Normally, the annual Christmas party is the highlight of the year – a chance to celebrate a busy 12 months’ toil. Of course, 2020 is very different, with the COVID-19 pandemic overshadowing any plans for a traditional office Christmas party. But that doesn’t mean that Christmas is cancelled! There are other ways to embrace the Yuletide cheer.
The coronavirus has turned everything on its head since its impact was first felt in March. There has been upheaval and upset, stress and worry, and adjustments that have taken their toll on even the most positive-minded of us.
In the face of these long-running concerns, the idea of colleagues gathering en masse is not a particularly popular one. In fact, according to one survey carried out by IrishJobs.ie, the vast majority of workplaces in Ireland (86%) have opted not to hold a Christmas party this year because of COVID-19. Of that number, some 40% described the idea of holding a party as ‘irresponsible’.
Christmas Is Not Cancelled
There are several restrictions in place directly affecting the size and location social gatherings can take place. So, it is understandable that so many workplaces have opted to forget about the traditional office Christmas party.
So, what are the options available to companies who wish to mark the season, but have chosen to avoid the traditional format? And can anything really be organised with time ticking by? Well, the good news is that there are several options on the table.
- Contactless Secret Santa
- Book An Online Event
- Send Indulgence Boxes
- Christmas Games Night
Secret Santa is a popular option at Christmas, keeping the idea of giving alive and well without necessarily breaking the bank. But with many working from home, the chance to get together to pull names from hats is not there. However, there are online name-drawing tools that can be used to decide these things. – like DrawNames.ie and SorteioGo.com. Everyone is then sent their name via email.
And to get gifts to a selected colleague, pre-paid packaging option from An Post offer a simple solution. Bags and boxes can be provided to staff so each person can fill them out and send them at no personal cost.
Many companies would book a night out for staff, like a trip to a comedy venue or show. Several venues are offering online performances for corporate groups, like The Helix’s production of The Sword in the Stone. Their ‘panto on demand’ option runs from 23 December to 5 January. The Laughter Lounge is also offering online experiences compatible with Zoom, Teams and Skype.
We know that celebrations tend to include a lot of food and drink. And even if we take careful note of our diet through the year, Christmas is a time when we feel more willing to indulge. So, why not send those tasty temptations to colleagues in Indulgence Boxes packed with sweets, biscuits, Christmassy chocolate items, and drinks – like packets of cocoa.
They can also include small personalised gifts, like a mug, seasonal accessories, like Christmas hats and sunglasses, and items needed to participate on a Zoom games night get-together.
This event brings everyone together on one screen to share in the fun and games of … well, Christmas themed games and activities. What kind of games exactly? We recommend a few that are easy to set up, and simple to participate in.
- Guess the Gift
- Christmas-Themed Charades
- Chubby Elf
- Christmas Scavenger Hunt
- Two Truths and a Lie
Each participant holds up a small pre-wrapped gift. One participant tries to guess what’s inside. Simple!
A party favourite, the charade is guaranteed to get people interacting, laughing and competing. Use a Christmas theme (movie, song or personality) to make it.
For a fun twist, get people to fill their mouths with marshmallows, cake, chocolate or some other type of food and sing a carol. Other guesses with the fastest off the mark getting a prize.
Teams will search their homes for seasonal items, or the internet for seasonal information. Set a time limit for online searches but make it challenging with really unusual facts.
Fun and inventive, everyone will love the challenge of working out which ‘fact’ out of 3 given is actually the lie.
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