Eliminate the unwanted stress that can come with holiday party planning by following these simple tips.


Nearly 65 percent of workplaces that report to the Society for Human Resource Management hold holiday celebrations each year. If your organization is in this festive majority, especially if you’re integral to the planning and implementation of such events, odds are you’re already starting to feel that tingle along your spine that indicates extraneous stress related to the success of this season’s celebration.


Never fear! Staples is here to help with a few simple tips and best practices to ensure the optimal holiday party-planning experience, and thus, the optimal holiday party.


Choose and use a theme

It might sound kitschy but utilizing a seasonal theme like “Winter Wonderland” or “Santa’s Workshop” is a simple, budget-friendly way to tie your entire party together. From decorations to branded company giveaways, the theme you choose can tie into all aspects of your party. A “Winter Wonderland” theme, for example, might involve decorations such as paper snowflakes and relevant giveaways like hats, mittens, scarves. Adhering to a theme when planning your holiday party makes your life easier, and your party seem more put together.


Make sure your party is employee-centric

One of the most difficult parts about planning a successful party is trying to reconcile the desires of several different parties (pun intended). To aid in decision-making, think about sending out a survey to employees several months in advance concerning dates, activities, themes etc. to minimize the planning pressures you bear.


Minimize gifting pressure by capitalizing on teams

Individual office gifting leading up to the holidays can be costly and time-consuming. Consider replacing such traditions with team-based exchanges among departments or teams during the week leading up to the office party. Surveys on everything ranging from favorite foods to most used office supplies sent out in advance smooth this process even further and help your teams get creative when brainstorming appropriate and inexpensive gifts.


Don’t overdo it

Little gifts like raffles, door prizes and giveaways can encourage attendance and keep spirit’s bright during your party, but make sure you don’t overdo it by spending exorbitant amounts on unnecessary gifts. Products with low fair-market value, inexpensive theater or sporting event tickets or small food items are fine. But larger-value gifts such as season tickets, company cars, vacation properties or cash prizes could be considered taxable income by the IRS.


No matter how you choose to celebrate this season, if you follow these simple tips, your party is sure to be as successful and stress-free as possible!