December can be a cold, dark, busy and stressful month at work.
Or we can use the Christmas season to actively create some cheer in the office. Here are 5 great ways to do it.
1: Random acts of Christmas cheer
Here’s a great example from a Danish company called Solar, where two department managers Carsten and Karsten toured the entire office and ris a la mande (a traditional Danish Christmas dessert) for all their employees.
Here’s a video of them doing it:
The holiday season is a great opportunity to make other people happy. What could you do? Hand out candy? Sing carols together?
2: Decorate like crazy
A few years ago I was flying out of Copenhagen and at the airport I saw this office that had been decorated with with insane amounts of Christmas decorations. Just looking at it put me in a happier Christmas mood.
Why not decorate your workplace in a fun, over-the-top way? You could even sit down together and make your own handcrafted seasonal decorations.
3: Stealthy acts of kindness
Many Danish workplaces have a Christmas tradition for pranking each other in december. The way it works is this: each person draws the name of a team member and has to lightly prank that person throughout the month without getting caught.
Like maybe gift wrapping their office:
We suggest turning that on its head and make the game about doing nice things for the other person without getting caught. Maybe hide some candy in their desk, write them a note with positive feedback or send them a slice of cake anonymously. Or maybe even gift wrapping their desk, if you think it would make that person smile.
Then on the last working day before the Christmas break you can get the team together and let them try to guess who’s been nice to them all month.
4: The Christmas Dice Gift Grab Game (only opposite)
At many Christmas workplace events, teams play the Dice Grab Game. The rules are simple: Everyone brings a wrapped (cheap) present and places it on the table. People take turn to roll a die and if you roll a 6 you get to take a present from the table. Once all the presents are taken, a 6 let’s you take a present from another player.
It can get pretty intense :)
So change the game like this:When you roll a 6, you get to take a present from one player and give it to someone else.
It changes the dynamics of the game completely and makes it a lot more fun and a lot less competitive.
Try this version with your family – it works really well when there are children present too.
5: Give each other Christmas presents
Some workplaces give all employees a Christmas present, which is nice, sure, but not really something that tends to make people terribly happy. This is mostly because the gifts are not personal, so they’re not an indication of you contributions or how you’re seen as a person.
But we’ve convinced some of your clients to do this differently, and get team member to buy presents for each other. Here’s how it works:
At the beginning of december, each employee draws the name of one of their team member and get to buy a present for that person. They will of course be reimbursed by the company and there’s a maximum amount they can spend.
They are not allowed to just ask that person what they should buy them. They have to figure out what that person wants for Christmas and what gift would make them happy.
Throughout December people buy their gifts, wrap them and out them under the office Christmas tree.
At the end of December, the team has a holiday party where the gifts are given and unwrapped. Only the do you find out who’s bought you something.
The advantages of this method are:
- The gifts are personal and specifically chosen for each person.
- Co-workers get a chance to get to know each other better.
- People think investigating each other and picking the present is a lot of fun in itself.
What do you think? Would any of this work in your workplace?
What is December otherwise like where you work? Fun or busy or both? What have you done to create some Christmas cheer at work?
Write a comment, we’d love to her your take,