Four Tips to Hosting a Holiday Office Party on a Small Business Budget

It’s beginning to look a lot like … that time of year again to plan for the office holiday party. With invitations to be created, menu selections to be made and employee gifts to be bought, the festivities may often feel like a big financial hit to your small business budget. This year, throw a cheerful holiday party and stick to your budget with these four tips.

Keep It Simple

When planning a holiday party, two things must be done before the party even starts; invitations have to be sent and decorations need to be hung. When preparing, remember to think simple, it will be both time- and cost-effective, two things every small business owner values greatly.

You can’t put a price tag on high employee morale. With that in mind, keep holiday moods lifted in the office by sending an internal email party invitation. No need to spend extra money on printing, employees will be happy to receive a (free) holiday Evite in their inbox.

Next, when choosing decorations, remember to check last year’s holiday box to see what can be repurposed. Reusing items that are still in good condition can save money that may help improve your company’s bottom line.

Host the Party in the Office

Over the years, businesses have implemented cost-saving measures, making extravagant holiday celebrations at fancy venues seem like the ghost of Christmas Past. But a festive and memorable affair can still be held right in your office. And scheduling the party during working hours allows employees the flexibility to come and go as they please.

Organize a Holiday Gift Exchange

It can be challenging to decide how to give presents during the holiday season, especially on a small business budget. Do you pull funds together and give gifts to only your top executives or do you buy smaller ones for the whole team? Avoid this stressful decision by inviting employees to join in on a holiday gift exchange. Set a limit of $20-$25 and pick a fun game that all can enjoy. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Secret Santa: Everyone in the office is randomly assigned one co-worker for whom they will buy a gift. The fun in this game comes from the secrecy, as presents are then anonymously exchanged between participants.
  • White Elephant: Every employee is responsible for contributing a wrapped and unmarked item. Participants are given numbers as they arrive at the party and select presents in that order. As players take their turns, they can choose to select a new gift or take an already opened one from another player.
  • Co-worker Trivia: This game is a great way to turn your exchange into an ice breaker. Employees are asked to bring a wrapped gift with an attached slip of paper containing a little-known fact about themselves. Before making a selection, each player must correctly match a fact to its owner.

Throw a Potluck

This year, forget sandwich trays and catering costs and invite employees to get involved in the holiday planning. When sending out your invitations let everyone know that they can contribute by bringing in a “covered dish” or other menu item for everyone to enjoy; have a sign-up list to avoid duplicate dishes. With all employees contributing, this a great way to keep food costs low while still enjoying a large meal with all of your co-workers. You should make sure all dishes are labeled to avoid any cross-contact with food allergens.

These are just a few of the many ways you can control your spending during the holiday season yet remind employees how much you value them and appreciate the hard work they’ve done throughout the year. When planning next year, save yourself financial stress by opening a Universal Club account. Featuring a structured savings plan, this product from NVE Bank can help you save for holiday parties and other special occasions.

To learn about NVE’s products and services, visit our website. You can also speak with one of our Branch Associates by visiting your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).



About NVE Bank

The NVE Blog should not be used for banking purposes relating to NVE Bank. Please do not disclose any personal or business banking information on this site. NVE is an Equal Opportunity Lender, Equal Housing and Member FDIC. Visit NVE Bank, established in 1887, offers an extensive range of personal and business products and services. The Bank maintains 11 offices conveniently located throughout Bergen County. For more information, please call our toll-free number 1-866-NVE-Bank (683-2265) or visit our website at
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