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It’s that time of year again! Time to think about how to celebrate the holidays with your team – and do it appropriately. Here are some things to think about as you plan this year’s festivities. 

DO have a holiday celebration or tradition

Whether you’re having a party, volunteering together, sending a fun gift, or wearing something festive, celebrating can build positive morale, increase motivation, and contribute to higher productivity and team building. If you’re considering a celebration, those are some pretty persuasive benefits! 

DON’T focus on a specific holiday

Make sure your holiday celebration is inclusive of everyone in your diverse workforce. Avoid favoring one holiday over another so that everyone can celebrate together without feeling like they don’t belong. And this doesn’t just mean calling it a “holiday party” instead of a “Christmas party” (although you should do that too) – if all the décor screams Christmas, it’ll still feel like a Christmas party, even if that’s not what you called it on the invite. 

That said, it’s okay to reference a specific holiday when you talk to an individual if you know which tradition they celebrate. (For example, saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah.”) 

DO be understanding if people aren’t comfortable attending 

Keep your holiday celebration optional. As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, many people (vaccinated or otherwise) still don’t feel comfortable going to large gatherings. Aside from that, for any number of reasons, some people may prefer not to celebrate this time of year. That’s okay! Mandating their attendance won’t force them to feel the holiday cheer – and won’t bring you all those nice benefits I listed above.  

DON’T make it just a normal Zoom call

If your team is fully remote, you don’t feel comfortable getting together, or for any reason you’ve decided skip the in-person gathering in favor of something virtual, make sure it’s still special and festive. Just chatting over Zoom feels like another work meeting. Luckily, there are lots of ways to celebrate without being in the same room, like playing a game or sending kits so everyone can decorate cookies together. Our team has played a virtual game through Kingmakers and had a lot of fun! (Check out a few ideas for virtual celebrations here)  

DO consider the pros and cons of offering alcohol

Whether or not to offer alcohol at your party is always a big question, and there’s no hard and fast rule. Make sure you take into account the pros (morale boost, camaraderie) and cons (embarrassing photos, potential for drunk driving) before you make your decision. Read more on the pros and cons, as well as ideas to avoid the potential pitfalls, here. 

DON’T throw your behavior policies out the window

Your team should be able to let loose at a holiday party – but that doesn’t mean they should feel free to behave inappropriately. Remind them that a company party is viewed as an extension of work for any harassment claims and they should still abide by any other behavior-related policies you may have. 

No matter how you celebrate, remember that this should be a way for your team to have fun together. Take their beliefs, feelings, and interests into account so everyone can get in the holiday spirit (no matter which holiday that is)! 

Happy holidays from all of us at Purple Ink, and we wish you a JoyPowered New Year! 

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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