Those who work in retail or catering will probably have been making preparations for the upcoming festive season as far back as August, but for those of us who work in an office it is possible to be a bit more relaxed about the whole thing. Usually we are looking forward to at least a few extra days off coming up, if not a couple of weeks. The beginning of December is the ideal time to begin getting yourself and your colleagues into the festive spirit.
Xmas decoration image courtesy of Keo the Younger via Flickr creative commons
Depending on the type of office you work in and the benevolence of your superiors, you may or may not have freedom to decorate as you please. Have a root around in store cupboards before purchasing anything as you may well find boxes of last year’s decorations gathering dust at the back. If you do need to buy, try to get the whole office involved and save money by making decorations to bring in. You could offer prizes for the best ones to make it more interesting. Give everyone a say in where to hand things even if you believe you know best – Christmas is a time for sharing after all.
On the issue of when is best to send out office cards there is no single best answer. Some people prefer to send theirs early, yet may then feel bad if they later receive a card from someone they forgot about. Others prefer to wait until the last minute so they can keep a list of people who have sent them cards and write in return, but run the risk of missing people who leave for holidays early. Sometimes it can be easier to write one card simply for ‘the office’ and place it in the kitchen with a big box of chocolates for everyone to share.
It is always best to give people a bit of time to get organised if you hold an office Secret Santa. Try to draw names on the 1st of December and set a reasonably early date to have gifts in by, around a week before you close for Christmas, to give everyone plenty of leeway.
Xmas decoration image courtesy of Missoula Public Library via Flickr creative commons
If you are having your office Christmas party at work you need to be prepared. Make a plan before the day as to how you are going to arrange the furniture, what you need to buy, if there should be a dance floor, who is coming etc. Simply shoving the office chairs to one side and providing a few paper cups of warm white wine won’t win you any friends if it is your job to organise things. If you are taking it away from work, be aware that you need to book early, especially for large groups. If there are more than ten of you and you want to eat out the Friday before Christmas it is advisable to book as early as September in most restaurants.