Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Take care of your people and protect your business

Companies are always looking for ways to boost morale. Have you ever thrown a company Thanksgiving party?

What Is a Thanksgiving Company Party?

A Thanksgiving company party is a company celebration that brings employees together to celebrate Thanksgiving. In the U.S., it is typically held in late November.

Why Is Hosting a Thanksgiving Company Party Important?

A company shouldn’t throw a party simply because that’s what you think you’re supposed to do or everyone else is doing it. Rather, approach every workplace celebration with the mindset of how it will be beneficial.

  • Increase morale. The end of the year can be hard for employees, as many of them have been pushing hard to complete projects before the end of the year. In addition to that, the holiday season can be stressful for employees with their own holiday plans and trying to find time off to spend the holidays for the family. Hosting a Thanksgiving company party is a great opportunity for employees to relax and feel appreciated.Thanksgiving company parties are less common than other holiday company parties, so a company’s willingness to plan a Thanksgiving company party shows its employees its desire to go above and beyond to appreciate its employees.
  • Make memories. Making memories might seem like something that a family would be a lot more worried about as opposed to a company. However, the longer companies are around, the more important their history and legacy becomes. Hosting a Thanksgiving company party can lead to employees five years from now saying, “Remember the company Thanksgiving party in 2017, when Bob burned the turkey?” Those memories create a connection for the employee to the company, building a stronger sense of loyalty.
  • Improve company culture. Hosting a Thanksgiving company party gives employees a chance to get to know each other better and just have fun. Parties like this can help create a culture where employees want to be around each other.

Thanksgiving Company Party Activity Ideas

Just as with any other company event, you want to plan a party that people will want to attend and have fun at! Here are some ideas for activities that will make your Thanksgiving company party enjoyable and memorable for everybody.

Gratitude Lists

Thanksgiving is centered around showing gratitude for everything we have in our lives. Encourage employees to write and share lists of things they are grateful for.

Turkey Bowl

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to play some football? Organize a company turkey bowl football game for employees to play, watch, and cheer for before sharing a Thanksgiving feast.

Turkey Bowling

Have you ever heard of turkey bowling? This consists of using frozen turkeys as bowling balls to bowl pins. This could be set up in a large gathering area where everyone can participate.

Serve at a Homeless Shelter

Service is a great way to bring a company’s employees closer together. Plan an event for employees to volunteer at a homeless shelter and help feed people there.

Share Recipe Ideas

Thanksgiving recipes are often treasured family heirlooms. Gather people’s favorite recipes into a cookbook to give to all employees.

Adapt Classic Games

We all know the classic party games: bingo, charades, pictionary, and the list goes on. There’s a reason these games are so common—they’re affordable, easy to set up, and a great way to get people laughing and interacting. For your party, you can have a blast playing Thanksgiving-themed versions of these classic games.

Share Gratitude on Social Media

Feel free to use your Thanksgiving party as an opportunity to show gratitude for your clients or customers. If you post anything on social media about your celebration, make sure to express gratitude not only for the company employees, but also people outside the company who you enjoy working with.

Thanksgiving Company Party Food Ideas

It might be the most important question for anyone attending a Thanksgiving party: what are we going to eat? Having a selection of delicious food at your party doesn’t have to be a difficult—there are plenty of ways to get creative with what you serve.

Potluck

While Thanksgiving dinner typically stars turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and rolls, family traditions differ. Doing a potluck meal allows employees to show off their creativity and share what they like to eat for Thanksgiving.

Provide Thanksgiving Desserts

If you don’t want to have a pot-luck style meal, but also don’t want to cater a full dinner for everybody, consider just bringing a selection of popular thanksgiving desserts. Whether you serve pecan pie, apple crumble, pumpkin roll, or another cinnamon-y, fresh-baked treat, employees are sure to have a great time trying different desserts while they socialize.

Pie Contest

Consider a pie contest! Every employee brings a pie for others to try, and everyone rates which pie they thought was best. Employees have fun competition while eating some tasty pie. You can also think of fun prizes for those whose pies are most popular.

