January, 17, 2014

Give Your Annual Office Party Some Serious Holiday Cheer

I like to think of my fellow designers and rental linen enthusiasts here at BBJ Linen as my second family—and aren’t the holidays all about gathering to celebrate with family? We’re right in the middle of holiday party season, and your workplace is no exception. That’s right: it’s office party time.

While throwing an office holiday party is a time-honored tradition as sacred as gorging on cookie dough while watching the “A Christmas Story” marathon, one of the best parts about it is that you get to decide what makes it special. Sure, there are a few staples that people expect—a Santa hat here, a sugar cookie there—but in the end, everything from the traditions you create to the decor (and yes, the table linen) you choose is limited only by your own creativity. I know, I know—you’re dying to find out my own personal suggestions, right? Don’t worry, you don’t have to ask. Here are some tips.

Add Some Excitement to the Gift Exchange

Create a sublime pattern with limited color choices like red and white to set the mood. Photo Credit: Ruda Photography

Secret Santa may be the de facto choice for many offices’ gift exchanges, but it also creates a lot of pressure. Is your gift good enough? Personal enough? What if you draw the name of the new guy who just started yesterday and hasn’t said a peep since?

I say, lower the stakes and go with a White Elephant exchange (you may have also heard it called a Yankee Swap). This means everyone wraps and brings a non-personalized gift, and they all go in a pile. Somebody chooses and opens a gift from the pile, and the next person can either “steal” it (forcing the first person to choose another), or they can pick one from the pile. The game continues until every gift has been opened. It makes the exchanging process a little livelier, especially if you have a bigger staff, and it means that people don’t have to stress so much about buying the right gift.

Decorate for the Mood

Of course, you know I can’t talk about throwing a party without saying a word or two about the decor. The great thing about an office Christmas party is that it can take so many different forms, from a classy evening soiree to a rowdy late-afternoon diversion—and your table linen and decorations are your keys to setting the right mood.

If you’re making this party a snazzy sort of affair, keep it timeless and classy with rental linen in cool shades of blue, frosty neutrals like ivory and shimmery, sparkly fabrics that really twinkle.

Alternatively, if you want to throw a true holiday cheesefest—an Ugly Sweater Party, perhaps—then go whole hog with bold, bright reds and greens. Don’t be afraid to make your designs as loud as possible—pairing table linen like red tablecloths with green runners gives you just enough saccharine holiday cheer to put your party over the top.

Anyway, these are just my humble opinions. Does your office have a holiday tradition you look forward to every December? Let us know on Twitter, and connect with us on Instagram for more holiday design inspiration!