What to Consider Before Planning a Christmas Party in Chicago, IL

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on celebrating. A Christmas holiday party with your colleagues can be a great way to spend time together and share in the joy of the season.

But, as with any other social event, it can be tricky to know how to plan holiday parties. There are so many different factors to think about regardless of whether you’re throwing your first office Christmas party or your fifth annual holiday get-together.

What kind of party will you have? Do you have company co-workers coming over to play board games? Do you want to host a wide-ranging bash for 20 or do you have a huge crowd of people coming to stay? Are you going to invite that potential client you’ve been targeting for so long?

Before putting up Christmas wreaths all over the office, here’s a list of things you need to consider when planning office Christmas parties.

1. Know Your Crowd

The first thing to consider is who you’re throwing the party for. If your friends all love wine but you’ve got to keep your professional side alcohol-free, you may want to rethink the theme of your party.

You should also note who you’re inviting. If you’re throwing a formal Christmas party, it may be wise to include people who aren’t your close friends such as higher management like the Chief Technical Officer. This will help you avoid any awkwardness or, worse, bad feelings that may arise from a party that’s not as fun as it should be.

If your colleagues tend to drink wine but you know that your branch manager isn’t too keen on booze at work, you may want to tone down the theme of your party and offer mocktails instead.

2. Decide What You Want From Your Holiday Party

The next thing to decide is what you want from your party. Do you want a casual, low-key get-together with just close friends or do you want to throw something a bit bigger and more elaborate?

If you want a more relaxed party, you may want to choose a relaxed theme. If you want something a bit more formal, you may want to go for a more formal theme. If you have children in the mix, it may also be worth considering a kid-friendly theme.

You’ll avoid many of the usual pitfalls that can occur at a kid’s party, such as a theme that doesn’t go over well or one that everyone has a terrible time at.

3. Have a Game Plan

When throwing a party, you may want to consider setting up a game plan in advance. You don’t need to write out a detailed game plan, but it may help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that occur when throwing a party.

As you’re planning your party, it may also be worth making a list of the things you need to do. This might include things like making sure you hire a DJ, ordering food from a restaurant, and ensuring your colleagues’ RSVPs are confirmed.

It may also help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that occur at a party, such as forgetting some of your guests’ names or inadvertently serving the wrong drinks.

4. Plan for the Unexpected

One of the most common pitfalls when throwing a party is not preparing for the unexpected. Whether you’re not expecting the number of people that RSVP’d or not expecting the weather to turn cold and rainy, you need to be prepared for the unexpected.

You should also be prepared for the unexpected if you’re planning your guest list. It may be helpful to bring a guest list spreadsheet to your party, so you can easily keep track of who’s RSVP’d.

5. Make Sure You’re Serving the Right Drinks

One of the worst things you can do at a party is serving the wrong drinks. This is particularly true at a Christmas party, when you may want to avoid serving anything too strong or too cold. For example, you may want to avoid serving beer at a Christmas party or putting out gingerbread liquor shots.

You may also want to avoid serving anything with high alcohol content. This includes things like wine, whiskey, and gin and anything with a high alcohol content should be kept out of the hand of minors. You may also want to avoid serving things such as amaretto spiced rum shots or prosecco spiced punch.

Consider serving fun, light cocktails such as apple cider or Malibu strawberry spritz cocktails.

If you want to make sure you don’t serve the wrong drinks, you may want to order food and drinks from a holiday catering service that specializes in hosting events.

6. Plan Ahead for the After-party

Another common pitfall when it comes to parties is forgetting about the after-party. You need to remember to keep in mind what you’re going to do after your guests have left.

Are colleagues going to bring their kids over? While throwing a party for the kids might seem like a great idea, you should keep in mind that kids are often unplanned guests at a party. They’re often bored, needy, and loud. So, if the kids are going to come, you may also want to consider hiring a babysitter for the kids.

If you don’t have kids on your guest list, you may want to consider booking a nearby pool or park. This will allow you and your guests to relax and unwind after a busy week. You may also want to consider booking a hotel room so that you and your guests can relax and unwind after a busy week.


An epic office Christmas party is not just about throwing a great party. It’s about planning for it, ensuring that you’re prepared for the unexpected, and working out what you’re going to do after the party is over to ensure that your guests enjoy their time at your event.

In the event that you’re overwhelmed, you can always hire Corky’s Catering to worry about what will be on your guests’ plates. Corky’s Catering has over four decades worth of experience catering to parties, weddings, and outdoor events across the entire Chicagoland area.

Give us a call today at (630) 526-6418 to learn more about how we can help you have a truly merry Christmas!

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