Ask the Hiring Boss: What’s Appropriate for Celebrating the Holidays at Work?

celebrating the holidays at work


Ask the Hiring Boss is our ongoing advice series dedicated to all questions HR. Today, we’re covering workplace holiday parties and workplace celebrations. Each month, our team of hiring and staffing experts, team up to answer the questions we all have but don’t know who to ask. Welcome! Don’t forget to subscribe to our Ask a Hiring Boss newsletter or submit your own questions — you can do that on our main Ask the Hiring Boss page


Dear Hiring Boss,

One of the more glorious parts of my job is planning our company holiday party. It brings me such joy. I’m writing, though, because celebrating feels trickier than ever. Should we try to find an outdoor venue with the spike in COVID cases? Do we allow plus-ones? Also, our CEO decided to quit drinking during the pandemic — should we avoid serving alcohol, or is that the world’s worst party? You see where I’m going with this. When it comes to celebrating the holidays at work, where does a party planner start?

-Feeling (Not So) Festive


Dear FNSF,

Love the holiday enthusiasm. I, for one, have been drinking festive lattes since October.

So, I have one (seemingly) simple suggestion for you: Ask for support.

Step 1: Schedule a time to sit down with your CEO with a list of these questions, especially about their comfort level around alcohol (maybe they’re totally fine with it, and you’re worrying about nothing!). Going through all your questions with them should give you great direction.

Step 2: Ask your CEO if you can create a team survey to ask what people want! Let the team vote on whether you do ice skating, bowling, or just a team happy hour because…well, why not? You’ll learn pretty quickly what gets them most excited, and it allows everyone to surface any concerns.

One last suggestion, my festive friend: don’t over-plan. Part of the fun of the holiday party is that everyone gets to loosen up, including you!



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We’ll be back soon with our next installment. Don’t forget to submit your own question, or read our other previous answers in our Ask the Hiring Boss series!

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