’Tis the Season

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Are you having a hard time feeling merry this holiday season? Here are 10 simple ways to share the spirit of the season with your workplace, from giving back to your community to just having fun. Happy holidays from The FruitGuys!

  1. Put Up a Giving Tree
    The most rewarding part of the holiday season is giving back to others. One fun and easy way to do this is by setting up a giving tree. Instead of (or in addition to) ornaments, attach envelopes with names of different nonprofits and charities to the tree. Employees can donate a chosen amount of money to whichever organization they like. Alternatively, make tags that name needed items for a local shelter or charity; employees can purchase those items to put under the tree.
  2. Have an Off–Site for Charity
    Want to take that spirit of giving even further? Organize a day or half day of volunteering off-site at a local food bank or shelter. It’s a great way to get out of the office and bond while doing good.
  3. Give a GIF
    This one’s cheap, easy, and fun. Create a channel on Slack (or another workplace IM app) where you can post holiday GIFs, and vote on the best one at the end of each day for the duration of the season. Each winner gets a goofy prize.
  4. Say Thanks
    One of the best gifts you can give is letting people know they are appreciated. Chose a day for coworkers to send each other thank-you cards for their personality and performance over the past year. Just saying “thank you” may be more deeply appreciated than a white elephant gift.
  5. Have a Creative Contest
    Try a cookie bake-off, a desk decorating contest, or an ugly sweater contest. If you have a particularly enthusiastic group, combine several contests into a Holiday Olympics.
  6. Send a Video Card
    If your company has offices in more than one location, put together a creative video holiday greeting to send to your far-flung colleagues. It can be as simple as a “Happy holidays” shout-out or more involved, like a song or—for the truly brave—a dance or karaoke number.
  7. Provide Seasonal Scents
    Fill the air with the singular smell of the season: pine. Hang live wreaths around the office, or get a live pine for your giving tree. Just make sure no one is allergic or has a sensitivity.
  8. Get Free Food!
    Let’s be honest—nothing boosts spirits like free food. A pizza party can’t miss, but if you’re a supervisor and you have a budget, try springing for a surprise lunch delivery or (extra) fruit for the office.
  9. Set Up a Photo Booth
    More and more, office holiday parties feature fun perks like photo booths. Try adding those to the workweek, with a holiday photo-booth lunch break or afternoon.
  10. Get Outside
    Most communities host at least one holiday 5K run or outdoor event during the season. Sign up as a group for a race or a holiday hike to keep your spirits up and fight off cookie calories.

Jonanna Widner lives in Portland, OR, where she writes about sports, music, travel, and fitness.

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