All right, where did we leave off? The word about the party has spread, people are committed to bringing goodies and Secret Santa names have been drawn and probably traded back and forth a couple of times.
Now it’s time for the details because elves don’t really do it all, you have to.
The biggest task will be to set up the scene. Think about some decorations, a couple of snowmen and a festive table cloth is the difference between a holiday party and co-workers on a coffee break.
Next in setting the scene is making a playlist. Christmas and holiday music is great because the selection is so varied and you don’t need to be a music geek to please the crowd. Make a mix of modern holiday tunes, stick to the beloved classics or mix them up, everyone will love it!
For an even simpler option, there are great Internet radio stations dedicated to holiday music that you can just stream during the party such as last.fm or accuradio.com. The only problem with this solution is the occasional advertisement that will disrupt the flow of music.
On the day of the party, you will be rewarded with, no, not a partridge in a pear tree, but with even more organizing. You should come in early on the day of the party to prepare for all of the time you are going to lose to this party. You are going to have to set up everything (hopefully with some help from your awesome co-workers), direct food storage when people bring in things in the morning (don’t forget to make room in the fridge!) and deal with general party questions because you’re driving the sleigh.
No matter how well you plan, some problems might pop up during the party. Here are some common things to look out for and ways to deal with them:
The Drunk Co-Worker
Be a friend and try to take care of them. Try to herd them out of the party or just away from the rest of the party. When they come to, chances are they are going to be horribly embarrassed enough and this will minimize the damage. Also encourage them to drink lots of water or coffee to help sober them up.
Running Out of Provisions
Nothing stops a party faster than running out of food and drinks. To prevent this, stock up on some back-up snacks and drinks just in case. Also, rationing of snacks through the duration of the party will also ensure you will avoid this problem.
Someone Forgot to Pick Up a Secret Santa Gift
Avoid a potentially awkward situation by setting a price limit on gifts then also picking up a spare gift just in case someone forgot to bring their present. Also, leading up to the party, remind — not nag — your co-workers about Secret Santa just in case they are super busy and it slips their minds.
The Party Won’t End
The party was a hit but it’s been going on for awhile and you all either have to get back to work or get out so the office can be closed off. How do you gracefully say “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”? A short but heart-warming speech thanking everyone for attending the party and for a good year with some wishes for a prosperous new year added.
There Are Cliques at the Party
Not everybody is going to be equally friendly to everyone else in the office and certain divisions will be closer than others but the party is a great opportunity to get to know your co-workers better. You will have to be the bridge though. If you know Steve from HR is really into basketball and so is Paul from accounting, get them together! Although its up to you to break the ice, don’t push it too hard, it is a party after all.
Phew! Easy, right? While it is quite a job to coordinate and throw a party for the entire office, remember everyone will appreciate it and it will be a great way to cap off the year for your wonderful co-workers. Most importantly: have fun!