By Dan Elliott, National Sales Manager at Center Parcs

Christmas parties are the perfect opportunity to let your hair down and enjoy yourself. Yet I wonder how many people reading this blog have dreaded the annual festive get together? Christmas parties are known for over indulgence and often embarrassing moments with drinking and dancing commonplace, but not everyone delights in drinking until the early hours or throwing questionable shapes on the dance floor.

Imagine a Christmas party with no hangover, instead coming away feeling refreshed and re-energised after a busy year. Sound too good to be true? More and more companies are recognising the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace from offering flexible working and ergonomically designed workspaces to encouraging the practice of mindfulness and yoga at lunchtimes or after work. Is it time then that the Christmas party had a shake-up too?

Much like teambuilding, Christmas parties unite employees, bringing them closer together. They can strengthen team dynamics in a friendly and relaxed environment promoting conversation, interaction and togetherness. As such, it seems a missed opportunity when staff are likely to be feeling a little frazzled at this time of year to give them a breather from the intensity of day-to-day life by incorporating a focus (no matter how big or small) on promoting improved health and wellbeing.

While an ‘alternative’ Christmas party doesn’t necessarily need to completely eradicate the traditional three-course meal, drinking or dancing, with corporate wellbeing coming to the fore, it makes sense to focus on providing staff with a Christmas celebration that is more than just a party. There is so much opportunity now to create a celebratory event that not only rewards and motivates staff, but allows them the time and space to reflect positively on the year with colleagues, de-stress and refresh their minds.

By choosing a more relaxed environment with access to the natural environment, teambuilding and leisure activities, a focus on promoting health and wellbeing is incorporated from the outset and helps set the tone for the event. Whether it’s the inclusion of some company teambuilding, a yoga or meditation session, or simply some time spent outside together in nature, there are so many ways in which to further enhance the traditional Christmas party experience.

Of course, for those still wanting a more traditional Christmas party to get them in the festive spirit, why not look at making a day of it? For example, at Center Parcs clients can make use of The Venue in the morning for a company update, enjoy a teambuilding activity or time in the award-winning Aqua Sana Spa or Subtropical Swimming Paradise in the afternoon, and then dinner, bowling and dancing to round off the day.

Our top tip for this year’s Christmas party? Choose a destination that allows for both a relaxed, yet celebratory experience with the focus firmly on de-stressing and having some fun.