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How to host the best work Christmas party?

November 25, 2022

The Best Decorations, Food and Party Insurance

The highlight of the business’s year, when all the departments get together to celebrate their achievements. Decorations, food, and of course alcohol all need to be thought through thoroughly, as a good work Christmas party has the power make or break an office’s social calendar.

We answer your most frequently asked Christmas party questions – all about how to run the best work Christmas party possible.

What to wear to a Christmas party?

For work Christmas parties, overly smart is always better than overly casual. It depends on whether the work Christmas party is fancy dress. Something too revealing is a no-no, as is something too scary or offensive. Think reindeer or elf, and hat and ears paired with an modest blazer jacket will take you along way.

Some popular work party themes include:

  • Black tie
  • Glitz and Glam
  • Smart casual
  • Great Gatsby
  • Disco Fever
  • Ugly Christmas Jumper
  • Favourite Christmas characters
  • Winter wonderland

You won’t go wrong following the dress code, a suit and tie or inoffensively cut dress is always acceptable.

What decorations are needed for a work Christmas party?

To create your very own winter wonderland, you are going to need lots of fake snow, fake Santas and fake presents. Chocolates and sweets will make perfect fun adornments for the tree, and the office can be spruced up with fairy lights and tinsel. Wreaths are to be expected, as are snow globes and stockings… best to avoid the mistletoe though.

If you’ve hired out a venue, get there with plenty of time to set up, prep the tables and include your own branding. Many venues will already be decorated, set-up for Christmas work parties; check the venue is ready before arrival and add your own personal touches.

How to get a guest of honour for my work Christmas party?

Having a guest of honour at your Christmas party, to make speeches and memorable moments with colleagues, will be well received. There are tips on how to attract celebrities to your event – find a speaker suitable for your business, pairing well with the CEO who my also want to speak.

Alternative guests of honour could be a solution. A Santa-for-hire to come and award gifts. A lookalike to take pictures, a cover band, or an influential figure connected to the industry, such as a boss of a large corporation. Motivational speakers are also available to hire, excellent for keeping spirits high on a work Christmas party.

If you do choose to hire a speaker or celebrity, it’s important to consider taking out insurance. This will cover you in case of no-shows or your paid guest of honour finds issue.

Do I need a Christmas music license to play music at my Christmas party?

Whether it’s a DJ or live band, a temporary permit for playing music is required. Be it carols, classics or popular No.1s, a Christmas music license is required to play music in a publicly accessible setting. If you are hosting a party or event at your venue, then you’ll need to have an up to date music license. Companies like TheMusicLicence give you permission to play music in your workplace for as little as 94p a day. If you are hosting a work Christmas party at your premises, then this is essential.

Plan out a song list for the musicians, include a few favourites and recommendations. Add a suggestion box before the evening or at the side of the bar to help out the DJ.

What is the best catering option for a work Christmas party?

You have a range of catering ideas available to you, but they may depend upon your venue set-up. Try to keep the food on theme, and try to do something flexible that caters to the requirements of all guests. Many venues will offer food packages which ease the stress of having to sort the food, however if you are stuck with both hosting and catering then here are a few easy options:

  • Set menu – sort the seating arrangement and do it the tried and tested traditional way.
  • Canapes – perfect for fine dining and enforces conversation and mixing of different groups. Ideal if you want your guests to enjoy the entertainment the whole night-through
  • Street Van hire – offer a range of food options with the hiring of multiple vendors, add a special twist to the evening and keeps the event light and jovial.

Don’t forget those Christmas essentials; Christmas crackers, toys, jokes, hats, and sweet, lots of sweets. Gourmet fast food options near-by are a must for those still feeling peckish, as are

What drink options should be available at work Christmas party?

The first thing many think about when they think of a work Christmas party, is there going to be a free bar. Well, the answer is there doesn’t have to be, but some form of free drink is expected.

Most venues will have drink packages, and many businesses will be able to put money down behind the bar. Tokens are a great option, limiting party-goers to a set number of free drinks. If the arrangement is seated dining, then free drinks on the table are expected, such as beer bottles and wine – don’t forget multiple wines and alcohol-free options.

Going teetotal is also an option, a very ethical but rather divisive move for a work Christmas party. However if this is what your company wishes to do, it is recommended that you set up games, event and alternative organised fun. Mocktails are a great option, as are various bespoke soft drinks. Organised fun could include giant Jenga, cornhole, escape room Christmas parties, as well as high strikers and other popular arcade games.

Do I Need Insurance for a Work Christmas Party?


To cover your finances against the likleihood of slips, trips, cancellations, illness and claims – insurance is a non-negotiable for event runners.

It’s also best to put event insurance at the top of the list as one of the first things that needs to be done. It provides framework for your party and will cover you immediately from when you start hiring and booking out venues, covering the cost of canclellation and deposits in case the event doesn’t go ahead.

Read more about our Christmas party insurance, including the policies and eventualities we can cover. Our insurance policies are designed to be the best, flexible to allow you to cover only the areas you need.

Still unsure? That’s fine…

Fill out our free quote form today, see what the price is for your capacity and risks, and decide another day.

We offer Christmas party isnurance from as little as £35, so get protected today.

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