Considerations for Workplace Holiday Celebrations

When celebrating any religious holiday within a multicultural workplace, it is important to make participation optional. The decision-making process to celebrate this type of holiday should focus on ensuring that each individual beliefs are respected. Try to celebrate different types of festivities so everyone will feel included. Employees should not feel excluded if they choose not to participate due to their beliefs. Here are a few things to consider when celebrating office holidays:

Greetings – Try to avoid religious sentiments like “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You” instead use generalized greetings, such as “seasons greetings” and “happy holidays”.

Decorations – These should be kept moderate and tasteful. Stay away from noisy singing figures and excess use of lighting this may be blinding, garish and not to mention distracting. Decorations for individual desks and cubicles should also be kept simple to avoid disturbing co-workers or overwhelming clients.

Music – Music should be tasteful and kept in the background, if used at all. This too should not be disturbing or distracting staff or clients.

Dress code – Multi-coloured sweaters with flashing lights and jingling Santa hats that light up can be overwhelming. Instead, select a theme for your office, such as “red and white” or a “touch of gold.” This way, everyone is co-ordinated and tastefully dressed.

Gifts – A gift exchange event such as secret Santa is fun. However, participation should be optional. It is polite to still offer non-participants gifts as well; this way they don’t feel forgotten. It is a season of giving and receiving.

While these considerations should place any workplace in good ethical standing for celebrating the holidays, there are a few situations where overkill is acceptable.

For example, if you operate a store where holidays (Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, etc.) are the core of business then you have free reign in the décor, music and dress code departments.

Celebrating the holiday within a multicultural workplace can sometimes be tricky. However, as long as we thoughtfully consider all staff members when planning celebrations, the holidays can be an enjoyable time for everyone.


Natasha | DBPC Blog

Tips for Workplace Holiday Safety

Christmas is coming! Usually, offices and shops start to decorate their work spaces to get into the holiday spirit. Beautiful Christmas trees, pretty lights and shiny ornaments – these are all aesthetically pleasing for onlookers but can prove to be a hazard for all. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported over 15,000 Christmas decorations-related injuries in November and December of 2012 alone. Unfortunately, that was the fourth consecutive year that the injury statistics have risen. So before you decorate your office, make sure you follow these tips:

  1. Fire-proof your tree

If your workplace decided on an artificial tree, purchase one that is non-flammable/flame resistant. A real tree would be a major concern because it can dry up and become a fire hazard. Dry trees are more flammable than well-maintained ones. With this in mind, it goes without saying that your tree should never run out of water. Keep at least four litres of water under the tree every two days. Keep watch of the water level and refill when necessary. Additionally, you want to keep the tree away from overcrowded power outlets, heaters, fireplaces and spaces where people might knock it over.

  1. Avoid certain ornaments

About 11% of holiday injuries are cuts and gashes obtained from dangerous ornaments. Remember how the two thieves in the movie Home Alone comically fell on the floor after slipping on booby traps that the boy set up? As funny as it may sound, incidents like these are a reality. Ornaments that drop from Christmas trees are accidentally stepped on, causing injuries to the victim. Try avoiding fragile or heavy ornaments such as glass spheres. The last thing you want is to have a colleague or customer hurt themselves on a Christmas decoration. Better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Watch your ladder

At 34%, falling is the one of the highest cause of injury during Christmas. Yes, it is recommended that one should use the ladder while decorating; however, take precautions before climbing it. Personally, I would suggest decorators use a stepladder when decorating indoors. Even so, make sure the spreaders are fully open and tested for stability. Climb down and move the ladder when needed; do not attempt to stretch and reach too far.

  1. Keep burning candles in sight

While it is no doubt that candles are obvious fire hazards, there are several ways to prevent it. First, you would want to keep them away from the tree, curtains, blinds and drapes. Candles that are lit should be supervised; never leave the candle burning in a room alone. You would also want the candle to stand on a stable and heat-resistant surface. Avoid placing lit candles among other objects such as paper, tissue boxes or stationaries. Candle-related incidents have caused 70 deaths, 680 injuries and $308 million in property damage between 2009 and 2011.

As much as we enjoy seeing Christmas decorations being set up in workplaces, it is also important to take action in reducing the number of possible accidents. Let this holiday season be full of good memories. Remember: something as simple as vigilance can make all the difference.

J. Tjoandi | DBPC Blog

Teaching Your Kids the Real Meaning of Christmas

The Christmas season is one of the most joyous times of the year. As we enjoy decorations, presents, and delicious food, we must remember to embrace the meaningful aspects of the holiday. In order to maintain the authenticity behind the holiday season, teach your children its origins, to practice diversity and to appreciate what the holiday season provides us.

Many children believe Christmas exists because of Santa Claus, and wait for him to leave gifts under their tree. “Christmas” comes from the word “Cristes Maesse,” a sacrament where the Catholic & Christian Religions celebrate the birth of a holy child. Catholics and Christians call this child the Messiah — as they believe the child is the saviour of their religion. As a result, the Roman Catholic Church anointed December 25 as a day to celebrate this birth. Children tend to shy away from this story because of narratives such as, “Santa Clause”, “Rudolph”, and “Frosty the Snowman.”  Remind children how the holiday was developed. Christmas is an amazing time to be excited about such tales, but more importantly, to appreciate a religious holiday.

