These days, job satisfaction matters as much as the size of the paycheck. That's why executive-level business conversations usually pivot towards employee engagement drives to foster better relations and productivity.
Christmas parties and other holiday events offer a great way to foster the spirit of teamwork. However, this can quickly turn into a cringe-fest if not approached correctly.
Imagine how tense it is to have a few drinks in front of your H.R. At the same time, you're doing your best to maintain your composure as you speak to the boss. You try having a conversation with Jamie from I.T., then realize that you have nothing in common. Don't even look at Lizzie from accounting because all she can talk about is expense reports or her three cats.
The tension and tedium of such situations are further compounded when you realize that everyone else in the office has such misgivings about their workmates. Fortunately, there's a harmlessly fun way to break this tension - Musical Chairs and Other Fun Office Games for Christmas!
Our list is packed with Christmas-themed party games ideal for any office space. They'll challenge everyone's hand-eye coordination, creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and some will also build the spirit of camaraderie & teamwork.
So deck the halls with loads of jolly cheers. After reading this, your office Christmas parties will never be the same again!
Musical chairs are a party favorite for players of all ages. It can be incredibly entertaining if your office has a large workforce.
Clear out some space in the center of the office
Align a bunch of ergonomic office chairs (back-to-back)
Ensure there’s always one more participant than the number of available seats
How to play
Participants walk in a circle around the chairs as the music plays
When the music stops, the person left standing gets eliminated
After each round, a chair is removed from the game
The winner is the last person left sitting
You can spice things up by playing Christmas-themed music. Or add Santa/elf hats to go with the Christmas spirit. The winner can also get a trophy or other prizes like gift vouchers. Musical chairs are fun because you get to see the competitive side of your workmates.
Sure, some people may trip or fall. But, it's nice to relive the days when childish laughs and holiday high jinks were what made life so pure.
Christmas Spelling Bee
Christmas holiday parties are also about fostering inclusivity. A spelling bee is a trivial pursuit that separates the brains from the brawn. So, it also gives the office geeks and nerds a chance to shine above some of the jocks.
Elect 2-3 moderators or judges
Create a secret list of holiday vocabularies
Before the game, the moderators separate the list into easy, intermediate, and challenging words.
The list can start with easy words like jingle bells or eggnog and move to more challenging ones like Hanukkah
How to Play
Each participant gets 40 seconds to 1 minute to spell their word correctly
The correct spelling advances you to the next round
An incorrect response gets you eliminated from the game
Everyone gets a turn in each round
The last player left standing wins
Two Truths and a Lie: The Christmas Edition
This game offers the perfect way to break those walls between co-workers and departments. We all know that Becky from procurement knows everything about everything, and will probably win this round. But let’s put everyone to the test!
You’ll need the following items
Strips of paper
A deceptive spirit ( a mean poker face also helps)
How to Play
Each player writes 3-holiday facts about their lives, i.e., I always sneak more vodka into the eggnog; I actually like "baby it's cold outside.”
Two of the things you write should be true
One should be an outright lie
On your turn, you get to share what you wrote as the other players guess the lie.
You score a point for every one you manage to deceive
Everyone gets 1 point when they guess correctly
Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins
On Dasher! On Prancer! On Dancer!: The Ultimate Christmas Obstacle Course
A game you should play before letting the eggnog loose. But you can still give it a whirl if you can hold your liquor.
Set up an obstacle course
Break up the office into 2 or 4 teams
Alternatively, you can turn it into an individual event
Decide on the events
Popular events include popcorn garland limbo and Santa sack races
Don't step on the lava is also a fun inclusion (here you cover sections of the floor in wrapping paper, which represents lava, and anyone that steps on it gets eliminated
How to Play
The person or team that completes the course in the shortest time wins the game!
A Christmas office party is incomplete without the honored tradition of a Secret Santa. At best, it allows all your workmates to spread the cheer. However, it can also show how little you know about each other, which can be a fun and teachable moment.
Hold a meeting two weeks before the office party to see who is willing to participate.
