FLEXX Productions

Like fruitcake, company holiday parties are a holiday tradition. Also like fruitcake, they’re as hated as they are beloved. How’s your company party going to break? If you’re in charge of spreading holiday cheer, Flexx Productions’ tips for great company holiday parties can help save the season. Or at least the evening.

Start by setting the right mood by being inclusive. That’s not just adopting inclusive “Happy Holidays” themes over “Merry Christmas” ones. It starts by remembering to include your entire team – even those on extended leave, working remotely or maternity leave – to the party. Work with independent contractors or temps? Don’t be a Scrooge. Invite them along, too.

Strike the tone that works for your company right off the bat by selecting a theme that suits company culture. Everyone has gone to umpteen holiday parties, so add flair with a fresh theme. And be more creative than “ugly sweater.” Glam? ’80s night? Superheroes? Find one that works for your team, and run with it.

Selecting a location is just as critical. If you’re working with a slim budget (or procrastinated until reservations were unavailable), get creative with your event. Honor the spirit of the season with an all-staff volunteer day to benefit your favorite charity. Nothing says hospitality quite like when the boss opens her house for a private party, or a trip to an off-beat location such as a bowling alley can shake off any yuletide blues.

Let’s face it: December is a really busy time of year, which means you may need to plan a midweek party to fit in your staff’s schedule. If that’s the case, keep the party rolling into the morning. Well sort of: Have a staff breakfast the next morning, allowing your team to ease back into the workday; this’ll be especially appreciated if you imbibed heavily.

There’s no one formula for great company holiday parties, but thinking creatively and building a plan to fit your company’s culture is the sure-fire way to throw a fun corporate bash this year.