Making the Christmas Party Worth While
How are you and your employees going to celebrate Christmas this year? What is it going to cost you? This article tells how one company gave a Christmas party for 2,000 workers and friends with little expense and profitable results.
CHRISTMAS party for employees is not a new idea, but when a manufäcturing concern secures a lease on the real Santa Claus it is worth noticing.
The activities committee of the Cutler-Hammer Manufacturing Company have been staging Christmas parties for their employees every year for the past decade.
Such success has attended their efforts, that all other forms of showing the Christmas spirit, such as gifts for employees and so forth, have been discontinued and this saving in expenditure has been turned over to be used for the Christmas party.
That other firms may be interested in our method of conducting a Christmas party is evidenced by the numerous requests that have been received for information on the subject, so it is worth while to go into detail how the concern plans and carries out such a party.
Preparations are started about a month or six weeks before the date set and a committee is appointed to make the general arrangements.
The first step is a trip to a local toy jobber to select toys to be presented to children under 14 years of age at the party. This selection is always made early in the season, before the jobber’s stocks are depleted.
The toys are selected in four classes for children of different ages: babies in arms, children from three to five, from six to nine, and from ten to fourteen years. Suitable toys are selected for boys and girls.
Arrangements are made with the toy jobber at this time to have on hand at the party several hundred extra toys which may be used if the attendance exceeds expectations.
Companies which hesitate at the evident high cost of toys will do well to get the exact figures of toys when bought in quantity. In selecting these toys, attention must be paid to the bulk and wrapping, for handing out 2,000 or more presents is a job for a professional Santa Claus and compactness of size is desirable.
The question that comes up early in the discussion of every party is, “Whom are you going to invite?” The employees? Surely, for the party has been arranged for them.
Their families? Of course, or the party would be an utter failure. The children are the life of the party.
Their friends? Now you open up the discussion. Our committee says, “Yes, the friends by all means; bring your friends to our party and they will become our friends.”
There are several good ways of advertising the party and extending the proper invitation to all employees. People are very easily slighted and this part of the affair must be handled carefully.
A story of the Christmas party is first published in our shop paper to arouse interest in the party and to let new employees know what it is. Invitations are then distributed personally by members of the activities committee.
Every department has its committee member, who is nearly always a man who is well known. These men circulate among the employees and distribute the invitations, adding a personal invitation to attend. The invitations, shown at the top of the page, are neatly printed on good card stock.
A Christmas party without a Christmas tree is no party. The bigger the tree the more the people think of the party, just as the Broadway theatrical manager always said, “The bigger the front, the broader the splash." So the tallest Christmas tree we can find is obtained. Last year our tree was over 30 feet high.
The designing and making of the ornaments for this tree is the joy of the committee men and women. At the party last year a very pretty scheme of decorations was carried out. In the center of the large hall a 14-foot star built of boards and covered with green plant foliage was hoisted up near the ceiling, through which red lights displayed the words “Merry Christmas.”
From the comers of this star, streamers of paper radiated to all parts of the auditorium, each streamer terminating at a large holly wreath on the front of the balcony. Touches of green and red all over the hall lent the jolly Christmas spirit to the occasion.
What are you going to do with those 2,000 kids during the evening? It is quite a problem to solve, but our committee has hit upon a very successful solution. A playground consisting of swings, slides, sand boxes and other apparatus is installed on the floor at one end of the hall and fenced off. Here the kiddies can play to their hearts content in full view of their parents.
Angove, R. H. of the Cutler-Hammer Manufacturing Company, "Making the Christmas Party Worth While," in Factory: The Magazine of Management, New York: A. W. Shaw Company, Vol. XXVII, No. 6, December 1921: 754.