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Gino Spano

This year, you’ve decided to forego the fancy soirée. Instead, you’re hosting an afternoon holiday party for your office. There could be a variety of reasons for making this decision. Maybe it’s easier for everyone to take the afternoon off work and enjoy some time together as co-workers. Maybe it will cost a little less. It might even be a little tamer.

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Whatever the reason, you’re hoping to make this party a hit. Who says afternoon parties have to be boring? In fact, there are many ways to ensure your holiday party is both fun and memorable, no matter the time of day. With these tips, your party will be the talk of the town for a few weeks yet.

Pick a Theme for Your Afternoon Holiday Party

Themed parties are always good fun, and your employees might get more into the spirit if they can dress up a little. Maybe you can encourage a fancy dress tea party, or maybe you can ask your employees to dress for the job they’ve always wanted.

Themes can also guide your food choices, your decorations, and even your activities. Once you have a theme in mind, you can begin to organize the party around it.

Focus on the Food

Food is almost always the highlight of a holiday party, and it will be no different for an afternoon party. In fact, you could even argue the focus will be mostly on the food.

Be sure to book a great caterer, and put the emphasis on creating a unique and memorable menu. Maybe you can combine activities with the food, such as a cookie-decorating station and contest.

Depending on the time of day, you might want to serve lunch or smaller fare for an afternoon snack. You might consider serving mocktails. You probably won’t spring for a bar at an afternoon party, however, especially if people will need to go back to work.

If you’re only booking a caterer to bring in mains or something similar, you can ask employees to bring in desserts or other potluck dishes.

It’s All Fun and Games

Next up, you’ll want to be sure you’re entertaining your guests. You can serve great food, but without something to do, there may be many awkward silences as people just “hang out.”

There’s nothing wrong with some great conversation, but contests, games, and entertainment will help give your party life. They’ll also help your guests relax, unwind, and connect with one another.

The cookie-decorating contest is a great way to start. Think about classic party games with festive twists, or settle everyone down for a matinee screening of a favourite film, complete with festive movie treats.

Maybe you book a local singer, comedian, or magician to entertain your group. You could consider a mid-afternoon dance party. No one will be darting off to the gym early if you do.

Consider Contests and Prizes

If you’re playing games, it’s almost a given someone will turn it into a competition. Indulge your employees’ competitive side at your afternoon holiday party by handing out some prizes.

You may hold separate contests, such as raffles or draws. The element of chance will encourage employees to stick around and pay attention.

Do Something for Charity

Have you considered turning your holiday party into a charity gala? Your employees could come together to do some good, such as pack up donations for the local food bank or wrap gifts for underprivileged children.

It’s a great way to have the team come together and do some good in your community.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. It’s easy to make an afternoon holiday party both fun and memorable. All it takes is a little creativity.


Gino Spano

Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009.
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