The holiday season is the most festive time of year, so only a real Scrooge doesn’t plan some type of gathering for their employees. As a great boss, you want to hold a fun event to show your team how much you appreciate all the hard work they do.
Of course, the season has many different meanings, so you have to be very careful to throw a party that doesn’t offend anyone. It’s all too easy to inadvertently cross the line, so learn how to keep your celebration politically correct.
4 Ways to Plan a Non-Offensive Holiday Party
Follow these four tips to plan a festive event that everyone can enjoy:
Make it Strictly Nondenominational
Your team likely includes employees who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and a variety of other seasonal holidays. Referring to the occasion as a “Christmas party” and decorating with objects specific to one religion — menorah, Christmas tree, etc. — is bound to offend at least one person. Keep it safe by calling the gathering a “holiday party” and decking the halls with neutral décor like candles, poinsettias and snowflakes.
Skip the White Elephant Game
White Elephant or swap activities are very popular at office holiday parties, but they’re also quite risky. You can’t control the gifts your team brings in to exchange and what’s funny to one person will inevitably be offensive to another. Avoid this headache altogether by saving this game for your own family and friends.
Serve a Variety of Menu Options
Traditional holiday foods vary by culture, so dishes you consider staples of the season may be off-putting to someone else. Focus on serving popular fare that can please a diverse group, instead of customary items you’re used to eating at this time of year. Inquire about dietary restrictions beforehand and make sure you have at least a few items that everyone can eat.
Allow Guests for Evening Events
If you hold your holiday party during the workday, there’s no need to allow people to bring a guest. However, if your event takes place on a weekend or during the evening hours, it’s only fair to give them a plus one. Be careful with your wording on the invitation, as you don’t want to make anyone feel alienated by allowing spouses only.
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