Set a price limit for gifts (possibly nothing over $30)
Write everyone’s name on a piece of paper and fold each piece in half
Put the pieces of paper in a sorting hat or bowl
Have everyone draw a name from the bowl or hat
The person you select receives a gift from you
You get to pull a draw another name if you select your name
How to Play
On the day of the office party, everyone brings a neatly wrapped present and puts them in a pile (preferably under the Christmas tree)
When things simmer down, you can all gather as everyone opens their gift
The trick to Secret Santa is being polite and thankful for what you receive, even though you may get some tacky or undesired gift 5 times out of 10.
Belting out a few Christmas tunes is one of the best ways to get into the holiday mood and to spread cheer around the office. Sure, there are the office songbirds and some that can't hold a tune. But let's not get too tangled in such nuances for now.
Inform everyone in the office about this challenge weeks in advance to level the playing field
You can also provide a music setlist so that everyone can choose the song they are most comfortable singing.
To spice up the challenge, you can allow some of (or all) the participants to come up with holiday remixes to contemporary tunes.
Rent out a karaoke machine and double-check to ensure all the promised tracks feature in the selection
Select judges from various departments who'll bear all the responsibility of judging their workmates (ensure there is a Simon Cowell type in your panel to make things a bit more fun)
How to Play
Carol-oke is loads of fun for the participants. All they do is sing their hearts out.
The judges then pick a winner and two runners-up based on vocal ability, courage, and other criteria.
The point of carol-oke is to be merry and happy, with a bit of eggnog for some "Dutch" courage. You needn't worry about your performance. Just step up to the mic like a boss!
Christmas Ornament Run
This game takes its cues from a traditional relay race. But, you balance Christmas ornaments on a spoon instead of an egg as you negotiate some obstacles. Sure, it calls for some speed and tactical precision. But, those qualities dissipate after a few rounds of eggnog.
Take some time to decide what type of events and obstacle courses work best for your office space.
A popular choice is balancing things like jingle bells on a spoon as you negotiate through the course.
Alternative activities include balancing a Christmas cookie on your head as your race or trying to beat the clock as you search for objects hidden in piles of Christmas presents.
Move your office desks and other office furniture around to create obstacles.
How to Play
Separate everyone into various factions as the game starts
Explain the ground rules
The winner is the team that completes the course the fastest
Christmas ornament runs are notoriously competitive. So, you can expect the winner to laud their bragging rights over everyone else till next year.
This game calls for stealing, cheating, and the blatant re-gifting of Christmas presents. It's the type of activity that can get your office ham burglar into the holiday mood. Not to point any fingers, but we know Mark from H.R. will kill it at this game.
Decide on the dollar value of each present that your workmates bring to the party.
Then they show up with a wrapped but unlabelled present
How to Play
Before the game, each participant draws a number to establish when they will have a go.
Whoever draws one gets to go first in picking a present from the pile
Once you get a gift, you unwrap it so that everybody can see what they got
The contestant that drew 2 can elect to pick a present from the pile or steal the first person’s unwrapped present
You get to pick another gift if one of the contestants robbed you
The game ends when all the presents have been unwrapped
What makes White Elephant so much fun is there’s no winner or loser. It’s all about having fun and bonding over a child-like activity.
Pin the Nose on the Reindeer: This is another classic party game that is always a hit with kids and adults alike. Print out a picture of a reindeer’s head and cut out the noses. Players take turns trying to pin the nose in the correct spot on the reindeer’s head while wearing blindfolds.
Christmas Jumper Competition: This is a fun game that can be played with teams or individually. Players have to see who can wear the ugliest Christmas jumper and stay in character the longest. The winner is the player who manages to make everyone laugh the most.
To Wrap It Up
Nothing brings out the fun and Christmas cheers into the office like holiday shenanigans. Thankfully, our list of Christmas office games has something for everyone (including Ronald the Grinch from the mailroom).
You’re sure to avoid any awkwardness with these games. We hope you have a merry Christmas. Please forgive us in advance for any pain you’ll suffer while enduring a little carol-oke this year. Or even for putting that quirky idea out into the universe.
As always, feel free to share this piece and your thoughts in the comment section.
Good cheers to all, and have a happy holiday!