6 Ways to End a Hard Year on a Holiday High Note
As a communicator, you’ve been blasting out posts, emails, videos, and social content about some pretty intense information for months. If we’re being real, it feels like decades.
For 98.7% of us (and that’s without mail-in results), it’s been daunting to be on the giving and receiving end of that deluge. So, before we tear off the last calendar page, let’s find a way to put some fun back into this crazy, dysfunctional year.
Since the pandemic has made traditional office cocktail parties, in-person Secret Santas and festive group dinners so last year, here are half a dozen of our favorite no-cost/low-cost holiday celebration ideas to add some seasonal good times to the closing days of 2020. Kick back, enjoy, and share photos of the fun on social to let the world know your company made it through this year of surprises.
(1) I’m hanging up now, 2020
Gather up those miniature hand sanitizer bottles, toilet paper tubes, unused calendars and curbside pickup containers. It’s time to turn them into a memorable tree ornament, wreath or festive garland. Invite teammates to a virtual crafting session or have them submit photos of their creations that cleverly capture the things we don’t want to remember about this year-like-no-other. Bonus: Encourage those with children (or really crafty cats) at home to join in on the fun.
(2) This year, this schmear (Fogettaboutit!)
If you can swing the budget to send bagels and cream cheese (or set up a socially-distanced buffet in the workplace), invite colleagues to try some fancy mix-ins and get creative with their schmears: pumpkin spices, diced dill pickles, dark chocolate and cranberries, bacon and scallion. This hasn’t been a run-of-the-mill year, so why settle for anything plain? Breakfast is better with bagels and work buds. Talk amongst yourselves, but we’re gonna need photos.
(3) Charcuterie wars
Oh, it’s on. If you have a bit more budget and can provide gift cards for supplies, challenge teammates to create fashion-forward charcuterie boards just in time for their staycation holiday snacking. Be it candy and cookies, hot cocoa mix-ins, or salty, savory snacks, no food theme is off the table. Encourage homemade boards of all sizes, from a dinner plate or wooden cutting board to larger pizza peels or serving trays. Use whatever seasonal touches you have around the house, but stay under the given budget for purchases. Name your board, snap a photo, and send it in to create an online photo gallery that colleagues can use to vote for their favorites. Award the winners with a locally-carved board for their next creation.
(4) Kindness and cocktails Jeopardy
So much has happened in 2020, including saying goodbye to Jeopardy! game show host and television personality, Alex Trebek. In tribute (and because a rousing game of workplace Jeopardy is always fun), consider an online game with holiday and 2020 current event categories. You can even sneak in some questions about new products and company happenings if that allows it to fall under the training (cue the air quotes) budget. Add a twist of kindness by letting each team or player decide what charity or philanthropic swag their win will benefit, such as pet kibble to an animal shelter. Oh, and cocktails/mocktails are highly encouraged.
(5) Tacky holiday sweaters
Cameras on, sweaters on, party on! Don tacky holiday sweaters at the office or on your team Zoom calls. Either way, it’s gonna get ugly! For virtual parties, encourage colleagues to match their ugly sweater with an even uglier virtual background. Don’t let work uniforms get in the way for front-line workers: Invite them to snap a sweater selfie from home and send it in for an online photo gallery, digital signage or company social channels. Bonus points if you can get family members, pets, and your execs to dress the part, too (unless this is their normal attire, of course).
(6) Tiny tot toy drive
With the virus preventing or limiting visitation for pediatric patients, the season will be especially lonely and difficult for children who find themselves in the hospital. Your teammates can deliver a dash of holiday cheer by purchasing small toys or books that will bring a smile when donated to a local hospital, wherever your teammates reside. If budgets allow, provide gift cards for colleagues to do the shopping. Without budget, invite colleagues to contribute a gently-used book or toy, or donate even a small amount to someone willing to shop for the group. Jump on a team Zoom to view the selections (trying not to wear them out) while cheers-ing and basking in the positive vibes.
While the holidays may look a bit different this year, it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with spreading holiday cheer. As you and your team begin to plan out your company festivities, pat yourselves on the back for making it this far, through everything 2020 threw at us. Ending this year on a high note will ultimately help not only you but also your employees unwind and reset for what’s to come in this (hopefully) less-crazy new year.