Just saying the words "Friday night" is the same as an invitation to relax and have fun, so nothing could be more perfect - or easier - than throwing a Festive Friday Night bash. All you need to do is provide a relaxing backdrop, entertaining food, and delicious cocktails. An e-mail invite is the perfect way to grab everyone's attention and brighten a Monday morning in-box; design your own using one of the many free online sites.
Start the party at 6:00 or 6:30, so guests can come straight from work, ready to have fun. Get the atmosphere buzzing with fabulous music. Try to stick with the same musical style so the music is enjoyable without being distracting. For starters, try a jazzy, seasonal mix by great vintage artists such as Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and of course Elvis singing, "Here Comes Santa Claus."
Place plates of hors d'eouvres around your party space so friends can nibble as often as they please. Stay out the kitchen and where the fun is by preparing casual but delectable finger food in advance, like crostini with roasted vegetables, artisinal cheese and sausages, olives and shrimp cocktail. Refresh platters as needed.
Set up mini–bars next to the hors d'oeuvres so guests can serve themselves throughout the evening. Keep drinks deliciously simple by offering a selection of elegant refreshments on the rocks. An ice bucket, tongs, glasses and a few elegant bottles are all you'll need. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, soft and creamy on the palate with a rich silky finish, is the perfect complement to your savory appetizers.
Before the party, collect a small personal item from each colleague's desk (or ask friends to bring their own) and place them in a central location, with a blank sheet of paper next to each. Guests try to guess who owns what. Or place a wrapped gift in a central spot, and ask guests to write down what they think it is, noting the time of their guess. Whoever comes closest and responds first, wins it!