Home > Community Service, DC Happenings, Workplace Etiquette > Workplace Principles for the Christmas Season: Sharing, Caring and Fellowship

Workplace Principles for the Christmas Season: Sharing, Caring and Fellowship

I celebrate Christmas, but it’s not the only game in town.  While it’s natural to focus on your own special holiday, consideration is key this time of year.   This is a good chance to build camaraderie in the workplace.  Take time to learn about other religious traditions and observations.  You never know when you’ll be enlightened by the beauty and love of another faith.   Use this season as an opportunity embrace cultural diversity and find more ways to connect with the world around you.

Let three principles guide you this season – sharing, caring and fellowship.  There is room for everyone to enjoy– the beginning of winter, the end of the fiscal year, the delicious food and cocktails – take your pick.

CARING:  Think beyond your personal Christmas gift list.  Practice the advice of Dr. Martin Luther King and remember “everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”   Take the focus away from the religious observations and things that separate us and focus on the strength of mankind.  There is power in unity and teamwork.  Put together care packages for the military or hold a winter clothing drive for the homeless.  Find an organization that can use your help.  I found this site where he USO puts together care packages for our troops.  You can put in your zip code and find a location near where you live or work.  Use this season to do service in the community.

SHARING – Arrange a cookie swap.   I’m not sure where this tradition began, but it’s one we Southern women embrace with creativity and gusto.  This is a great way to promote and encourage diversity.   Each person brings enough cookies for everyone to sample and the recipe to share.  Colleagues can share holiday stories from their childhoods and connect on a personal level.  Bring your cookie canisters and Tupperware – the best part is taking a few cookies home!!

All Recipes.com has instructions on doing a cookie swap – and the recipes to help!!

FELLOWSHIP Are you tired of the same old tired office party?  Arrange something different this year.  Treat your staff to a special lunch or dinner to thank them for their contributions during the last year.  This will also bolster them for the New Year.  Check on local museum exhibits and arrange for a docent to give you a personal tour.  An afternoon outing away from the office will break the monotony.  If you’re in DC check out one of the 19 FREE Smithsonian museums. A friend is doing that for her staff I know they’re looking forward to it.

Or if your office spends a lot of time telecommuting or working apart, plan a day-in. This would be one day when everyone comes to the office and has a chance to relax and mingle.  Bring in a couple movies for a double-feature.  Show something related to your industry, an American classic or something about the holidays.  Appoint someone outside of the office to handle the logistics.  Movie afternoon complete with popcorn and snacks is sure to be a hit.

‘Tis the season to embrace our cultural, religious and familial diversity. Ho, ho, ho…here comes Santa!!

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  1. Emily
    December 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    In this culture of consumerism, it’s always great to be reminded of the reason for the season! I would love to hear how others are giving and caring this season. I am participating in an Adopt-A-Family activity with my co-workers (single mom with three boys), as well as “adopting” a child on my own through a local school program. I would love to get involved in other ways–give me some ideas! “heart ME”–Em

  2. December 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks Em for your comments. The project I’ve enjoyed most this season is helping with gift bags for homeless men in SE Washington, DC. A colleague does this annually and needed help with gloves and goodies. We baked 200 cookies and donated 11 pairs of gloves as a contribution. That was fun – I hope the guys enjoy the treats!

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