With the economy slowly improving, company holiday parties are beginning to make a comeback. In fact, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 68 percent of businesses plan to hold parties this year. That’s a 6-percentage-point increase from last year.

The company holiday party is a time to celebrate accomplishments with employees, partners, vendors and customers. It’s a chance for everyone to put work down and reflect on the year with food, drinks and entertainment.

While small businesses’ holiday parties are typically not lavish, there are a variety of celebration options for small business owners who want to share holiday cheer with their team. Here are a few suggestions if you’re still in need of party ideas:

1. Reserve a Banquet Room

If you have a budget for a celebration, reserving a banquet room in a local restaurant for a holiday lunch or dinner is an easy-to-plan option. If you’re footing the bill, make sure to set a policy about how much alcohol is to be served. Not only can drinks add up quickly, your company could be held liable if there is a post-party alcohol-related accident.

2. Host an In-Home Party

Another choice is to host an at-home event where you can decide how casual or formal the party is. Unless you want to highlight your culinary artistry, using a caterer is a good idea. And, if you have a close-knit group, a potluck can also be a fun and inexpensive way to throw a company affair.

3. Attend a Holiday Networking Event

In some communities, small business organizations and chambers of commerce throw holiday parties for local businesses. These are often great for networking and are ideal for very small businesses and freelancers who aren’t planning their own events.

Whatever party option you decide on this year for your business, it’s always a good idea to recognize your staff with some kind of thank-you. Holiday bonuses, gift cards or even words of appreciation can go a long way to keeping the spirit of the holiday going strong.

Are you having a holiday party this year? Share your story with us on Facebook.