how do you throw a great office holiday party?

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I usually publish a lot of questions about holiday parties in between Thanksgiving and Christmas — which isn’t always enough time to change anything for that year. So here are two early questions about holiday parties as this week’s “ask the readers” questions, in the hopes that it’s early enough that the advice can be used this year.

Here’s the first letter:

My office is starting the holiday party planning process, and I’m already nervous. Some of the suggestions for activities include “Holiday Carol Singing” and “Talent Show!” which both make me think, “Oh, please no!” Our party will be mid-day and very low budget, and my office is generally friendly but quiet. 

As one commenter said at the end of last year, “Ah, but who writes in because the holiday party was awesome? There’s no advice in that case.

So, I’d like the ask the readers — who has experienced an awesome holiday party? What’s your company’s secret?

And here’s the second letter:

I recently joined the committee to help organize our office’s three-hour Christmas party (we have about 150-200 people who will likely attend the event). As the committee organizer was going through the to-do list, she noted a number of different activities available

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