It’s that time of the year where ‘all is calm, all is bright.’ ‘Tis’ the season to be jolly,’ and so, working can be a drag, or in many cases, unwanted. The Christmas spirit in us catches flight in advance to plan shopping sprees, vacation trips and food recipes for the C-Day, but when it comes to work, the energy fizzles out. Nothing about work is appealing anymore as your mind is making imaginary rounds to the malls and destinations you are planning to go to. Or for some, their minds would hover around what would be put up at the dinner table. In order to bring the spirit of work back into you, Christmas celebration at work are the best way to deal with the employees with a ‘Pre-Christmas’ hangover.
The holiday spirit plays with your mind in funny ways. So, while your boss is discussing important issues, you might think of him as a Santa imparting pearls of wisdom. Or, you might imagine your car to be a sledge, taking home the gift of love (because you have not yet completed your shopping-list).
Christmas is not just a festival, but an emotion that lasts a month. Your mind is consumed with thoughts of family get-togethers, feasts, gifts etcetera. You feel like dressing up, decking up your surroundings and you’re mostly in your ‘happy-thoughts’ bubble. What bursts this bubble is the gloomy cloud of work which cannot be ignored. But work can be made fun and interesting by adding a few sprinkles of joy here and there. Christmas celebrations at work need not be just a good lunch for the day. The holiday spirit can even be prolonged at work by coming up with interesting activities for the holiday month.
Nothing makes one happier than receiving random letters from people. In the present age of messages and WhatsApp, the charm of writing and getting letters is lost. So start an early Christmas in your office by initiating the custom Secret Santa. Write everyone’s names in chits and ask people to pick one. The names must not be revealed till Christmas Eve. Every week you can exchange 4-6 letters or post-its (to hang on their desk before they come to work.) Your letters could also give provide clues about your personality to keep them guessing who you are. You can also wrap toffees or chocolates in your letters and send it across.
You can even make it more entertaining by giving dares and challenges as well. But this won’t just be one way. The child (the person you will be playing Santa to) too, can make demands which the Secret Santa must try to fulfil. Maintain a mediator who can help delivering the messages slyly without the child being any the wiser. Take a colleague of yours into confident to act as a mediator to send your messages across, as well as, deliver the messages from your child. Never choose someone you are close to, or your identity might get revealed. Since we have given you the idea, we’ll also suggest challenges that you could give them.
Do you dare to?
The Secret Santa can give silly dares like singing a carol loudly in the office canteen during lunch time or dancing on the lunch table to no music at all. This could lighten the mood and bring in the fun element. Apart from that, you could also give them dares like- take a walk around the office, balancing a pen on their lips like a moustache. Give dares that are ridiculous but also within the confines of the office decorum.
Don’t be the good child and just do what you are asked to. If you like chocolates or cookies, then ask your Santa to get it for you. You can even ask your Santa to get you lunch or maybe a certain kind of beverage you like as a way of barter for the challenges they put you up against. You can even threaten them to not do what they say until they fulfil your demands. Keep coming up with innovative ways to lighten your mood. Secret Santa is one of the best ways to bring in mirth into the mundane work structure.
One decoration at a time:
It can be depressing to see a desk filled with files and papers during such merry times. But it need not be that way. Why wait for the Christmas-mood to build up a week in advance when you can start now. Every day, get one item from your home and place it anywhere you like in your work territory. Everyone could keep a check on their neighbours to see if the other is cheating or not. Till Christmas time, you must be done decorating your desk, making it look beautiful. The boss could then select a winner with the most decked up desk.
But the challenge is to only get one item. Even if it happens to be a part of a set or a collection, it must be brought separately to work. So if you have a small Christmas tree to place on your desk, then one cannot decorate it and bring it to work. First only place the Christmas tree devoid of the ornaments, and then, one day at a time, you could bring things to hang on them. If you are going to begin from the 1st of December till the 24th, then your desk must have only 24 items and not an item more. Even if you happen to miss office one day, you cannot bring two objects the next day. This way, one can show their creativity through minimalism.
Such activities get you geared up for Christmas and help you think of happy thoughts while working. It does make a difference when you see a boring desk as compared to one which is filled with pretty trinkets and sweet things. It also enhances your work productivity.
Paint the Office Red!
Red, green, white- the colours of Christmas can brighten you up, no matter what mood you may be in. Black or grey formals can deaden the Christmas spirit. So to make matters more interesting, the HR or the boss can select two days of the week where they will be following a unique dress-code. This way, employees will look forward to come to work.
It can either be one particular colour, or a combination of different colours. Something like dressing up as a Christmas tree by wearing brown pants and green tee can make the office environment livelier. Apart from that, your workplace could also keep a snowman theme where employees can come to work dressed in white. A Santa theme would also work wonders where people dress in shades of scarlet.
The clothes that you wear help you with your mood and work. If you wear dull colors during the celebration period, your mood too switches to a dull one. When people’s minds are occupied about Christmas shopping, wearing dull clothes can dampen the holiday spirit. This can be reflected in the quality of work as well. But if you are in sync with the times and wear the right colours, it will show in your mood and work.
Extending the previous topic, every department can come up with their own dress code. This brings in a little variation that doesn't hurt the eyes. It helps break the monotony. It can be hurtful to the eyes if you keep seeing everyone in the office dressed like the Grinch or a soft cotton ball. At the end of the day you don’t want to feel like you took a stroll through the woods or a trip to heaven. Dividing the colours can help bring a colourful change.
The day could end where each group can get pictures clicked, that reveal the spirit of the yuletide. The best still image that captures the essence of Christmas could be gifted something for their creativity.
Deck the halls...
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ The Christmas-esque feeling is only complete with a Christmas tree around. The decorated tree transports us to the cosy homely environment.
Each department can be given a Christmas tree to decorate and a competitions could be held of the same. But the catch here is the department will only be given half an hour’s time, thrice a week. The time cannot be carried forward the next day either. Every team member present on that day must be there to help out. The decorations of the trees can be based upon particular themes. So a tree could be decorated using minimalistic things or of specific coloured embellishments. It helps the team to work together creatively and bring out their best.
The Show must go on...
Dress codes are fine, you could even take it up a notch by coming up with a fancy dress competition where you can dress up as any character from the Christmas story. To throw things into the mix, every department could come up with a small enactment of 10 minutes revolving around the Christmas story.
Nothing about Christmas is complete until we have discussed food. Office potlucks can be a great way of getting closer to new people in the office as well as building new relationships with other department’s members. Every department could divide whatever they bring to the table – literally. In order to share the load, each team could get one dish or take care of the beverages. A lunch break like this could perk people and boost them to work better.
Christmas is that one time of the year where no one finds the motivation to work. But, one cannot afford for work to suffer because of the holiday spirit. Therefore, Christmas celebration at work can boost the work productivity, at the same time provide refuge to all those who feel they are subjected to misery.