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holiday party planning guide

Office parties tend to come in two flavors: totally boring or completely, off-the-wall, regret-your-decisions-the-next-day crazy. But there's an unexplored middle ground that will actually get your employees excited for this year's holiday party. (And it's easier than you think.)

At Photobooth Rocks, we're no strangers to epic office holiday parties, because we've attended a TON. Whether you have six employees or 600, here's how to throw an awesome office Christmas party, plus a few tips for getting the most out of your Christmas party photo booth.


Office Christmas Party Planning Guide

There's a good reason we're writing about this in October and not December. Holiday parties take a while to plan, especially if you're looking to give your employees a great send-off into the new year.

1. Select Party Type

Uh...type? Isn't the type "holiday party?"

Well, yeah, but you can narrow it down a little further.

Do you want to plan a formal sit-down dinner with a fancy dress code or a casual after-hours event? Do you need a host for the evening or should everyone just show up and mingle?

Setting the tone from the get-go will help tune out any distracting ideas and refine your vision so that the end result feels cohesive, not chaotic.

2. Pick a Theme

holiday party photos


You don't technically need a theme, but again, this is one of those things that helps narrow down your party planning options.

There are the usual ideas—Winter Wonderland, Rudolph, North Pole—but why not shake things up a bit? Here are a few themes that haven't been played out yet:

  • Florida Christmas: Living here in Central Florida, we miss out on real winter, so why not lean in and throw a beach themed Christmas party?
  • Toyland: Parents will agree that Christmas is all about the toys. Set up retro board games, video games, and other throwback toys and have each employee bring in a new, unwrapped toy to donate later on.
  • Merry Everything: Not everyone celebrates Christmas. In fact, offices are more diverse than ever. Throw a corporate holiday party that includes Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, or whatever other holidays your employees celebrate.
  • Harry Potter: Let's face it, pretty much everyone is a Harry Potter fan. Throw a magical Yule Ball of your own filled with wizarding magic.
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater: Have they been done before? Maybe. Do people still love them? You bet.
  • Anti-Christmas Party: Believe it or not, some people aren't that excited about Christmas. (I know, I was shocked, too!) If your employees seem less than enthused about a Christmas party, set up a Festivus pole and just throw a regular party to give your employees a break from hearing "Jingle Bells" on repeat.

Whatever theme you pick, Photobooth Rocks probably has a photo layout, background, and props to match.

3. Set Your Budget

No one wants to go broke throwing an office Christmas party, but it's so easy to let party planning get out of hand. Be realistic about your party planning budget (talk to the bosses and the accounting team to settle on a number) so you know what you have to work with.

4. Create a Guest List

Is the party for all of your employees or just the managers? Can employees bring their families? Should you invite clients as well?

This will largely be determined by your budget, and it will also help you with details later on, such as finding a place that will accommodate everyone and getting an accurate quote from a caterer.

5. Pick a Venue

Holding your office Christmas party at the office is the obvious answer, but this might not work for everyone.

Wherever you host the party, make sure the space will accommodate all of your needs—number of guests, electrical outlets, and space for a photo booth.

6. Time of Day

Neighborhood and family Christmas parties are typically evening events, but weekends in December fill up quick. Instead, consider a weekday or a daytime affair where your employees can "play hooky" from work for a bit.

7. Plan Activities

dj stasia with our dj rocks djing the company holiday party

Fun activities are the difference between boring office Christmas parties and unforgettable ones.

Some great ideas are:

  • Photo Booth: No holiday party is complete without a Christmas party photo booth! Everyone loves them! Themed props and backgrounds help tie your booth in with the theme and unlimited prints for every guest means the fun can continue all night!
  • Hot Cocoa Bar: Provide classic and unexpected additions to everyone's favorite Christmas drink. Candy canes, mini marshmallows, caramel sauce, whipped cream, cinnamon, and sprinkles are always appreciated.
  • Casino Games: Casino night rental companies can set up a full-fledged casino in whatever venue you choose. The best part? The games are just for fun, so no one has to worry about losing their life savings.
  • DJ: Hiring a DJ/MC makes any get-together really feel like a party!
  • Trivia: Hire a local trivia company to organize a Christmas-themed trivia game and provide prizes for the winners.

8. Plan the Menu

Hosting a formal sit-down dinner will have a different menu than a casual get-together with just finger food. Buffets are an affordable way to give everyone a full meal and potlucks create a cozy, familiar vibe. You can also consider professional caterers, ordering something in from a local deli (or Publix!), or hiring some food trucks to bring their wares (like an open bar, but with food).

9. Hire Vendors

Consider the venue layout, theme, and activities to make sure you have everything you need. You might need to rent some chairs, hire a DJ or professional MC, set up some props or lighting, or hire a babysitting service.

10. Give Back

Giving something back to your employees lets them feel appreciated for all their hard work during the last year and gets them motivated to start the next year off strong. This could be as extravagant as a hand-picked gift for each person or as simple as a gift card to Starbucks.

A budget-friendly option would be recognizing your employees with a little awards ceremony. Categories can range from "Top Performer" to "Makes the Best Coffee."

You can also use your corporate holiday party to give back to the community. Collect toys, non-perishable foods, or socks (they're the #1 most-requested item at homeless shelters) as the price of admission or use the party to draw attention to a cause that's close to your company's values.

Getting the Most Out of Your Christmas Party Photo Booth

Are you sold yet on the idea of a Christmas party photo booth? Great! Here are a few tips on getting the most out of your booth.

holiday party photo booth fun in the winter wonderland backdrop

Multiple Booth Options

Photo booths have come a long way since you were in high school. At Photobooth Rocks, we offer different booth styles to fit your needs and your budget.

Don't have a lot of space? Our Open Air booth fits anywhere. Animated GIFs more your thing? You want our Digital booth. Want something with a little more pizzazz? Check out our Mirror booth!

Themed Backdrops

All photo booths come with your choice of booth backdrop. Our rustic wood backdrop with Christmas lights is a great option for a holiday party, but nothing says "party" like silver sequins, either!


No matter what theme your event is, we have props to match. Santa hats or Spiderman mask, the choice is yours! (By the way, they're complimentary with every rental!)

holiday party props

Unlimited Fun!

Even if you set up a DIY photo booth, you'll have to make sure you have enough ink and paper to last through the night. But with Photobooth Rocks, booth visits and photo print-outs are 100% free and UNLIMITED, so your staff can have as much fun as they can handle.


Make that "unlimited times two" because two copies of every photo strip get printed out with each session, one for the booth visitor and one for the host's scrapbook. After the event, leave the scrapbook in the employee break room so everyone can see all the pictures.

You'll also have access to digital versions of all the photos, too.

Endless Customization

Props and poses aren't the only way to customize your photo booth experience. With Photobooth Rocks, you can add your company logo to the photo strips or even the booth itself to celebrate your organization in style!

holiday party hanukkah props and winter backdrop

Deck the Halls...With a Christmas Party Photo Booth!

Your employees are sick of White Elephant gift exchanges and sad cookie swaps. But with a Christmas party photo booth from Photobooth Rocks, your party and the tree will be totally lit.

Take the time to plan an entertaining, interactive event that everyone will remember for years to come (mostly because they'll have the photo strip) and your team will be motivated to keep delivering through 2019.

Call today to reserve your favorite booth and get a jump on planning a holiday party to remember!

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