Facility Management

Holiday Office Party Ideas for 2021

The holidays are a time of cheering and gathering. Here are some innovative and safe holiday office party ideas for 2021.

December 3, 2021
Last Updated On:
January 7, 2022
Last Updated On:
January 7, 2022

With the holidays quickly approaching, office managers may be wondering what type of holiday party they are allowed to throw or if they are allowed to throw one at all. After all, gathering restrictions are still in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. And this means when throwing your holiday office party, safety is still an essential part of the party planning process.

Luckily, whether you are head of the party planning committee or a party attendee, there are things you or your workplace can do to have safe parties during COVID in the office. No matter what holiday party ideas you come up with, ensure that you put additional air purifiers in place to improve air quality safety and account for the increased number of people gathering in indoor spaces.

Before we get into the top holiday party ideas for 2021, we also want to discuss safety requirements for COVID parties. Read on to learn how to keep your workplace safe at your office holiday parties:

COVID Party Safety Importance for Your 2021 Holiday Work Party

Before hosting your party, be sure to research the most up-to-date CDC holiday gathering restrictions or allowances within your region or municipality. With the new Omnicron variant, recommendations have changed daily. You may be limited to groups no greater than 10, 50, or 100 or have to abide by social distancing. No matter what, complying with these rules is of the utmost importance to your holiday goers’ safety.

In addition to gathering requirements, you may also have to follow hygiene protocols. Hand sanitizer stations should be placed throughout the venue of your party to ensure guests properly sanitize their hands throughout the event. If you are serving food, ensure you have hand sanitizer set up nearby so guests can sanitize their hands before eating any food.  

There will be some safety navigation required when serving food. For example, avoid finger foods and shareable dishes. Instead, consider pre-packaged meals, individually curated meals, individual desserts, and serviettes for each person.  

While you still want your party guests to have a good time, having a safe time is equally important. Contact tracing, vaccination requirements, and COVID testing should also be strongly considered if not required for all visitors.

Once you’ve decided on the holiday party of choice and started planning, you must designate someone in charge of the COVID logistics and inform your party-goers of the party's COVID guidelines and requirements.

COVID Holiday Party Ideas in 2021

Due to the nature of the Pandemic and the new Omnicron variant, we decided to provide both virtual party ideas and in-person ones. No matter what you choose from the list below, we recommend decorating the space, bringing holiday sweets, and donning your best Santa hat, whether it's at home or the office! In addition to these 12 ideas, consider a cookie swap, learning about other holidays, desk decorating contests (in the workplace), or Christmas games! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Top 6 Virtual Holiday Office Party Ideas

If you’ve decided to host a virtual event as your office holiday party, there are still a bunch of things to do to keep your guests entertained. Choose holiday-themed activities or go classic virtual event style and then mix in other elements of Christmas games or virtual team-building exercises:

#1) Online Holiday-themed Cooking Classes

Good food brings people together, so consider hosting or hiring a gourmet chef to put on a virtual cooking class! Keep with the holiday theme in the food choices or dress up and choose international dishes that you wouldn’t normally make yourself. Most cooking classes help organizers plan by curating an ingredient list and a list for equipment and supplies needed.

#2) Online Holiday-themed Mixology Classes

Similar to cooking classes, mixology classes are a whole lot of fun. With the right host, you’ll get a curated mixology gift basket or ingredients list. Ask your guests to prepare ahead of time and get some supplies like shakers and glasses!

#3) Virtual Bevvy Tastings

Consider a beverage tasting as part of your virtual holiday parties. Beverages of choice can be sent out early by the virtual tasting group. Ask your co-workers for their favorite drinks and spend the time chatting about notes and profiles. Never done one before? Look up some tips online.

#4) Online Charcuterie Night

While a little more extravagant to organize, co-workers to organize a mini charcuterie platter. This works out really well if your guests are into it because they can choose the foods that they love. If this is a work-sponsored event, consider giving them a gift card to their local grocery store or market.

