Christmas at Work
Getting through the holidays with your coworkers
Celebrating the Christmas season at work can be a tricky situation. The fact that the holiday can mean different things to different people, as well as the fact that some people don't observe Christmas can lead to inconsistencies in the workplace with regards to how coworkers survive the season.
It can be difficult to know what is appropriate at work when it comes to this holiday season. Should you display Christmas decorations at work? Should you offer holiday greetings? Who should you give presents to? What type of presents should you give? What if someone gives you a gift and you don't have one in return? All these questions revolve around the fact that everyone has different ideas about what Christmas time is all about and how they want to share the season with others.
Many companies encourage a general atmosphere of holiday spirit, but you have to take into consideration your personal situation before you decide on how you will approach the Christmas season at your workplace. Whether employees celebrate Christmas or not, most companies don't tend to operate over the days of Christmas and New Years. This means that winter holidays can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of religious implications.
There also tends to be a number of parties, luncheons and dinners held by employers over the holiday season. As it is the end of the year, some companies take the season as a time to recognize the efforts of employees and celebrate a year of hard work. This broad atmosphere of celebration and festivity doesn't focus on Christmas itself, but instead centers on the community that is built out of a workplace.
In the end, regardless of belief and religion, Christmas time at work often becomes a time of coming together. The way you express your holiday cheer is really up to you to decide based on the atmosphere of your workplace.
Tips For Surviving the Holidays at Work
Here are some basic tips to help you celebrate the holidays at work:
- Don't let your festive spirit get in the way of work! While this is a time of celebration and relaxation, you still need to maintain your standard of work.
- Check to see if there are rules or regulations for decorating your workspace. If decorating is acceptable, keep your ornamentation tasteful. Avoid anything that will disturb your coworkers – especially anything that makes noise or plays Christmas carols!
- If there is a company party, you should make an appearance - even if you don't stay long. Your absence is noticeable and may be interpreted as a lack of commitment to your company and coworkers.
- If your company or department organizes a Secret Santa exchange, participate. If there are no established guidelines for gift giving it is up to you who you buy for.
- A safe bet for gift giving is to buy something for your boss. Unless you are close friends, you should keep it simple. Try to give something that relates to your boss' interests. For example, if she has a number of photos in her office, give her a picture frame. If you know he plays golf every weekend, rain or shine, get him some personalized golf balls.
- If your group of friends consists of coworkers, keep your personal celebrations separate from your workplace. You don't want other workers to feel left out.