Whether celebrating Thanksgiving or not, this season offers many occasions to get together, feast on fall’s abundant harvest and give thanks for all we have.
And what better way to give thanks for a year’s worth of hard work than to throw a harvest party for you and your team? Gather your staff together, feast on a festive, overflowing table of fall dishes and tell them what you’re thankful for. Celebrate your wins and honour your losses together.
In fact, we think that this is such a good idea that we’ll help you plan your upcoming harvest party in this blog post. Here’s what you’ll need.
How to throw the best Thanksgiving (or fall harvest) workplace party
1. Fall harvest food
This is the most important part of any good fall harvest party. And of course, there are a few essential dishes that must be included on any harvest spread. This list of foods will vary depending on whether you’re planning a full sit-down dinner or a grab-as-you-go kind of office party. For the main event, there is usually a roasted turkey, chicken or ham dish. Also, roasted potatoes and root vegetables tend to be involved, along with accompanying side dishes like gravy and fresh cranberry sauce. Brussel sprouts, pies (both sweet and savoury), roasted squashes, fresh fruit, nuts, candied apples, caramel popcorn, hearty soups and stews, freshly baked bread and maple-covered sweet treats are other essentials for any great fall harvest party.
Thankfully, we partner with many local restaurants and offer event catering for such occasions. Check out what your city has to offer.
2. List of what you’re thankful for—and encourage others to do the same
It’s always a good idea to tell people how much you appreciate their hard work and loyalty. But this party, in particular, offers the perfect occasion to give thanks altogether. Write a list of all the things and people that you’re thankful for and read it out loud at the party. Or, get the entire office to do it anonymously. Encourage team members to write down one thing that they’re thankful for and put it in a box. At the party, read them out. You’d be surprised at just how powerful giving thanks can be.
3. A toasting drink
Start out your speech with a toast. It’s a great way to bring everyone together and show that you’re one team working toward the same goals. Toast with a boozy, bubbly drink or a refreshing soda water with lemon. Make sure you have options for everyone—and for all ages. Or, go even further and order some in-season, cold-pressed natural juices to boost energy and team morale for dry parties.
4. Potluck dishes
While you can use Foodee to deliver and cater the bulk of the dishes, what harvest party would be complete without the potluck or giving aspect? Encourage team members to bring in their favourite seasonal dishes or fall harvest items. This could be as simple as bringing in crisp apples or freshly-picked figs and complex as a roasted vegetable dish or a fresh-baked pie.
5. Pumpkin carving station
Looking for a fun team-building activity? Why not bring in a few pumpkins and set up a carving station? You could even create a fun competition with prizes for the best or scariest pumpkin. If you want to make this an inclusive, family-affair, you could even encourage team members to bring their significant others and kids, if they have them. If kids are coming, consider having a candy bowl and other fun arts and crafts available for their entertainment.
6. Team members
This is a no-brainer, but don’t forget to give ample notice to team members (and kitchens for catering) to ensure that your party is a success. This is especially important if you want to encourage others to bring family members and potluck dishes or if you plan to host the party outside of regular office hours. Create an email invitation, a calendar reminder and share posters or flyers around the office.
7. Outdoor decorations
No harvest table would be complete without a few outdoorsy decorations. Scatter a few dried leaves on the table—or write the names of the dishes on the leaves for a more practical, festive decoration. Gather pine cones or buy a few small gourds for the table. You could even cut a few colourful-leaved branches and put them in mason cars on the various tables.