Creativity can save not only the day but also money when it comes to organising a Christmas party. With some clever thought, companies can stage a fun-filled party on a low budget with staff participation. Based on its experience, success and positive feedback from staff last year, Edelman Hong Kong, a leading international public relations company, is organising its party around a 'green' theme. 'The main objective is to make sure everybody has fun and interacts with colleagues while showing concerns and being sensitive to our environment,' said Amanda Cheung, associate account director for property and lifestyle at Edelman Hong Kong. Different from other companies, where a Christmas party is usually organised by the human resources department, Edelman forms a committee of 10 people selected from different departments and at different levels, including directors, to organise the party. This is a good way to mobilise staff to participate and raise ideas, according to Irene Kwok, the company's senior account manager, who is on this year's committee. 'Christmas is always about indulgence and there are a lot of extravagant parties where you see a lot of wastage. While having fun, we should always remember that we should not create too much wastage and should give back to the environment. That's how we came up with the green theme,' she said. Based on the 'green' principle of not doing games that will create excessive garbage, the company encourages staff to be creative in reusing and recycling existing material in making party props and favours. 'Last year, everyone made Christmas decorations instead of buying them, our noisemakers were made from beans and used bottles, while party hats were made from newspapers and magazines. People loved it and thought it was a great idea,' Ms Cheung said. Ms Kwok sees the benefit of organising a 'green' party, not only as a way to save costs but also as a good opportunity to improve communication among colleagues in different departments. 'People who are involved in organising the party will get to know each other better and, because you throw out ideas, you get to know what they like and don't like. It promotes cross-team co-operation as well.' With this year's global downturn, the company has reduced its party expenses but will still give out prizes for staff that live out the 'green' theme. 'We have a competition called 'Dress up your cubicle' where people decorate their cubicle only using waste materials and objects, and the super creative will win a prize,' Ms Cheung said. 'Creativity is a good replacement for money. Even with the same party games, you can come up with more cost-effective ways to make them fun,' Ms Kwok said. So put on your thinking caps now and get creative in organising a fun-filled office Christmas party on a tight budget.