You've decked the halls for the holidays and now it's time to infuse some cheer. Get your staff in the festive spirit by planning some celebratory events. Many employees will appreciate some well-deserved breaks from their routines, especially during a busy and sometimes stressful winter season.

These fun holiday ideas for the office can take a little time out of your workday but go a long way toward boosting job satisfaction and camaraderie among colleagues. Share some sweet treats, give back to the community, and have some fun on the clock. It's the most wonderful time of year — even at work!

1. Holiday Snacks

The way to your employees' hearts? Tantalizing treats, of course! Once a week, set out some delicious nibbles so your team can help themselves when they need a pick-me-up. You'll keep staff energized and motivated, and colleagues will enjoy a few minutes to chit-chat as they check out the spread.

Keeping in mind best practices for inclusive holiday celebrations in the workplace, consider traditions of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Classics such as shortbread, sugar cookies, peppermint bark, candied nuts and fudge are always hits. You can also provide sufganiyot, or jelly-filled doughnuts, and high-quality gelt, which are chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil.

Complement sweet treats with colorful fruit skewers for healthy indulgence. For something more substantial, consider sandwiches cut into holiday shapes or charcuterie boards with crackers, cheese and meats.

2. Gingerbread Houses

Creativity meets friendly competition when you host a gingerbread house contest at work. Depending on the size of your company, employees can participate individually or in groups. This is a great holiday team-building activity for virtual workers as well, as everyone can gather online at the same time to assemble their houses.

Gingerbread house kits are available from grocery stores and some bakeries, and include basic decorations such as icing, candies and sprinkles. Give everyone the same kit to start, but consider allowing participants to bring additional goodies for embellishments.

Set some light-hearted rules for this fun holiday office idea. For example, eating an opponent's creation is strictly forbidden. Set a time limit for assembling the houses, and give everyone a chance to unveil their masterpiece. You can create categories such as Most Beautiful, Most Creative and Most Likely to Crumble, then let staff choose the winners by ballot.

3. Donation Drive

Many people like to give back to the community at this time of year. A donation drive is one of the most popular holiday employee engagement ideas as it makes it easier for staff to have an impact. Invite everyone to bring non-perishable items for the food bank or toys for a charity, but do make it optional as not all team members may be able to contribute. Consider making a company donation on top of what your employees raise.

You can also survey employees for ideas of how they want to make a difference. Some may wish to do something more personal, such as adopting a family in need or putting together stockings for seniors in nursing homes or care facilities. These holiday team activities are a great way to strengthen interpersonal bonds and support your local community.

4. Hot Chocolate Bar

A hot chocolate bar is the perfect way to warm up on a winter's day. For this holiday team party idea, you'll need a table for your beverage station and serving urns or slow cookers to keep the cocoa warm. Remember to consider dietary restrictions so everyone can enjoy the hot chocolate bar — almond milk is a good alternative to dairy.

Provide an array of toppings such as whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, and cinnamon in a shaker. Set out fun add-ons in bowls with little scoops:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • White chocolate shavings
  • Toffee bits
  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed candy canes

Let everyone know when the bar is open and invite them to make their day super sweet! If you have remote team members who can't be there in person, send them a hot chocolate gift bag with different mixes and toppings.

5. Gift Exchanges

Holiday gift exchanges are popular in many offices, enabling colleagues to embrace the spirit of giving. In a recent FinanceBuzz survey, 67% of respondents said they enjoyed Secret Santa exchanges where participants draw a name and choose a gift for someone anonymously.

If you think your team would enjoy a bolder gift exchange, a White Elephant swap is another option. Everyone brings a small wrapped present that's put in a pile. Participants draw numbers and take turns picking a gift and unwrapping it, or stealing someone's already unwrapped gift.

Set a small budget so everyone can participate comfortably and make it optional for those who don't want to join. Consider opening gifts at the staff Christmas party or holiday celebration.

6. Gift-Wrapping Service

The holidays are a busy time and can add stress to already stretched schedules. A thoughtful way to help your staff is to offer a complimentary gift-wrapping service. Staff can drop off their bags of gifts when they arrive at work and pick up beautifully wrapped parcels at the end of the day.

Whether they've been shopping for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Christmas, employees will appreciate being able to cross one task off their list. Just be sure to provide an assortment of gift wraps for different celebrations, such as blue and white Hanukkah-themed paper.

7. Festive Potluck

Potlucks are often a favorite employee Christmas party idea as everyone contributes to the feast. Encourage staff to bring a dish that's a family favorite, whether it's curry, latkes, cheese blintzes, collard greens or sweet potato pie. This way, you're creating a banquet of diverse tastes, flavors, and traditions.

Invite everyone to sign up ahead of time so you have a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Label dishes that are vegetarian or gluten-free to accommodate dietary preferences. Colleagues can sample dishes from different backgrounds, share family recipes and show off their culinary skills, making a potluck celebration a wonderful way to foster camaraderie at the office.

8. Holiday Team-Building Activities

Christmas team-building activities are another way to lend some cheer to the office. Games such as trivia quizzes are ideal for face-to-face or remote teams. Come up with questions covering a range of topics, testing knowledge of winter holidays, songs, movies and interesting company lore (how many Teams messages did the department rack up this year?).

For a fun in-person event, an ugly holiday sweater decorating contest can perk up a Friday afternoon. Give everyone a red sweatshirt, a glue gun and tons of crafty things like pom poms, beads, bows, tinsel and miniature ornaments. This activity is sure to generate laughs.

Remember, fun holiday ideas for the office don't have to be fancy or intricate. They just need to bring your staff together and show your appreciation for their hard work, setting a positive tone for the year to come.