Serve Non-Traditional Food

While there are definitely certain types of food that most people expect to see at a Thanksgiving event, you don’t have to go the traditional route. If you’re feeling adventurous, choose an out-of-the box theme for your Thanksgiving party and serve food to match. 

Tips for Decorating for Your Company Thanksgiving Party

Decorating for company parties can go a long way towards creating a fun, open atmosphere. Bring out your inner decorator with these three tips.

Tip 1: Use a Fall-Inspired Color Scheme

One of the best things about autumn? The leaves changing from their usual green to different shades of yellow, orange, and red. As you decorate your workspace for the Thanksgiving party, lean into this ready-made color scheme. 

Tip 2: Make a Centerpiece

Centerpieces aren’t just for the family’s dinner table—they also make a great addition to the table where your food is set out at the company party. As you craft your centerpiece, here are some elements that will help achieve the cozy Thanksgiving vibe you’re going for: 

  • Pumpkins (real or fake, large or miniature)
  • Pine cones
  • Cornucopias
  • String lights
  • Fake autumn leaves

Tip 3: Give Everyone a Thanksgiving Gift

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a type of decoration. But giving each employee a small gift is all part of helping them have a great experience at your Thanksgiving party. You could even have the gifts displayed by the door so that they’re the first thing people see when they walk in. Whatever gift you choose—whether it’s some sort of treat, a gift bag, or company swag—make sure it’s high-quality and reflects how much you appreciate each of your employees. 

Tips for Hosting a Thanksgiving Company Party

Here are some tips to help your Thanksgiving party be as successful as possible.

Tip 1: Have a Planning Committee

When planning a Thanksgiving company party, putting a few people in charge of planning helps get different ideas from different people and allows a few people to focus on planning it.

Tip 2: Involve All Employees

Try to plan something that will involve everyone. This includes remote employees. If the party includes a pie contest, try to involve employees who aren’t baking pies in other ways. You want to make sure it is something everyone will enjoy being a part of. For employees participating virtually, you could still plan activities where maybe employees join a call and eat food together. Or you can also plan virtual activities where people don’t have to be together in person.

Tip 3: Be Considerate of Time

Give employees enough notice of when the party will occur. If it is within business hours, try to be mindful of hours where some departments might be busier than others. Whether it is during working hours or not, try not to have the party last longer than employees are comfortable with. An hour or two is a reasonable length for a Thanksgiving company party.

Tip 4: Be Respectful 

The history behind Thanksgiving can be sensitive for many people. To avoid causing anybody to feel left out or hurt, focus your celebration on the ideas of gratitude and togetherness rather than the historical origins of the holiday. This will ensure that everybody is able to have a great time showing appreciation for each other—with no hard feelings. 

Improving Your Company Culture With Eddy People

One step in creating a positive workplace culture is to focus on clear, genuine communication. While Thanksgiving parties and other workplace events are great chances for people to build camaraderie and communicate with each other in meaningful ways, they don’t happen every day (sadly).

Eddy People helps improve company communication on a day-to-day basis. By providing tools to help keep employees connected—like an employee directory and a calendar of important employee milestones—Eddy helps every member of the team feel like part of the community.

Learn more about how Eddy People can improve your company culture.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Thanksgiving Company Party

A Thanksgiving company party can be fun when the employees are the ones that plan it.
If you want to have more employee participation, a party should happen during work hours. Otherwise, employees will feel pressured to come to a work event after hours, even if it isn’t required.

Tanner has over 4 years of HR professional experience in various fields of HR. He has experience in hiring, recruiting, employment law, unemployment, onboarding, outboarding, and training to name a few. Most of his experience comes from working in the Professional Employer and Staffing Industries. He has a passion for putting people in the best position to succeed and really tries to understand the different backgrounds people come from.

Want to contribute to our HR Encyclopedia?

Posts You Might Like

Easier HR for local businesses

With Eddy’s all-in-one HR Suite you can hire, onboard, manage, and pay employees with one easy-to-use platform. No headache required.
Scroll to Top

Submit a Question