Has the Grinch stolen the office holiday party? More than half (52%) of senior managers surveyed by OfficeTeam (www.officeteam.com) said their employer is not holding a holiday celebration this year. These seasonal get-togethers will be missed: More than three-quarters of executives (79%) whose companies have holiday parties gave the festivities high marks.

“For many professionals these gatherings offer a rare opportunity to get to know managers and co-workers on a personal level in a more relaxed environment,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Businesses that aren’t able to organize formal year-end celebrations can plan inexpensive, cheerful get-togethers to celebrate recent successes. Holding casual, nondemoninational events also helps to keep staff motivated.”

In some cases, companies do not host holiday celebrations due to financial reasons. OfficeTeam offers five tips for frugal, yet festive holiday parties:

* Make merry over breakfast or lunch. Offer an in-house catered meal or get-together for breakfast or lunch at an informal, inexpensive restaurant rather than holding an evening event at a fancy location.

* Get jolly in January. Hosting a celebration during an off-peak month may be less expensive, and it’s a great way to kick off the new year. Venue costs may also be negotiable during midweek.

* Spread good cheer. Schedule a potluck and include activities such as a white elephant sale gift exchange or office holiday decoration contest.

* Take your cue from Santa. He’s not the only one who can travel! Organize a group activity like bowling or miniature golf to provide employees with an opportunity to mingle outside of work.

* Embrace the spirit of giving. Hold a holiday donation drive as part of your festivities or gather a team to volunteer at a local nonprofit organization.

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