Here is a guide to office Christmas decorating contest ideas.
Office Christmas decorating contest ideas are themes and suggestions for friendly holiday competitions around the workplace. Decorating contests can occur among departments, teams, or individuals. These tricks and tips for decorating will help boost team morale during the holiday season.
This article covers:
- office Christmas decorating contest categories
- office Christmas decorating contest themes
- office Christmas decorating contest examples
- office Christmas decorating contest rules
Let’s get started!
Office Christmas Decorating Contest Categories
Simple Christmas categories give competitors room to use their imaginations when decorating. Here are some categories that will get you started.
1. Tree Trimming
Tree trimming is an easy-to-assemble office Christmas decorating contest. If your team is large, then you can divide competitors into smaller groups. Each team then decorates a tree. Competitors can choose décor, opting for traditional, modern, whimsical, or a design of choice. Guidelines can determine whether ornaments are hand-made by the team, store-bought, or a combination. If competitors are allowed to purchase decorations, then setting a reasonable budget for the teams to work within will help them as they shop.
2. Light Displays
A TV-style Christmas light challenge will let your teammates and their creativity shine! Competitors can decorate their desks, deck cubicle walls, wrap pillars, and string lights around office doors to show off their decorating skills. You can encourage contestants to bring strands of lights from home to keep expenses low. If competitors spend any work funds on your displays, your office will have a collection of Christmas lights for future decoration contests.
3. Gift Wrapping
Teams can compete by wrapping the workplace in pretty paper, ribbons, and bows. Desks, computer monitors, cubicles, and cabinets are prime targets for decking the office halls with fun wrapping. Contestants can race to see how much they can wrap with a single roll of paper or test their skills for speed-wrapping with a timed contest. Contestants can stack empty boxes wrapped to look like presents in the corners for extra detail. Even the art on the walls is fair game when decking the halls with gift wrap!
4. Holiday Colors
Teams can choose sets of holiday colors to coordinate their contest decor. Color sets such as traditional red and green, wintry blue and silver, and candy cane red and white will give competitors a chance to use their imagination when assembling their displays. Contestants may decorate using the colors in their selected set. Judges can decide which team has used their color set most effectively.
5. Glitter and Glow
This office Christmas decorating challenge aims to make the workplace glow using as much shimmer as possible. Competitors decorate with wreaths, tinsel, garlands, icicles, and lights to add as much sparkle and shine as possible to their workspace. Ornaments like foil stars, shining bulbs, glitter snowflakes, and metallic ribbons will capture as much light as possible in the displays. Artificial snow sprinkled on desktops can create the impression of shimmering frost. The results are sure to dazzle!
Office Christmas Decorating Contest Themes
From gingerbread to nutcrackers to the 12 days of Christmas, these contest themes will get office teams into the holiday spirit.
6. Gingerbread Village
Gingerbread village is a theme that works great for a cubicle Christmas decorating contest. For a traditional gingerbread village, contestants create gingerbread houses from kits. Then, participants can choose a theme for decorating houses, such as a cozy cabin, winter wonderland, or North Pole cottage. The teams can display their finished gingerbread creations around the workspace for judges to gauge their creativity and execution.
For an alternative contest, competitors can use rolls of brown craft paper to transform their cubicles into gingerbread cottages. Using paint, glitter, markers, and other arts and craft supplies, contestants can “frost” their cottages to create a complete gingerbread scene. Descriptions like Best Two-Story Gingerbread House, Best Use of Glitter, and Best Frosted Roof are categories you can use for awarding prizes.
7. Toy Factory
Teams can turn their desktops into Christmas toy factory conveyor belts carrying dolls, cars, sports balls, and other toys. If your teams work in cubicles, then you can assign each area a different toy. Competitors can use wrapping paper tubes, paper plates, boxes, and recycled food cartons to create mechanical displays with gears, wheels, and levers. Creative teams will be sure to include a few busy elves scattered throughout the factory!
8. Sweets and Treats
A candy-themed office Christmas decorating contest can bring out the season’s bright colors and sweet treats. Competitors decorate the workspace like a bakery or candy shop by using cookie sheets, mixers, piping bags, and other baking tools in displays on desks and cabinets. Contestants can cut oversized gingerbread figures from construction paper and decorate them with puff paint frosting to add Christmas cookies to the mix. Balloons, foam disks, colored ribbons, and cellophane can become enlarged versions of holiday candies to add wonder to the décor.
9. Nutcracker Suite
For this office decorating theme, teams recreate scenes from the story “The Nutcracker” using Christmas trees, holiday decorations, and other imaginative elements. Competitors who own nutcracker figures can choose to create displays using pieces from their collection. Competitors can team up to create an oversized nutcracker for a contest focused on collaboration using boxes, paper tubes, and craft supplies. Finished nutcrackers get judged on creativity, engineering, and overall presentation. These wooden soldiers can stand around the workspace as guardians of holiday cheer.
