Nov 26

The Christmas Office Party – CharityLabs style!

Office Christmas Party season is here!

The Office Christmas Party needn’t blow the entire budget!

Christmas is coming … the lights are up in Oxford Street, the shops are full with the normal baubles, and we are all ready to engage in economically unproductive Christmas gift giving. So lets find someways to entertain everyone efficiently and amusingly!

Sorry, no more humbug, I promise.

If you are still struggling to find efficient ways to celebrate, bring the team together and generally have a laugh, I thought I put down some tried and tested ways for you to pick and choose from. Bearing in mind, of course, that this is for smaller organisations with a limited budget.


Part and parcel of Christmas is the overconsumption of food, and its reckoned that our calorie  intake … no, no. I promised no more humbug.

Get a sign-up sheet divided into snacks/starters, main dishes and, of course, dessert. Ask everyone to contribute a little something, homemade or shop bought – what matters is that there is a decent mix for all palates


There is nothing, in my book, that spurs people on like a little friendly competition. So you’re going to need teams. I think a little inversion and subversion of the organisational norm is a good thing here, so if you have office juniors, interns or similar, now is a great chance to let them shine. If there are too many applicants, asks for volunteers. If the numbers are still too high, pick names from a hat.

As for dividing the teams up, make sure that the more gregarious people are not all on the same team. You’re looking for a balance here. And if there is a famous twosome in the office it’s a good idea to split them – they feel more free to challenge each other later on!


The master of ceremonies – typically this will fall on the operations/office manager. However, if they don’t feel up to it, then find a volunteer. Again, someone not too senior – this could tend to stifle the banter! I am pretty sure you have a good idea who is, shall we say, a natural at playing the fool. (Yes, ‘twas me.)


So now it’s time to entertain the troops!

Five-minute master-class

Everyone has a little something they can do that is a bit unusual. Juggling, a card trick, the cha-cha … yup. Have one person from a team challenge the other team to master it in five minutes. This can be either the whole team, someone chosen by the demonstrator, or someone elected by the other team captain. It’s up to the MC to award points!

Just a minute

Based on the famous radio and TV show- challenge your colleagues to speak for an entire minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

Get a few cheap desk bells, one for each team.

Next, you need a set of topics – for timing, each one can last about 4 minutes, sometimes less if everyone is a too polite!

You’ll need a timer (either use your smartphone or this website) and a list of topics. It’s worth making these … a little close to the bone … but run the topics pass someone (ideally not someone who is going to be playing!) to check for topics that may tread a bit close to people’s sensibilities.

Points – one for a correct challenge, 5 for speaking when the minute is up.

The trick for this game is to encourage people to interrupt as frequently as possible, preferably for the most preposterous, but ‘correct’, interruption. So I like to award a bonus point or two for Most Ingenious Challenge.

Treasure Hunt

You can use this either at the end, or after each round of Just A Minute. Add up the team points, and  assign a 45 second to one minute head start to the teams accordingly…

Pretty much everyone has a phone that can take pictures. Challenge each team to come back with a set of photos, about 4 per round.

Again, a fair bit of subjectivity is useful for causing a bit of a debate– so things like cheesiest Christmas decoration, most hip hipster, and worse Christmas-based pun used in a shop promotion! Some local knowledge will help you set the challenges here.

Oh, and for a final challenge, one that certainly produced a lot of amusement when I set the task – challenge each team to get four different strangers to pose as the letters Y-M-C-A. First team back wins!

So there you have, a few ways to amuse your team in a cost-effective manner, allowing you stretch your budget further!

And in the spirit of giving, drop us a comment below to add your own ideas to share as well!