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It’s still not too late to celebrate

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With some organizations scaling back holiday parties and others nixing them altogether, your end-of-the-year celebration may not be the grand event it used to be. But with the right strategy, you can orchestrate an event to remember with a minimum of work. Four ideas:

1. Throw a holiday movie-theme party. Keep the decorations simple by stringing tiny white lights around the meeting room. For snacks, provide bowls of popcorn and movie-size boxes of candy (available at dollar stores).

Co-workers can try their luck at a holiday movie trivia game. Download trivia questions from Example: In "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey as a boy suffers an injury to his ...?

Hand out the questions as people arrive. Gift cards to movie rental stores make great prizes for those who make a perfect score.

2. Hold a week-long "Give Fest." Celebrate the season by encouraging co-workers to spend the week thinking of others. Give the gift of time by doing favors for one another.

Example: Offer to finish a task for a co-worker, so she can take a 15-minute Starbucks break. Hold a potluck party on the last day of work. Each person brings a dish and shares the recipe. Bring unwrapped gifts the organization can donate to charity.

3. Give the party a "Surf's up," holiday theme, where Hawaiian shirts and casual wear rule. Hand out flower leis and prop an inflatable palm tree (both available at party stores) in the corner. Buy food trays from Costco on the morning of the party, and you're done.

4. Postpone the party until January. You can plan for it when you're not so wrapped up in holiday preparations. For the office on a budget, it may also make a catered event affordable, since prices drop considerably after the holidays.

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