10. 12 Days of Christmas
For this Christmas decorating contest theme, competitors choose one of the 12 days of Christmas to use as a motif for decorating the area. Competitors can be as creative with their décor as their imaginations allow. For example, a Christmas tree decorated with pears and a partridge nestled at the top makes a fantastic display for the first day of Christmas. Contestants receive prizes for the most imaginative interpretation of the given lyrics.
Office Christmas Decorating Contest Examples
You can add fun twists to your office Christmas decorating contest to make the task extra challenging. Here are some office Christmas decorating contest examples that will put competitors to the test.
11. Speed Decorating
Time is of the essence in this fast-paced office Christmas decorating competition.
Here are the rules:
- A judge assigns each competitor or team a specific office area to decorate.
- Each competitor or team receives a set of decorations.
- The judge sets a fifteen-minute timer for competitors to decorate their spaces as quickly as possible.
- Whoever completes the challenge before the timer sounds wins
To make them presentable for the holiday season, contestants can tidy up their displays after the contest to fix any mistakes made while rushing to finish.
12. Step-By-Step Decorating
For a more challenging decorating contest, a collaborative tree trimming task will test the team’s ability to follow written instructions.
Here are the rules:
- Using a pre-determined set of decorations, judges create maps for competitors to follow as they decorate. There should be a different map for each team or competitor. Instructions on the map can include tasks like “Place two red bulbs on bottom branches,” or “Add garland to the center of the tree.”
- Judges give each competitor or team a map, a Christmas tree, and a set of decorations.
- A judge sets a timer for 15 minutes.
- Contestants follow their maps step-by-step, placing the decorations on the tree as instructed.
- When the timer rings, the judge will examine the completed trees to decide whether the competitors followed the instructions correctly within the time limit.
Once this contest is complete, your office will have several carefully decorated trees—and a champion tree decorator!
13. Decoration Grab Bag
For this office Christmas decorating contest, judges fill several bags with different selections of decorations. The bags can contain traditional decorations, themed decorations, or a random sample of unexpected items such as kitchen utensils and silk flower sprays. Each competitor or team chooses a bag and decorates the space with whatever the pack contains. Then, judges determine which contestants have used their ornaments most creatively. The result is a multi-themed Christmas office with a whimsical touch.
14. Christmas Movie Scenes
Favorite holiday films provide a popular Christmas decorating contest theme. Competitors use decorations, craft supplies, and imagination to bring holiday films to life. Each competitor or team chooses a different movie to keep the displays distinct. Contestants can present a memorable scene, create the characters, or fill the workspace with themes and motifs from the film. Then, judges decide which display best captures the cinematic spirit of the holidays.
15. Cozy Cabins
With this decorating contest theme, competitors use rolls of craft paper, wrapping paper tubes, boxes, and art supplies to turn their cubicles into log homes. The designs can include fireplaces, decorated mantels, and even rustic cabin décor like bearskin rugs and lanterns. Judges rank each cabin on engineering, coziness, and Christmas spirit.
Office Christmas Decorating Contest Rules
If you create a list of simple rules for your decorating contest, then your team will know the expectations. Here are some basic rules you can use.
16. Set a Budget
If your office allows expenses for decorations, then set a workable budget for teams to use while choosing their décor. You can task competitors to come close to the total without exceeding it as part of the contest. If your office does not allow expenses, then challenge your teammates to get creative. Participants can DIY decorations, bring items from home, or choose to spend their own money.
17. Set a Time Limit
A decorating contest with a time element can be exciting for competitors and judges alike. The amount of decorating involved can help you choose a proper timeframe. If judging happens on presentation instead of speed, then you can extend the time limit. Depending on the tasks, teams may need extra time to assemble their décor. You can set aside a day or two for preparation or have challengers coordinate time away from the office to collaborate.
18. Choose Teams
Breaking coworkers into competitive teams is a great way to get the crew to collaborate on their displays. If your area or department is small, then you can extend your decorating contest to other departments to coordinate a larger competition.
19. Create Judging Categories
You can set categories for judging decorations ahead of the contest to clarify expectations. These categories may include Prettiest Decorations, Best Use of Tinsel, and Most Organized Display. Competitors should clearly understand the contest’s goal before the competition begins to plan their work accordingly.
20. Make it Fun
The main objective of an office Christmas decorating contest is for coworkers to have fun while decorating for the holiday. Making the tasks too complex can spoil the game. Contest creators can be mindful of team members to create an exciting and enjoyable competition while making the tasks easy to understand.
The most crucial goal of an office Christmas decorating contest is for teams to enjoy friendly competition while adding joyful décor to the workplace. Even a simple and inexpensive decorating contest can lift team spirits. This festive activity will fill your office with holiday cheer regardless of the theme or idea you choose.