Alas, 2018 is finally coming to an end. We’ve made it through some pretty tumultuous times so far, so congratulations on staying focused through that! However, the disarray isn’t over yet. The holiday season can be stressful for everyone on your team–dealing with extended family, shopping, eating, more shopping, more eating; you get the point.
And that’s just at home.
The holiday season at the office can be just as stressful, if not more, with one of the most stress-inducing events being the office holiday party (HR squads, I see you).
As labyrinthine as the entire season is, navigating your office holiday party doesn’t have to be so bad. To downplay the drama that comes with the season, all you have to do at your holiday office party is: Be Inclusive!
You may, or may not, be aware, but Christmas is just one of many holidays in December.
For example, December hosts: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, World AIDs Day, Boxing Day, and many more that you can find here.
So why not celebrate all the holidays at your office’s party? Think about it – we spend so much time, energy, and cash trying to find new ways to attract and engage diverse talent that will up our game…THIS is the perfect festive opportunity to put our money where our mouths are and celebrate all of our people.
Without further ado, here are 5 easy ways to be more inclusive this holiday season!
I. Don’t make assumptions
Remember when Phyllis was in charge of the Party Planning Committee on The Office and her theme was Moroccan Christmas? Be as adventurous as Phyllis, but not as assuming. Open up your Party Planning Committee to more people with different backgrounds and find out how they celebrate the holidays. Then, use their ideas – in addition to saying “Merry Christmas” include the specific holidays your team celebrates. If you don’t know what they celebrate, you can just say “Happy Holidays”–and celebrate the season in a new way where everyone feels welcome and engaged.
II. Avoid scheduling mistakes
Besides Christmas, some of the other holidays in December fall earlier in the month. For example, this year Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 2nd and ends December 10th, Bodhi Day begins December 8th, and so on. So why not plan your office events right in the middle of the month, so that everyone can get in on the celebration?
Bonus: The earlier in the month you start celebrating, the more people that might be able to come to your shindig–schedules are less tight, holiday PTO isn’t in the way, and you kick off the season with a bang!
III. Provide plenty of food options
It’s time to go above and beyond the Christmas ham. Many groups–Jewish, Muslim, Hindu–do not eat ham. Not to mention, your colleagues’ dietary restrictions may not take a vacation during the holidays. In addition to the traditional items, try to highlight seasonal fruits and veggies, like squash, or just stick with fish and poultry–it’s better for you anyway, and more inclusive.
Inclusivity=Support for your team.
IV. Add more nonspecific décor
Snowflakes, candles, leaves, rosemary, cranberries, pomegranates, grapefruits, nuts… do I need to go on? Adding these twists can help spice up your office’s décor and make everyone feel more connected to the office.
V. Pass the AUX
Ditch the Christmas-only playlist and liven up the vibe by adding traditional songs from other holidays. Or make it easier on yourself and stick with the classics, jazz, orchestral tunes, or decade throwbacks; anything to get your tribe bumpin’!
Ahhhh, now you can relax and just enjoy the new foods, traditions, and memories you’re about to make with your team. Don’t forget to snap some fun group photos to show off your cool party and commemorate the occasion for everyone! Just remember, no one wants you to ditch Christmas. To the contrary–what’s more Christmassy than being inclusive?
Happy Holidays Y’all!