The end of the year (and the decade) is fast approaching.  You probably have a holiday party planned but if you don’t, we would love to give you some alternate ideas on ways to spoil your team for all their hard work with year.  

The classic party is great, but can be costly and getting everyone in your practice to commit to an evening can be challenging.  

If you plan to forgo the Holiday Party, try…

 A Holiday lunch or potluck. 

Getting everyone together for a Holiday Lunch or potluck is much easier (since they should already be working at the office with you) and a lot less money.  And it still gives everyone all the excitement of dinner since they get an extra hour for lunch and some extra time to spend with their work-family. 

If you choose to take them out to lunch, pick somewhere close to the office with a laidback and fun personality.  And make sure the team is aware that the bill is on you.  

If you choose to provide lunch in the office, make sure the office is decorated with fun decor and you order food that pleases all the diet restrictions your staff may have. 

And if you choose a potluck, make sure food items are assigned so there are not too many duplicates or you aren’t missing out on a certain dish.  Make sure to provide all the dishware as well as something extra special so the team knows they are appreciated. 

Think your team wants something different than a holiday dinner or lunch?

Give them an afternoon off for holiday shopping.  

This has always been my favorite and what I do for my team.  Block off an afternoon in the schedule. On that afternoon, present the team with cards that include gift cards to TJ Maxx or Visa Gift cards and tell them they can have the afternoon off to go shopping as a thank you for all their hard work this year. 

I promise you their little faces are going to light right up and they are going to race out the door and they are going to love you for it.

Want something a little more team building than that?


Do something fun!

Bowling, mini-golf, bingo, a city scavenger hunt, an escape room, etc.  Anything that is going to break the traditional holiday party and get your team smiling.  Planning these events are easier than you think and a lot more wallet-friendly than dinner.  

Need something super budget-friendly?

Hold Holiday-themed contests.

Most people love to compete in the name of fun holiday cheer.  And there are many contests to be had! 

This could be a bake-off where everyone makes their favorite holiday dessert and you chose the winner. 


A holiday decoration contest: Split your employees up into teams, give them a budget and let them decorate an operatory.  Let your patients vote and announce the winner right before you leave for the break. 


An ugly sweater contest, who can make the ugliest sweater?  Snap pictures of them wearing them and let your patients vote. 

Make sure the reward is something great, like an extra paid vacation day (don’t worry, you can find temporary coverage for them on DirectDental), or a gift card to a place of their choosing.  

Want your team to come together in the way of giving?


Contribute to a non-profit with your team.  

This could be in the form of a blanket or jacket drive where you have your patients bring in unused items to be donated to shelters.  Or take an afternoon to contribute to your local community by cleaning up the beaches or helping to paint a local run-down building. This time of year offers many ways to give back and you and your team will definitely feel a bond by working together for the greater good.  


 If you have your heart set on a holiday party, it is a wonderful way to celebrate your team.  But if you are looking to break the mold this year, I hope these alternatives we suggested provide your team with a wonderful new tradition.