Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, everyone knows the key ingredients to a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. But what about the ingredients for the perfect office Thanksgiving celebration? This year, you don’t need to provide your employees with a full-blown feast. Instead, focus on the reasons for the holiday: showing your appreciation, and encouraging them to give back to the community. To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of creative ways to put the “thanks” and “giving” back in your office holiday.



1. Organize a Team Activity

Instead of relying on the age-old catered lunch, try organizing a fun team activity. No need to break the bank – have employees make creative gifts for each, potluck items, motivational cards with words of encouragement and gratitude and any other ideas you may have to show appreciation.

2. Compete in Festive Games

Having your employees compete in Thanksgiving-related games can be a great way to bring the holiday spirit to your office thanksgiving celebration. Try Pumpkin Bowling – find the roundest pumpkin you can, set up “pins” (toilet paper rolls, paper towels, water bottles, etc.) in the parking lot or hallway, and have a company-wide tournament. Present the winners with festive prizes like a turkey or homemade pumpkin bread.

3. Hold a Recipe Contest

To get your employees in the Thanksgiving spirit (not to mention save a few bucks on catering costs), hold a recipe contest where employees bring in their favorite Thanksgiving dish. Have scorecards for your employees to rate the items – winner gets to go home early!

4. Give Back as a Group

Help your company serve the community by participating in a volunteer activity as a group. Join a canned food drive, serve at a soup kitchen, build a house for Habitat for Humanity… the possibilities are endless.  Another plus: giving back as a group is great exposure for your company.

5. Create a “Thank You” Wall

A unique way to show your employees appreciation, and give them the chance to do the same for their coworkers, is to create a “Thank You” wall. Write Post-It notes thanking specific employees for something they’ve contributed to the office, and encourage them to do the same for each other. Another option is to do “holiday grams,”. Encourage employees to submit three names of co-workers we’re thankful for, along with a message, and these “holiday grams” are displayed in the TVs throughout our office.


We hope these ideas can help make your office Thanksgiving event special. Remember, the holidays are about showing gratitude for and to give back to the community. Let us know what ideas you have for showing your appreciation in the comments below! If you’re looking for a venue for your office holiday event contact us at O’Connell Gardens!