After you’ve had a long year of deadlines, hard work, and at least a few small meltdowns, your office party can be a chance for you and your colleagues to relax a bit. It’s important to plan the party early, so that you can avoid the tired cliché of sipping low-quality wine in your holiday jumper, listening to Christmas music that everyone loves to hate. Instead, involve your entire planning team, be as creative as possible, and make your party an event to remember.

Choose a Theme for the Event Carefully

When it’s time to set the theme for your party, you can choose something that’s as creative as you’d like. Parties inspired by the television show “Peaky Blinders” are increasing in popularity across the UK this year, as businesses plan to turn the clock back to the 1920s. You could also consider a winter theme, like a ski retreat or a Narnia tale, and work to change the entire space into a beautiful snow covered forest or a lovely ski lodge.

Gamify Your Holiday Party

Most of us can be permanently attached to our mobile devices; it might make sense for your company to work on a party theme that takes advantage of this fact. In addition to setting up holiday competitions on social media and working to trending hashtags, it might also work well to design an event that includes an element of team building or competitive interaction. A simple Babyfoot foosball game or you could allow your employees to take place in themed quizzes, companywide scavenger hunts, and other holiday-themed adventures.

Host a Festival for the Holidays

The last two months of the year bring a giant spike in the booking of mini-breaks, as people scour the web looking for affordable trips to take at the last minute. Since not all of your employees will have the ability to take a last minute trip to Germany, why not take the time to bring the trip to them? Instead of featuring the standard buffet or large meal, you can work to set up a traditional holiday festival either in your own office space or utilizing another venue nearby.

Provide Rewards for Your Staff

A holiday party should aim to be more than a night of flirting, drinking, and bad decisions. Instead, it’s a time to reward the workers in your business, and to be sure that they receive recognition for the work that they’ve done through the year. If you haven’t already held an official awards night already, this time of year is great for holding a recognition ceremony. Whether you go for a designated awards ceremony, or aim for something more low-key, taking the time to celebrate achievements and talent should help get people into the holiday mood.

Select a Location that’s Unique

There are times that a party will just need a good setting, so it’s important to choose your venue as carefully as possible. For a unique twist on your holiday party, select somewhere that’s quirky yet matches the things that your brand stands for. Great options may include the Monastery in Manchester, the Natural History Museum, or even the Royal Yacht Britannia. If your company has a smaller budget, there may be some more unusual options. Just take the time to determine how much you want to spend, where you would like to have the event, and start searching.

Extend the Event

How long does a holiday party have to be in the evening? If you would prefer to extend the party, but you want to keep from going too big too early in the day. Why not plan an afternoon activity in advance of the big party. December can be one of the most packed months in the calendar for events and shows, so there’s certainly a lot of evening activities to choose from. While it may be challenging to choose just one activity, it may be wise to offer a selection. If you include a wide selection, there will be something available for everyone.