inexpensive Gifts for You to Give
If you are looking for inexpensive gifts, consider an ornament.  Ornament carries over 3000 high-quality ornaments, most are under $16, and many can be personalized.  There are many categories to choose from such as Baby, Sports, Pets & Animals, Fairy Tales & Nursery Rhymes, Patriotic, Religious, Activities, Western, Music, Occupations, and more.  You can even buy an ornament stand to display your non-holiday related ornament year-round.  One of my favorites is the 2 person Snowmobile ornament.

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