Celebrating the holidays at work can be hit or miss, depending on how much holiday spirit your teammates have, whether there is any good food and/or activities to enjoy, and of course, if there’s even anything planned in your workplace! But since so much of our lives happen at work, it’s only right to find some way to ring in the holidays with our coworkers in ways that make sense. Even better is when the holiday festivities you have going on aren’t the exact same as you’ve done year after year (after year…).
Here are 9 unique and interesting ideas for celebrating different holidays at work that you can throw together yourself and few of your favorite coworker friends, or suggest to the right people in your company:
1. Host a (very) themed potluck
For instance, for Halloween, have everyone bring dishes like “bloody brains” (spaghetti noodles and sauce) or “slimy eyes” (peeled grapes mixed with jelly or mayonnaise), place on a table in a dark room, and bring in blindfolded employees to take a stab at each delicatessen. For Christmas, have everyone bring dishes that are either green, red or yellow. Or even go dish or ingredient-specific: have people bring in pies only, eggnog only, or thanksgiving dishes only!
2. Spend Christmas giving back instead of hosting the same sweater contest every year
Make an event of ringing the Salvation Army bell, adopting a child off of your local giving tree, or coming together to host a community Christmas dinner.
3. Bring your kids/family/pets to work!
During the Easter season, host a Bring Your Kids to Work day and hold a scavenger hunt for the children and grandchildren of your employees. Allow all staff to participate in egg-stuffing and hiding to make the family event fun and engaging.
4. Grown-up trick-or-treat
Who says only kids get to enjoy candy on Halloween? Have different departments in your company have a bucket of treats to give away, and then have groups of employees take turns making the rounds, filling their own treat bags.
5. Implement a gag gift exchange
Set just one rule each year, such as green gifts or other themes, and have each employee bring one gift to share in white elephant style. Encourage employees to regift things they have laying around or shop second-hand for their purchases.
6. Hold a gratitude party
Celebrate Thanksgiving by giving back to your community alongside your coworkers; plant dollar bills in Walmart, leave encouraging notes under windshield wipers, shovel a stranger’s sidewalk, or go shopping to fulfill the local women’s shelter’s grocery list
7. Play a game of holiday movie trivia
Gather some holiday related movie trivia questions and play a good old game of trivia. This gets some friendly competition going and a chance for people to show off their movie knowledge!
8. Play “Guess Who” during your holiday celebrations
Have employees bring their baby pictures or photos of their parents and offer door prizes for those who can match the photo to the employee. Bonus points for those who bring baby pictures that match the holiday you’re celebrating!
9. Go Geocaching
Geocaching is a fun an outdoor recreational activity where you use your phone or any GPS device to hide and discover containers called “geocaches” or “caches” at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. This activity could work for many different holidays (you could do it in festive outfits!). What you’d do is break your colleagues up into equal teams, set them up with the app, and offer prizes for the teams who find the most geocaches in the afternoon. This is a great way to team build, have fun, and get out of the same setting for a break during the warmer months.
These unique and fun ideas should give holidays with your colleagues a new spin and ensure people can’t wait to participate! Most importantly, remember that fun events require a fun company culture. Take time to do your homework and research your future employer before you accept an offer to ensure you’re joining a company that can benefit from your innovative ideas and engagement.