It's that time of year when we gather together united by a great common bond; the work place. Well, okay so maybe work is not the great bastion of brotherly love, but at least everyone has an awful lot in common. the problem with office parties is that, too often, they are just an extension of work. Work is work and a party is a party and ne'er the twain shall meet.

I don't know why most office parties tend to be such uncomfortable affairs. Here we are surrounded by people we see every single day of our lives, but when we are thrown into a room with all of those co-workers at once, in a social situation, we freeze up. Once, we've exhausted the small talk about the weather, we run out of subject matter. Pockets of awkward silence are located all the room and the atmosphere becomes very close. Finally, someone relieves the tension in the room.

Imagine the sigh of relief when someone; usually a sales manager or juniour executive saves the day by finally talking about business. At last! A subject everyone can talk about. Conversation finally starts up and runs brisk all night and, at the end of the party, we've spent a few hours at work and know each other not one bit more. I once worked at a compant that imposed a $5 fine on people who talked about work at an office party. this might not be a bad idea.

If you want that office party to really do more than be an extension of the work day, let everybody releax and have some fun and there's no better way to have fun thatn to make everyone look somewhat foolish at the same time. Kids aren't afraid to look foolish and that's why they have so much fun. Kids are just thinking, "this is fun."

With that thought in mind, here are a few usggestions for an office party theme that may get everyone in more of a festive mood and maybe even some new friendships and more unity among people.

One very important part of these games is this: The higher up in the company you are, the more you must participate in these games. You can't manage people if you aren't willing to do what they do. that little rule applies to work and fun.

 

We'll start off real easy with an oldie but goodie:

White Elephant Party: This seems to be the go-to party theme for offices. If you're not familiar with the idea, it goes like this: Basically, every takes a cheap gift to the party. Celebrants draw numbers and in numerical order, they get to go to the wrapped presents and choose any gift they like. Much is made of opening the gifts and you may get something usable or useless; it just depends on the sense of humor of the person who picked out the gift.

At any rate, after the first person has made their selection and displayed their gift, it's time for the next person to select a gift. Now, everyone after the first chooser has two options: they can either choose from the gifts under the tree or they can shoose to "steal" the gift of a previous player. Where the rules differ is in how many times a gift may be "stolen." In the interest of not letting the game go to long, you might want to set that limit at "one."

As Seen On TV: This is simply a variation on the White Elephant party. Instead of going out and buying random gag gifts, each person must bring a present marked as "As Seen on TV." Its amazing how many people get to go home with something they can actually use.

Gift Box Christmas Ornament Roll — The idea is to move a round Christmas ornament across the floor to a waiting "goal" simply by fanning it with a gift box. Contestants have exactly one minute to accomplish this amazing feat. Everyone is guaranteed to look quite foolish playing this games since ornaments are not really round and propelling them by fanning them just makes them all the morre unpredictable.

Snowball Fight – This game is just an excuse to have a basic free for all, which is just which is perfect for getting everyone to loosen up a bit. you might want to start your games with this one since it only takes a minute.

Start by dividing the room in half with an equal number of players on each side. When to leader says, "gg" the two teams beging to use pieces of wadded up paper to have s snowball fight. At the end of one minute, the team with the fewest pieces of paper on their side of the boundary is declared the winner and gets to pick the next game.

There are some other great suggestions that I stumbled across at Workflowmax.com and I think you'll find them very useful.