#5) Fireside Cocoa Night (With Virtual Flames)

Who doesn’t love a bit of hot cocoa by the fireplace? Encourage your guests to bring some hot cocoa, holiday sweets, and some virtual flames. Or, you can encourage them to make festive Candy Cane Drinks. To set the mood, leverage zoom to have one screen set up for the fireplace just like they are in the virtual room with you. Or, consider having the fireplace on your TV in the background to keep it festive.

#6) Virtual Trivia Night

Some people love trivia, and if you are one of those people, you might be into hosting a virtual trivia night with your coworkers. A trivia is a great virtual holiday party game, but you may need to organize breakout rooms, teams, and themes. With the right preparation, this can be a hit! This is a great party game to keep your attendees enthralled. Pick themes or categories so that your friends can prepare. Keep it lighthearted and fun with a gift rewarding the winner!

Top 5 In-Person Office Holiday Party Ideas

If you’re gathering in person, we recommend getting an air purifier system so that the air changes in the space (also known as Air Changes per Hour) are greater than usual to account for the additional people gathering in the area. Air purifiers with the power to eliminate harmful viruses can be added to any size room are incredibly affordable and only need to be plugged in and turned on.

If you’re at the office due to reopening your business after COVID, you can keep things safe with these in-person Christmas party ideas:

#1) Holiday Themed Activities

Coming up with playful themes can liven a company holiday party. Try to pick something that your crowd will love, like holiday movie characters, Alice in Wonderland, everything orange, or 1970s. Get creative during the holiday season to bring a little more joy to these small or limited gatherings!

Themed activities bring excitement but keep it casual so that guests don’t need to worry about too many activities. Picking and theme, or activities and providing an air purifier system in the room, will not only be fun, but safe as well.

#2) Classic Christmas Gift Exchange

Consider bringing in a classic gift swap for your next holiday party. The gift swap involves each person buying one present and putting it under a tree. Then guests go around and choose the present, without knowing what they will get! Guests are allowed to swap even after opening the gift but pay close attention to the rules. Be sure to wipe down the presents before wrapping them and putting them under the tree. You can also run a classic Secret Santa for team building in the workplace in place of the gift swap.

#3) Holiday Movie Night

Getting together for a holiday movie night is fun to ring in the holiday cheer. Maybe you love watching a classic Christmas movie like How the Grinch Stole ChristmasA Christmas Story, and Miracle on 34th Street. Into comedies? Give Home Alone and Christmas Vacation a watch. Leave the night dedicated to this entertainment or mix holiday drinks or make crafts (or all three) to really enjoy the holiday spirit. Depending on the space used to screen the movie, you may have to keep your guest list small!

#4) Holiday Light Tour

While the nights are getting longer and colder, holiday lights are cheerful. Consider a guided or scheduled holiday light tour around the neighborhood. Holiday light tours are great to do with your friends, family, and members of your social bubble. 

If this is something you want to do with coworkers, ask your coworkers to drive around in their own car and organize the tour. They can then bring their family for more fun! Or, schedule an outdoor socially distanced walk if your office is located in a particularly festive area. 

#5) In-person Mixology Classes (Holiday-themed!)

Come together with your friends, family, or coworkers to prepare a mixology class! Altogether, you can get some supplies to share to avoid wasting materials. Consider a small group with sanitized surfaces and an air purifier to reduce potential airborne pathogen spread. Combine this mixology class with an ugly sweater party—a recipe for fun!

Host the Safest Holiday Party This Year With Sanalife

Luckily this year, we might be able to gather a little more safely with friends, family, and coworkers. While caution still needs to be taken, you can consider any of these holiday party ideas while also implementing COVID safety measurements. 

While these requirements will differ based on your location, always remember to keep your guests' peace of mind at the heart of it. If you do not require masks, encourage guests to do what they need to stay safe. 

Best practices for the safest Christmas party include:

  • Mask wearing
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Contact tracing
  • Vaccination checks
  • And air purifiers

Air purifiers are the safest to implement into your space because they provide clean air, even against other viruses, debris, and particulate matter. They are very affordable for both offices and homes, so you don't have to worry about an extravagant expense.  Contact us at Sanalife to learn more about the power of air purifiers. Who knows? It may help alleviate your holiday stress and ensure your guests are free from airborne viruses like the SARS-CoV-2.

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