How to Host a COVID Friendly Christmas Party in 2020

The Christmas office party is looking quite different in this ‘new normal’ era and just like everything else, we now need to adapt to current guidelines and restrictions to keep everyone safe this festive season. But no matter what may be announced next, we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite unique Christmas party ideas we’ve picked up in our many years of private party catering.

Abide by guidelines

You’d be forgiven for not being able to keep up with the ever-changing laws and guidelines but it’s vitally important when beginning to think about your work party ideas that you are completely informed and in line with the current laws. If not, you risk putting your guests in an uncomfortable situation, as well as risking a hefty fine.


Hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes may not be the usual Christmas office party props but don’t forget to plan them into your festive gathering. Keep up to date with the guidelines and have a backup plan if restrictions become stricter, a virtual option will always be a good alternative to overcome lockdown rules.


Allow for social distancing


One of the most important things to now consider when planning an office Christmas party is how many people you can legally get together. If your office is working from home then the rule of six applies when it comes to your office Christmas party. This may mean celebrating in smaller teams or even virtually. As it stands, the 10 pm curfew also applies to private gatherings and is another thing to consider when thinking about your work party ideas. If your team is unable to work from home the office could be the best option for your venue. This will allow you to be able to entertain the full team without the limit of six. Private caterers will be able to discuss work party ideas based on the area you have to work with to comply with social distancing guidelines.


Set the date

Set the date for your Christmas office party with plenty of notice. The best private caterers and perfect office Christmas party venues can be booked up months in advance for the festive season and with restrictions, this year on guests and hours, planning in advance is even more important. Think about the timings, some great unique Christmas party ideas that involve daytime activities. This will allow for a lot more time to celebrate now that evening doos are restricted to a 10 pm curfew.

Ask about dietary requirements

Make sure you consider all of your guests when planning for your office Christmas party and establish if you need to cater for any allergies or particular dietary requirements. You will need to give private caterers plenty of notice so they can create a menu that pleases the entire party and you also need to make sure if there are any foods you should avoid. Ask your guests about any special requirements when you first begin to plan your work party ideas.

Book private catering

Private party catering can be a great way to take the stress out of organising the Christmas office party no matter what size your group is. Private caterers can create unique Christmas party ideas to fit with your budget and brief and can be surprisingly affordable when you consider the cost of everything that is needed to put on a seasonal spread for your celebrations. As well as providing private party catering we also hold office parties at our South London Social Pantry cafés and are always happy to discuss ways in which we can bring our plethora of unique Christmas party ideas to life!

Choose a theme

Picking a theme is a brilliant place to start when thinking about unique Christmas party ideas and can be a great way to bring something different to your Christmas office party. Whether it’s traditional tacky, tasteful and chic or based on your work industry, themes can make your office Christmas party feel a lot more special than the usual after-work drinks and will make sure it differs from the previous parties from years before. Private caterers can advise on the best themes based on your budget and requirements.

Plan some games

Office Christmas party games can be a great way to break the ice if you’re bringing together colleagues that may not know each other or who work remotely. Party games can also be fun work party ideas to make sure that the business chat is left in the office and people are able to let their hair down.

Virtual Christmas party ideas

If your usual Christmas get together is not possible this year due to local lockdowns and government measures, then a virtual gathering can be equally as fun! Personal packages with booze and food can ensure that the whole group can enjoy the party together from the comfort of their own homes. Private caterers can put together a package that can be delivered to the door and there are also plenty of activities guests can take part in collectively through the power of zoom! From virtual gingerbread decorating, to wine and cheese tasting, private party catering services have had to adapt to the new way in which we now do dinner parties and gatherings and will be able to advise on activities they’re able to deliver for the virtual events!

Zoom secret Santa

A Christmas office party would not be complete without everyone’s favourite Secret Santa and just because you may not be able to celebrate in real life this year doesn’t mean the tradition should be forgotten! Set the budget and give people plenty of time to get their gifts in the post. Another option to save the hassle of parcels in the post would be to create an email-only rule. Vouchers and experiences that can be sent to an email account rather than through the post is an easy option if Secret Santa is via zoom this year.


We are already busy planning for the festive season and this year we have worked hard to make sure all of our services are compliant with government guidelines to keep all of our customers safe. We hope to see as many of you at Social Pantry café for a socially distanced Christmas tipple and so please get in touch or make an enquiry if you would like to discuss your work party ideas to make sure your Christmas office party is one to remember!