by Elaine H.
(Outlook, Sask. Canada)
Our staff of 30 at an elementary school had me and one other colleague surprise them as to what we would be doing at our Christmas party. We decided that we would get them into survivor groups so as to mix up the old cliques.
One thing we did was to get some material to make up buffs. So when they entered the party, they pulled out a buff for themselves and then we gave their spouse or guest the same one. This told them where they were going to be seated. It made the teams.
The way we invited people was we got 30 odd paper bags and cut the sides out and scrunched them all up and wet them and let them dry. This was their invitation..it looked like a clue...we did not mention excactly what was going to happen, only when, etc. (Lots of times people won't come if they think they might have to particpate too much).
The decorating consisted of lots of tiki lights with a buff tied in to four huge tables. It looked like you were entering a survivor cave. Honestly, it was like a picture out of survivor and the guests were a little nervous. Were they surprised when they had to move to where they had pulled...
The meal was catered with such things as scewered kabobs, etc. Kind of suvivorish...
After the meal..came the challenges. Teachers hate these usually...and they usually are the worst ones to complain...you would think that they would behave and listen as they tell their students all day at school..Anyway, the first challenge entailed figuring out clues which in the end led them to a combination on a lock. That unlocked the prize box for them....It got everyone involved, even if you weren't good at some things, or shy. One challenge had everyone put on their buff blindfolds and with their hands tied to each other, throw a dart at the dart board...(Oops, sorry curling club..we missed quite a few times..) By the end of this, everyone was asking what else...they had so much fun.
We had a funny xmas exchange at the end that had everyone is stitches. We also put a twist on that. The bar also offered different kinds of themed drinks if anyone was interested.
It took alot of work and energy even though it was well worth it. This year, I stayed clear of the party planner! We were asked to plan this year, but, not sure we could top that. That and the fact that one of our young colleagues died suddenly a couple of months ago and not everyone is yet over that, so I do feel sorry for the planners. At any rate, our party was the most fun anyone had in a long time.
As our hints leading to the party were intriguing, we had a better turnout because they sensed a little more planning had gone into this somehow. I know this may sound like a copying type of thing, but honestly we tailored it to an elementary school staff and it was hilarious watching the spouses get so into this party. Young or old, stuffy or funloving, everyone was in agreement that it was a success and left feeling happy with the evening. Thanks for listening. I must say I don't think anyone thought to bring a camera. It would have been priceless.