Thankfully, many companies are closed on Thanksgiving Day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still bring the festive spirit to your office.
Thanksgiving revolves around two main things: food and giving back. Both activities can be easily incorporated into an office party. Here are 25 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving at the office:
1. Have a Potluck
No office Thanksgiving party is complete without food. Make sure everyone signs up for what they plan to bring so the meal is complete. No time to cook? Skip to #9.
2. Go Anti-Turkey
Everyone is in a turkey trance around Thanksgiving, so take your potluck a different route — have a taco bar, pizza party, or vegan meal.
3. Celebrate with a Tailgate
Get ready for Thanksgiving game day with a tailgate party. Ask employees to bring snacks and wear their favorite team’s jerseys.
4. Bring Leftovers
Encourage employees to bring their Thanksgiving leftovers to the office, which is a great place to unload anything edible.
5. Hold a Cooking Contest
Create some friendly competition with a cooking contest. Award prizes for different categories, like best pie or side dish. Or, do something different, like a chili cook-off.
6. Celebrate the Peanuts Way
In the spirit of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” celebrate the holiday with toast, jelly beans, popcorn, and pretzels. Encourage employees to dress up like their favorite Peanuts character.
7. Share Recipes
Ask employees to bring recipe cards with whatever dish they bring. Everyone will enjoy sharing recipes and learning how to make something new.
8. Swap Pies
Pumpkin, sweet potato or pecan — Thanksgiving is all about pies. Ask employees to bring their favorite one to swap. Turn it into a raffle so everyone gets a pie to take home.
9. Cater A Thanksgiving-Themed Lunch
Management can simply bring in lunch for everyone. Make sure to let employees vote on what they want to eat.
10. Donate Food Items
Thanksgiving is all about helping others. Ask employees to bring in nonperishable food items to donate to a food pantry, and set up a departmental competition.
11. Participate in Another Charitable Drive
Collect coats, clothing, items for pets, or money to give to a charity of choice. Each department can choose a separate organization, just as long as everyone gets in the giving spirit.
12. Join a Volunteer Project
Take time out of the workday to participate in a volunteer project, and let employees choose a worthy cause. This is a great team-building exercise.
13. Decorate a Thankfulness Wall
Set up a decorative wall with craft paper and encourage employees to write down what they’re thankful for.
14. Say ‘Thanks’
Management should use this time to thank their employees for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Try to make it as personalized as possible.
15. Thank Customers and Supporters
Say thanks to anyone who has contributed to the company’s success — whether it’s customers, vendors or others.
16. Exchange Handwritten Notes
Most everyone communicates electronically these days, so encourage employees to write at least one handwritten thank-you note to a coworker.
17. Take a Walk
Thanksgiving revolves eating and offices tend to revolve around sitting, so celebrate the holiday by taking a big group walk or hike.
18. Decorate the Office
No celebration is complete without decorations. Create a festive Thanksgiving environment with pumpkins, fall foliage, turkeys, and cornucopias.
19. Host a Thanksgiving Parade
Have your own office Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where each department creates a float. Then, vote on the best one and give out prizes.
20. Share Thanksgiving Mishaps
An exploding turkey or burned stuffing — everyone likely has had some kind of Thanksgiving mishap. Share these stories with co-workers and give everyone a good laugh.
21. Play Two Truths and a Lie
Give this popular ice-breaker a Thanksgiving spin. Employees share three holiday-themed characteristics about themselves, and everyone has to guess which are true and which is untrue.
22. Go Bowling with Pumpkins
Games complete any office party. Set up a bowling game with a pumpkin and water bottles, and unleash the competitiveness.
23. Have a Raffle
Gather a slew of gift cards and other prizes, and hand out raffle tickets. Everyone loves to win something!
24. Set Up a Photo Booth
Set up a photo booth with Thanksgiving props, like turkey masks, fall-colored boas, and pumpkin hats. Encourage staff to post photos on Instagram with the company’s hashtag.
25. Host a Cocktail Hour
It’s 5 p.m. somewhere. If it’s appropriate for your office, host a cocktail party with seasonal concoctions, like cider or pumpkin spice martinis.
While most will spend Thanksgiving with family and friends, it’s also important to bring the office family together, so be sure to celebrate at work. Let everyone share a meal together and inspire employees to give back through a donation drive or volunteer project.
How are you celebrating Thanksgiving at your office? Let us know in the comments below.