Christmas is a highlight of the year within most offices. It’s when everyone puts aside differing personalities and opinions to wear ugly sweaters together and exchange weird gifts.
Beyond the parties however, this time of year is unique because it provides a shift from the day-to-day mentality and allows us to focus on what’s important.
We sat down with our Connections Team at Betenbough Companies, PBC., and picked their brains on how they’ve created opportunities to serve their employees during the holidays.
Whether you have age-old traditions and just want to add something new to the mix, or, you’re looking to start new traditions in your office altogether, hopefully this post offers some tangible ideas to try!
- Share a holiday meal together.
This can be done in many different ways. To keep costs down, consider doing a potluck where everyone signs up to share a favorite family dish or brings a dish surrounding a certain theme (i.e. Mexican food, breakfast food, traditional Christmas food, or if you’re feeling really ambitious – all red and green food!)
- Try a new game together.
Our teams have had a blast doing minute to win it games! If your people don’t feel quite that adventurous, you can download the Heads Up app on your phone. Other game ideas could include Christmas-themed charades or win, lose or draw. Some of our teams have also done scavenger hunts for specific Christmas decorations/landmarks around town.
Whatever you choose, try to place people on teams with co-workers they don’t interact with on a day-to-day basis. This is an opportunity to build more cross-company unity!
- Turn it into a chance to be generous.
Some of our teams have hosted a party where they honored a family in need. Last year, one of our regions (roughly 40 people) turned their holiday party into a chance to bless a single mother and her three children. They shared a meal and did holiday karaoke, all while incorporating this family into their celebration. Then, instead of a gift exchange for themselves, everyone pitched in on presents for the family they had invited.
Other ideas might be to go out and do an “eat and serve” in the community. Even though the focus is on people other than your own team, nothing really strengthens relationships like serving together.
- Wrap presents together.
For the select few who can gift wrap like Martha Stewart, this is a fun experience. For the rest of us, gift wrapping is the daunting and dreaded chore of the holidays. Why not make it fun by suffering together? Encourage everyone to bring what they need to wrap and turn it into a party! You can turn on holiday music and provide snacks. Everyone gets to cross off one more holiday to-do while spending time visiting.
- Sing carols together.
This does not require any crazy vocal talent, but if you do have a great voice in the office who doesn’t mind leading, that can help! This can be just one element of a party you throw, or, you can make it the main event by caroling to other businesses in your community. People can be a little shy about singing, but if you have a big enough group and they see that their leader is into the idea, people will jump in and have fun.
All of these activities can be mixed and matched together. You might throw a party that combines a number of these ideas, and there are certainly many other activities that can get your people in the Christmas Spirit. We are by no means experts, but these are just a few ideas that we’ve had fun with.
“Laughing together is one of my favorite things we do. It really does bring peace and joy when you’re able to laugh together.” – Tiffany Berry, VP of Cultural Engagement for Cornerstone Support Services
Each of our Connections Coordinators are responsible for one of our regions, which means these activities were planned for 40-50 people. If your group is a different size, you might get creative and customize the activities to fit your needs. Don’t feel that you have to break the bank to do something for the holidays. Parties do not have to be elaborate and they certainly do not need to cost a lot – or anything! The point is to have fun together.
“All in all, these times are focused on one thing – unity. We believe that in an atmosphere of immediate family, work family and with a little Holiday Spirit, unity is born,” said Ryan Harris, Connections Manager for Betenbough Homes
Whatever you end up doing, don’t let the holidays go by without showing your people that you appreciate them. This is the perfect time of year to not only show servant leadership, but to strengthen your company’s unity in the process.