The most wonderful time of the year is upon us once again, and you know what that means, it’s time to arrange the annual Christmas party. But how much does that cost and what trends can we expect to see in 2024? We’re here with the lowdown: 

Cost of a Christmas party

How Much Does a Christmas Party Cost in 2023?

According to our research, the average cost of throwing a Christmas party is now clocking in at £52.69 per person. That's a 3% price increase from last year. Santa might be watching your spending habits, but it seems like he's been a bit more generous with the Christmas budget this time around. We have also found that office Christmas party bookings have skyrocketed by a whopping 284% compared to 2022. It looks like confidence in the industry has come roaring back after covid. Companies are ready to deck the halls and celebrate like never before.

Speaking of celebrating, it seems that our tastes have evolved over the past few years. We have discovered that a staggering 24% of Christmas parties are now alcohol-free. That's a significant increase from 7% in 2022 and 0% in 2019. For some, the days of drowning in eggnog are behind them as people have embraced a healthier and more mindful way to celebrate. 

But not everyone is quite as generous when it comes to picking up the tab. 16% of employees expect their colleagues to pay for their own drinks at the office Christmas party. Now, let's talk about the heart of any good Christmas party, the food! A whopping 76% of work Christmas parties include a meal. It seems that the way to an employee's heart is through their stomach, and companies are taking note. 

What to Wear for a Work Christmas Party

However, tastes are changing because this year has seen a 20% increase in buffet options over a traditional three-course meal, compared to 2022. Looks like folks are ditching the turkey and stuffing for a more casual and mingling-friendly dining experience.

Now, let's take a stroll up to bonnie Scotland, where Edinburgh bosses are proving to be the most generous of them all. They're spending 8% more on their Christmas parties compared to the rest of the UK. It's as if they've got a secret stash of holiday cheer hidden away in those scenic Scottish hills. This is great news if you fancy a Christmas party in Edinburgh

According to our research and booking data, the most popular way to celebrate Christmas in 2024 is a traditional Christmas party with a sit-down meal, drinks, live entertainment and a DJ included. Runner up is festive cocktail making where participants learn how to make a range of Crimbo-inspired drinks. In third place, is a Christmas meal out with a set-menu featuring festive favourites. 

Party dress codes

Wrapping Up the Cost of Christmas Parties in 2023

Here's a summary of our findings on the cost of work Christmas parties in 2024: 

Average cost of a Christmas party is £52.69 per person.

This is a 3% price increase on last year.

Office Christmas party bookings are up 284% on 2022

24% of Christmas parties are alcohol free, increasing from 7% in 2022 and 0% in 2019.

16% of employers expect staff to pay for their own drinks.

76% of work Christmas parties include a meal.

20% increase is buffet options over a three-course meal.

Edinburgh bosses are the most generous, spending 8% more on their Christmas parties.

The most popular activity for 2024 is a traditional Christmas party with a sit-down meal, drinks and entertainment included.

So, what's the takeaway from all this yuletide data from Fizzbox? Well, it seems that the average cost of a Christmas has gone up, but so has our willingness to celebrate. We're back in the saddle with a vengeance, throwing Christmas parties left and right, and even opting for alcohol-free gatherings to cater to everyone's preferences. And while some may expect their co-workers to foot the bill for their drinks, the majority of companies are treating their employees to a hearty meal.