‘Tis the season for mulled wine, mistletoe and of course, the annual office Christmas party. And if you’re the one in charge of the events calendar then no doubt you want to make sure this celebration is a big success before everyone heads off for a well-deserved year-end break. Don’t fret! Take it as an opportunity to get to know your teammates and have some fun outside the office. A bit of resourcefulness and creativity can go a long way. Here are five easy tips to plan 2017’s office Christmas party. It’s a great way to make your office into a fun place. Set the dateAnd do it early! Christmas is a busy period, the busiest of the year for many co-workers when it comes to social events, so diaries fill up fast. That means you want to get a date marked in as early as possible. Your co-workers not only have to attend the office Christmas party but also plan their own dinners, winter holidays, go to the occasional winter wedding and buy presents! Send options to get a feel of a preferred date, while the responses will also give you an indication of potential headcount for the event. Lastly, don’t forget to send a “save the date” invitation early enough to ensure most of your guests can attend. Figure out the budgetThis is the first thing you need to do. The size of your budget will have a huge impact on the type of party you organise, determining everything from the F&B to the entertainment and choice of venue. Once you’ve set the party budget (or asked your manager how much you can spend), the following decisions will be easier. Don’t forget to leave some money aside as a backup. Unexpected costs can always come up with any size of an event so don’t splurge your entire budget at the outset. Plan a Christmas themeNo party is complete without a theme to tie it all together. This is your chance to wear your creativity hat. Perhaps you could organise an activity to really get everyone involved. Plan a Secret Santa prior to the event and exchange gifts on the day before everyone tucks into their food. The theme is the heartbeat of any event and should be integrated throughout the evening. Source a cosy venueIdentify suitable venues early to check they have availability, are within budget and are easily accessible for guests. You would want to pick a venue with good F&B options. This will also help save costs and reduce time scouting for caterers. Request a quote from each based on your requirements. It’s always good to ensure that the final quote includes everything and there will be no hidden charges (such as costs for waiting staff, or glass rental) before you sign off. Be sure the venue is willing to clear up afterwards - otherwise, you may want to hire in some help or risk ruining your new party frock. Add a bit of jinglePut together goody bags. These should be filled with genuine goodies that your co-workers will actually enjoy, so avoid hard company collateral and opt for treats such as chocolates and wine instead. To increase excitement, you could also invest a bit of your budget in creating custom name tags or Christmas-themed lanyards in the lead up to the party.