How to celebrate the holidays at work, pandemic style

by Sonia Checchia and Kelly Stuck, Wheelhouse Group

There’s a big office-culture tradition we are going to forego this year: the holiday potluck.

Whether you’re a celebrated chef or more likely to contribute chips and dip, it’s a chance to clear the calendar of meetings and catch up with the team. But not this year.

Many of our clients are looking for creative ideas to come together for the holidays, and as is the case with many things in 2020, office holiday celebrations this year will look a bit different.

As such, we thought we would share this list of celebration ideas appropriate for today. Not only is it low-calorie (can’t say that for most potlucks!), it’s also fun, low-budget, and engaging.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
Covid Holiday
STORYTELLING.

Sharing holiday memories is a great way to get to know team members at a deeper level. Host a virtual fireside chat and pick from one of these question prompts:

    • What went wrong? Isn’t it funny how we tend to remember what went wrong? Share a favorite holiday memory of a mishap—the turkey that caught fire, the dentures in the punchbowl, or the pants that split. You know the story. Tell us!
    • Two truths and a lie, holiday tradition edition. Each person shares two holiday traditions that they genuinely cherish, and one that is made up. Everyone guesses which is the “lie.”
    • Favorite gift. Ask each person to share the story of a present that was particularly wonderful. If possible, show the gift on camera.
GET CRAFTY.

There are so many sites with free printables (one of our favorites is Oh Happy Day!). Pick an activity and host a “crafternoon.” If you have a budget, you could package the supplies and mail them to everyone’s home addresses prior to the meeting date.

UGLY SWEATER.

The ugly sweater contest translates seamlessly to the Zoom office party. Ask everyone to wear their favorite (most hideous) sweater and keep their camera on. Prizes would make it extra fun.

RECIPES.

Share a holiday recipe and a line or two about why it’s important to you. Post to an internal doc sharing site for all to browse. In the meeting, ask a few people to speak to their recipe and elaborate on their story.

HOLIDAY TRIVIA.

Create a list of trivia questions, such as which president was the first to pardon a turkey, how many sides does a snowflake have or what is the most popular New Year’s resolution and have prizes for each winner.

FESTIVE BACKGROUND.

Tired of video meetings? Spice it up with a holiday background contest. The most creative wins!

WORKSPACE PHOTOS.

Did you decorate your home office for the holiday? Have everyone send in a photo and guess whose desk is whose.

Tag your favorite Office Manager or Team Lead who is struggling to come up with some creative ideas right now. And let us know if you use any of the ideas and share photos!

Sonia Checchia, Wheelhouse employee

Sonia Checchia
Sr. Consultant and Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Subject Matter Expert, Wheelhouse Group
Sonia consults in marketing and communications, change management, and internal communications—to ensure her clients’ most important messages are heard. In her 20+ year professional career, she has developed expertise in people programs and has designed and facilitated numerous (always a least a little bit fun) events and trainings, in person and online.

Kelly Stuck, Wheelhouse Group

Kelly Stuck
Sr. Consultant and Technology Adoption Subject Matter Expert, Wheelhouse Group
Kelly has a 20+ year proven track record as an organized, energetic, and client-focused professional, leading successful communications, employee engagement, and technology adoption efforts. She is a detailed and effective leader, skilled at seeing the big picture, while identifying and executing tasks. She has a reputation for sparking positivity and laughter–which fuels creativity and fun at work.