It's Christmas!! Holiday
Activities for Your Organization
In addition to Take Your Child To Work Day in April, the holidays season provides a great reason to invite family to your office or company workplace.
The door is swung wide, and the mood is light and merry as companies and offices share the joy of the season.
you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, plan something special for your
organization this holiday season besides, or in addition to, exchanging gifts.
Here are a several ideas for adults and their children:
Drawing names for a gift exchange is a traditional activity
at Christmas. Add to the fun by making it a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Keep the names secret and write only the recipient’s name on the tag, either
with or without a description of the gift giver. Each person will have to figure
out who brought the gift before they can open it. Another fun activity is to write
a description of the gift on the card and have the recipient guess what is inside
before opening the gift.
children, play Musical Presents. Have each child bring a generic gift that
they would like for themselves; for example, a boy brings a gift for a boy, and
a girl brings a gift for a girl. Gather in circles of all boys and all girls and
play Christmas music while the presents go around the circles. When the music
stops, everyone opens the present they are holding.
of exchanging gifts of any type, specify a specific kind of gift for an ornament
party, a candle party, or a book party. Children particularly enjoy ornaments
Host a cookie
exchange. Ask everyone to bring their favorite homemade cookies, made 2-3
days in advance of the exchange; the number of cookies depends on the number of
participants, but generally about 2-3 dozen per person. Either specify no chocolate
chip cookies or assign each person a different type of cookie to bake, so you
won't have everyone making the same kind.
In addition, everyone needs to make
copies of their recipes, or send you the recipe in advance so you can create a
little booklet of recipes for each guest.
the exchange, everyone shares a story about their cookies, such as the origin
of the recipe or a funny memory of baking them. As a result, guests leave the
cookie exchange with dozens of different cookies to start the holiday season and
nearly as many warm and funny stories!
the kids on the fun! Get the children or spouses to serve as taste testers and
judges, and offer prizes for the most delicious, most beautiful and most unusual
also see -> Company Holiday Party Ideas | Decorating the Office for Christmas
Kids love to decorate and eat Christmas cookies!
Make 10 various Christmas
shape sugar cookies or gingerbread men per child so there will be plenty to
eat and take home. Set out containers of white frosting and various decorations
for the cookies, such as colored sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, chocolate chips,
M&Ms, jelly beans, and raisins. You can provide Popsicle sticks to spread
the frosting. Each child will go home with a box of decorated cookies, if they
don't eat them all!
an alternative, make small gingerbread
houses out of graham crackers, using icing to glue them together. Pre-assemble
them for the kids to decorate. Ask the parents to bring something edible with
them to use to decorate the houses, and you will have quite an assortment of decorations
to use for decorating your gingerbread houses.
Christmas Potluck Dinner
Share an office potluck Christmas
dinner during the last date before the holiday break and have everyone bring
a covered dish. To prevent too many green bean casseroles, plan in advance what
each person will bring. Chip in together on the cost of the meat, whether ham
or turkey or some other choice. Use holiday paper plates, napkins and cups to
make the meal festive.
Go Christmas caroling. Pick several neighbors' homes in advance, or a nursing
home, homeless shelter or hospital ward. Prepare a sheet of paper with the lyrics
to some favorite
Christmas carols and make copies for everyone; if done in advance, everyone will have
a chance to practice. Consider bringing goodies or small gifts to distribute after
singing. Or, bring decorations made by the children and help decorate the Christmas
Guest - SANTA!
Invite Santa or Mrs. Claus to read Twas the Night Before
Christmas or other holiday
stories to the children in your organization. The local librarian may be willing
to dress up as Mrs. Claus. To make it even more fun for the children, ask them
to bring a letter for Mrs. Claus to take home to Santa.
someone or ask a friend to dress as Santa Claus. Give each child an opportunity
to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Parents
can take pictures of their child with Santa, which is much less stressful than
standing in line at the mall. Santa can end the visit by passing out little toys
or gifts previously bought by the parents.
A variation on hot potato:
Pass the Candy Cane
Play games with the children.
Pin the Nose on Frosty and Pin the
Nose on the Reindeer are two variations of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Spin off other classic party games like Pass
the Candy Cane which is played like hot potato, except the children pass a large
candy cane until the music stops. The person with the candy cane at the end of
the game gets to keep it.
children and adults would enjoy playing charades, Christmas trivia games, or Pictionary using the names
of Christmas carols or Christmas movies.
a scavenger hunt. Group participants into pairs or trios and have them find items
in the house, office complex or in the neighborhood, weather permitting. Include
items such as a red bow, candle, Christmas cookie, religious Christmas card, mistletoe,
broken ornament, and burned-out tree light. Or include items in various holiday
colors, such as red, green, gold, silver and white.
some of these ideas as a springboard, you may come up with other ideas on your
own. Or combine several for a truly memorable holiday party!
W. Joye is the author of A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups
(ISBN 0-595-14684-8; $13.95)