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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving at Work

Cornucopia with orange and white pumpkins as Thanksgiving decor

What is the history of Thanksgiving, and when it is this year?

Thanksgiving is a national holiday to celebrate the first feast shared by the Pilgrims from England and the native Wampanoag tribe. It has been an American holiday since 1621 and is celebrated every third Thursday in November. This year, the holiday falls on Thursday, November 24 which most people in America have off from work.

Many businesses and companies honor the holiday by giving their employees the day off, and oftentimes the day after as well. At the same time, there are many people who do have to work on Thanksgiving. These include those who work as a first responder, a medical professional in a hospital or an urgent care, newscasters, and foodservice workers.

What are some Thanksgiving office ideas?

There are many things you can do at the office prior to the holiday to celebrate and give thanks with your employees and co-workers. Here are some thanksgiving office activities you can do to celebrate:

  • Host a Thanksgiving party either at the office or somewhere local such as a restaurant, a party center, bowling alley, or a country club.
  • Have a potluck and encourage employees to bring snacks and hors d’oeuvres to share. Be mindful of people who may not feel comfortable participating by making the potluck optional. Get a list of allergies and intolerances so that people bringing food can be accommodating to those with allergies or sensitivities.
  • Get lunch catered from your company’s favorite restaurant if your budget allows it. Make sure to plan this one day the week before Thanksgiving to allow those who wish to participate to attend. Planning it before the holiday would help to include those who might travel the week of Thanksgiving.
  • Have a toy or a food drive for a local charity for the holidays that happen in December. Perhaps make it a contest within different departments of the office. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, so why not give to others at the same time.
  • Play Thanksgiving games or host a trivia game for employees to participate in. Be creative and make it fun!

If you plan to have an office Thanksgiving party, it might be best to plan it for the week before Thanksgiving. Some people tend to take time off before the holiday to travel or spend time with family, so you want to make sure everyone is available.

What are some virtual office Thanksgiving ideas?

Since times have changed and many people work from home, considering hosting a virtual celebration. Some fun ideas for a virtual Thanksgiving celebration are:

  • Make a survey/quiz about Thanksgiving facts
  • Have a trivia game made and allow all of the remote workers to compete against each other
  • Make a bingo card with Thanksgiving foods and desserts and send it to the remote employees to play with one another on a call.

What are some important supplies to have to host a Thanksgiving office party?

Any party needs supplies, so be sure to stock up on breakroom supplies such as cutlery, paper plates, and plenty of paper towels in case of a spill. These supplies are important to have because whether you are having a potluck, snacks, or a catered lunch, you are going to need plenty of paper products for everyone to use as well as backup.

To keep everyone healthy during this busy time of year and to prevent the spread of germs, stock up on Purell® hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. These supplies are great for wiping down surfaces and hands to make sure that the germs going around are reduced to a minimum.

The holiday season is always a busy time, so be prepared for all of the celebrations and office parties for the reminder of the year with bulk breakroom supplies. W.B. Mason offers bulk purchasing, so that your business has everything in a large supply and is ready for anything. As soon as the next business day, your order will be delivered to the breakroom itself in order to make it easier on your employees.

What should businesses do to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday?

There are many things that businesses and companies should do in order to prepare for the time away from the office. Here are a few things to keep in mind before Thanksgiving approaches:

  • Adjust the business hours on your website, Google business listing online, all social media accounts and at the storefront if you have one.
  • Get signs for the windows to indicate that you are closed due to the holiday.
  • Make phone recordings to indicate that you are closed for business and be sure to include when you will re-open.
  • Create an email signature explaining that you will get back to anyone who emails when the business re-opens, and that you appreciate the messages.

How can we celebrate those who work on Thanksgiving?

Not everyone has Thanksgiving off, but there are ways we can celebrate Thanksgiving with those who do work. If you work in an industry where working on holidays is normal, here are some ways your managers can make it special, even if you need to work:

  • Have a Thanksgiving meal catered or donated.
  • If your industry allows for it, consider letting your employees out a bit early.
  • Make your employees a little goodie bag to take home after working or make them a big snack basket to share while working their shift.
  • Give them a bonus if your budget allows for it.

Happy Thanksgiving from W.B. Mason

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, being with loved ones and to share great food honoring the history of the holiday. We at W.B. Mason wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, even if you have to work during the holiday. We appreciate everything our employees do, as well as all workers across the country.


History. Thanksgiving 2022. ( Accessed November 10, 2022. Virtual Holiday Party Ideas, Games & Activities for Work in 2022. ( Accessed November 11, 2022.