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Holiday parties for student publications staff

The holidays are always a pretty hectic time, but it’s also such a fun season for students. There are so many opportunities to host get-togethers that allow your staff to get outside of the classroom and just hang out and get to know each other. This is especially useful at this time during the school year, when production is ramping up and the vibe in the room can start to feel super stressy leading up to big deadlines.

Here are a few party ideas for your staff to do during the holidays – all you have to do is pick a date and location! Use a sign-up sheet to divide up the planning and decide who is bringing what.

One note – be sure to consider your entire staff’s holiday observances. Using inclusive terminology like “Holiday Party” instead of “Christmas Party” ensures that everyone is included and represented.


  • costume party – either random or themed
  • spooky snacks or charcuterie
  • karaoke or carving/painting pumpkins
  • trunk or treat


  • dress up fancy (don’t buy anything new, borrow or rewear!)
  • comfort food potluck
  • activities to express gratitude – write thank you cards, go around and share best memories/funny moments, create a collage for your classroom of hand-turkeys (yes, like in elementary school!)


  • ugly sweater or pajama party
  • decorate cookies
  • make gingerbread houses
  • decorate mugs – you can find plain white mugs at the dollar store and a bunch of paint pens
  • white elephant gift exchange – be sure to set a limit!
  • saran wrap ball game – you’ll need 2 oven mitts and 2 dice


This month is a wild card, since there isn’t a big holiday to celebrate. It’s still a great time to get together and put your staff back on track.

  • Jammies & journalism – Grab your fluffiest pillow and softest blanket and rent out a movie theater with your staff. Ask about a bundle for popcorn and pizza, too. If you ask really nicely and plan your event on a week night, sometimes the manager will let you pick any movie you want. Childhood throwback sing-a-long? Sign me up!!
  • Paint pottery
  • Rollerskating


Decorate lunch sacks to do an old-school Valentine’s Day exchange. Even though this seems silly and your teenage students are guaranteed to grumble at the idea, I promise they will love it! They can purchase pre-made Valentine’s or they can make them. Host a sweet treat potluck and spend the day sugared up as you work on your publication!

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