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How to throw an inclusive (and fun!) holiday office party

by K Keiger | Dec 21, 2018
Diversity in the workplace deserves to be celebrated for increasing creativity and helps management stay perceptive. But how do you appropriately celebrate the holidays in an office that includes multiple cultures?

Some companies might opt out of parties all together and just give gift cards instead, because they are unsure how to what to prioritize if they had a party. We are here to argue that there is still a place for a great holiday office party that does not discriminate any culture and is still fun.

Decorations: To throw an inclusive holiday party does not necessarily mean to include cultural symbols to represent every religious holiday celebrated in the winter season. Tasteful generic decor can include winter themed decorations such as snowflakes, glitter, snow, winter flowers, bells, candles, and reindeer. If your team members want to individually decorate their desks, they can be a little more specific, but just be sure it is appropriate - no life-sized lawn ornaments of Santa.

Food: Most cultures commemorate special occasions with a variety of special foods. If the food of your party is to be catered, be sure to include more than ham and turkey. Research what dietary restrictions some religions uphold and include alternate food options to ensure nobody is left out. A potluck might be the best solution to make sure that people of all backgrounds can bring specialized meals that accommodate their palate. This will also give your team members the exciting opportunity to try new cuisines from different cultures.

Music: What is a party without music? Jazz is a genre that is generally unaligned with any specific celebration, and some jazz songs can still give the impression of winter just by their melody alone. Oldies can also give a classy vibe to your party, but if you want to induce a more upbeat impression then consider instrumental pop or techno music.

Gifts: This part of the party may be a little difficult to incorporate. Nobody wants to be told what they can and can't buy as a gift for someone, but to avoid conflict it might be necessary to have guidelines of what is considered an appropriate gift. Another suggestion is to have a gift exchange within departments where people know each other's interests more. 

Charitable activities: What better way to celebrate the season than by helping people in need. Pick a charity that your business can help support during the holidays, organize an event to get involved in your community , or find a family in need that your office can donate to, to get your team in the spirit of the holidays.

Final Tips: When planning your inclusive holiday office party, try not to get hung up on things you can't do, instead, focus on bringing your office together and celebrating all the year's accomplishments. Also, remember that you know your team best, so customize your party accordingly.