While the holiday season has come and gone, the Owler office can’t help but reminisce about our end-of-year festivities. With 11 months left until they return (308 days until Thanksgiving!), we figured we’d look back at our favorite holiday moments. Maybe some of them will inspire your company’s next holiday celebration in the office – it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays!
Here are some tips for welcoming the holidays into your office:
(Yes, Halloween counts as a holiday.)
While we’ve already shared details about what we learned from Halloween, including Owler’s First Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest, Halloween is the perfect time to start the office festivities in preparation for the more serious holidays in November and December:
- Encourage employees to don a costume (workplace-appropriate!). Seeing your coworkers in costumes is one of the best cures for a slow workday. While it can be hard to take someone dressed as a Windows “Blue Screen of Death” (tech joke) seriously, costume creativity may just translate to workplace creativity.
- Bring in candy. While our trick-or-treating days are long gone (and longed-for), there’s no reason we can’t chow down on some chocolate throughout the workday. Sure, substituting Sour Patch Kids for your sandwich or salad isn’t a sustainable meal choice, but that’s why Halloween is only once a year!
- Plan something out-of-the-ordinary. Costumes and candy are good and fun, but the real excitement of any holiday comes from the special traditions associated with it. For Halloween, we put on a Pumpkin Carving contest and invited the families of our employees in to join in the fun. Try something to mix up the normal office schedule!
While Thanksgiving doesn’t have as many traditions associated with it as other holidays, there’s no reason you can’t be thankful with your coworkers before heading home to family:
- Have a potluck lunch. Thanksgiving is a great time for everyone to pitch in something for a team lunch. It doesn’t have to be a whole meal – bringing in appetizers or desserts is plenty. Ask employees to take a lunch break around the same time so you can all enjoy the food together.
- Have a turkey bowl. It doesn’t have to be football – have a ping-pong table? A videogame console? A deck of cards? Cultivate some friendly competition between coworkers through whatever game you choose.
- Give some time back to the community. Showing your thanks to the community can be rewarding for everyone. Find a local project in need of helping hands, and get to work!
Hanukkah & Kwanzaa
Often overshadowed by their well-known December companion holiday, Christmas, the holidays of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa can be great occasions to learn about what the holidays of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa actually are:
- What’s the meaning of Hanukkah/Kwanzaa? Have a coworker who celebrates one of the holidays? Ask them to share their traditions. Learn about your coworkers’ observances!
- Bring traditions into the office.This past Hanukkah, for example, one of our employees led the lighting of a menorah and a game of dreidel (see below). It was both fun and educational!
- Try some new food. Each holiday has delicious culinary specialties. Introduce your coworkers to your favorite holiday eats and you’re sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Christmas at Owler was quite the event this year. Along with some thorough office decorations our office had its very own Santa’s Workshop. Locked shut for the entire month leading up to the holiday, the workshop was the site of tinkering and planning by Brett, our resident Saint Nick. On Christmas day, we had an epic scavenger hunt that ended with an incredible new addition to our office. Check out the pictures below!
- Keep the decorations coming. No need to stop after your Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa bash – get the lights and wreath out so you can welcome the 25th of December in style.
- Get everyone involved in White Elephant. At Owler, this non-denominational version of Secret Santa with a twist (you can steal gifts) featured inexpensive presents ranging from a backscratcher to card games. Everyone walked away with a nice token of the holiday season.
- Bring in the family! Break the work/home divide for a moment to enjoy gingerbread house building or cookie decorating with your coworkers and their loved ones.
Hopefully these tips have you pumped for the holidays, or your next big office celebration. Happy January!