It's the holidays in the office. It's time to get ready for bad sweaters, decorated cubicles and disconcerting "day after the party" stories. However, there are ways to enjoy the celebrations around the office without being a part of something that's discussed in your end-of-year review.
First, don't get too creative with the gift exchange. Hand-made potholders aren't as fun as you think and few people care to hear "Barry Gibb sings the Holiday Classics" even once. Go the coffee shop gift card route and send everyone on your list home happy and caffeinated.
Remember that fruitcake is served once a year for a reason.
No one who really loves their pets puts clothes on them. So insisting co-workers join you on an iPhone scroll through Pixie's Holiday Dress Up Slide Show will go over about as well as coal in a stocking. You'll know this when someone mentions they need to purge their sent items folder instead of partake in the presentation.
Don't overdo the political correctness. Look, we all need to respect each other's beliefs in the workplace. It's smart business and maintains morale. But don't act like you're enlightened for doing so or try to blend every end of year tradition into some sort of joyous conglomeration. It just makes it that much more evident.
And speaking of party protocol, don't over-formalize any related office events. Everyone has spouses who have other office parties, events for the kids and travel commitments, so if not every employee can make the party, that's okay. Too many logistics complicate matters and deplete the relaxed spirit. If you plan an event without political pressure to attend, people will appreciate it that much more.
Watch the charity push around the office. A lot of non-profits use year-end giving as a motivator, so the holiday ask becomes pretty common. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that the tiger snout seahorse needs its own ocean preserve. It’s probably best for the office to come to an agreement about a single charity to support.
There are a few more unwritten rules for office holiday fun but the general key is to remember that it's supposed to be a bit more relaxed and easy-going. Keep it simple. Happy holidays from ProTenant!