Different types of religions and cultures celebrate Christmas in their own special way. Teach your children about your cultural/religious background, as well as educating them in different practices. This will teach your children to further pursue their families Christmas practices, and to respect the practices others. It is important for children see unity within various forms of Christmas celebrations.  For instance, Christianity is a branch of the Jewish religion. The two religions have many common platforms but, Christians celebrate December 25th, while Jews celebrate Hanukah. Exposing your children to similar examples as stated above will assist in fostering a positive — yet authentic Christmas environment among your children and their peers.

What Christmas Brings Us
We receive more than just presents on Christmas Day. Teach children to cherish the time family members and loved ones have off work/school, how people who are far away come home to be with family, and the infectious joy people seem to display more often this time of year. Children are often kept distracted by afterschool activities and playing with their friends. They do not realize they should make the most of Christmas by spending time with loved ones who are home for the holidays. Teach them that this opportunity only comes around once a year. It will also make these loved ones much happier. People are also quite “jolly” this time of the year. Allow children to realize this attribute and teach them to explore sentimental ways to spread this joy. This can be done through guiding them to give presents rather than to receive, or to perform small acts of charity towards others. Christmas brings us more than just materialistic items, we are given numerous sentimental gifts which are priceless.

What Christmas is About
Christmas is based on a religious event, appreciating other forms of holiday practices, and enjoying the blessings brought upon us during this time. The more children practice and understand this, the more they will grow a humbled connection towards Christmas. This is also an important trait to develop as they mature.

Lizel | DBPC Blog


Five Christmas Party Games and Ice Breakers

Christmas is fast approaching and as usual, everybody is excited to eat, shop and be merry. We also look forward in attending Christmas parties and have fun with their friends, relatives and office mates. If you are hosting a party, be prepared to give your house or office a holiday atmosphere. Ensure to work with the caterer or potluck that you are having. There should be enough food and drinks to last the entire duration of the party. Most importantly, make sure to have at least five Christmas party games. This will make your party memorable. Here are a few selections to help you entertain your guests:

  • Christmas Charades.

Charades can be great ice breakers and keeps your guests in the holiday spirit. This game will not only entertain both you and your guests, you will also learn something new about the people playing the game – like who is more patient, talented, and funny. Come up with a list associated with the holiday such as Christmas movies, songs and items. Just have some fun!

  • Christmas Pictionary.

This is another game that will be fun for all ages. Similar to charades, you will be able to get to know more about those who are playing the game. Talents will be unveiled, something that will keep you talking all night. Be ready with whiteboards, erasable markers and erasers, and let the fun begin.

  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt/Christmas Treasure Hunt.

Make clues, place it around the house or office. Have everybody go around looking for them. This can be played by team or individually. First one to find the treasure, wins the prize. Friendly competition always make a great game to entertain guests.

  • Christmas Gift Exchange Story.

This is a simple twist of the usual exchanging of gifts that parties usually have. Each person should bring a gift of an agreed value that is suitable for male or female of any age. Next, have everyone stand in a circle holding the gift they brought while the host reads the “left and right” story. Every time the word “right” is read, all players pass their gift to the right. Every time the word “left” is read, all players pass their gift to the person on their left. Whoever is holding the gift on hand by the end of the story gets to keep the gift.

  • Christmas Ornament Design.

Have a contest on the best Christmas ornament a person can make within a minute. Prepare various kinds of art materials. Give your contestants a theme to follow and watch your guests have fun. Be ready to hand out prizes based on different categories like “most artistic, resourceful and talented in creating their Christmas masterpieces.

Christmas games and icebreakers are always an important component of a Christmas party. This get-together helps people build good relationships with one another, rather than just making small awkward chit chats. When one joins such games, one gets to know another person. This also makes wonderful conversation starters. Not only will you get to know more of the people and their hidden talents, but you also get to keep wonderful memories as well. Have fun this Christmas season with the people you love and care for. Enjoy!

Claudine Burca | DBPC Blog

How to Decorate the Office for Christmas

Whether it’s your home or your workplace, decorating is a great way to get yourself into the season’s spirit. However, when designing your workplace, you must strike the right balance between decors being dull and uninspired or exaggerated. Too much sparkle and glitter implies unprofessionalism while too little can make the office look boring. Consider the following tips when decorating your office.


Bring living beauty indoors

Potted winter plants such as fir, pine and holly make for beautiful decorative accents in the office. They can be placed on desks or in common areas. Decorate where clients will see it too. White flowers grouped with pine and holly also brings the season alive.

Choose neutral colour schemes

Avoid traditional colours associated with specific religious holidays. Instead of filling your workspace with the usual red and green Christmas theme, or the blue and white of Hanukkah, try silver and gold. These inspire a festive – like environment.

Fill the office with edible décors

Placing bowls and baskets of sweet treats can be a workplace tradition specially during the holidays. However, many workers bemoan the free supply of candy and cookies that surrounds them at this special time of the year.

Therefore, consider healthy stuff by filling the office with fresh seasonal fruits such as apples, pears and any citrus produces, which also can be used as beautiful and decorative centerpieces. Oranges studded with cloves are both lovely and imbue the air with a festive scent.

Help your employees lighten up

The short daylight hours during the winter season is sometimes the cause of individuals depression. Bring the light indoors by filling the office space with strings of white or colorful lights. Just be sure to follow safety rules and precautions when using it.

Bows & Ribbons

A great final touch to all of your decorations would be to wrap them with colorful and decorative ribbons and bows. Don’t go overboard as not everything needs an ornament. This is an easy and inexpensive way to liven up the workplace.

As you consider decorating your workplace, to give it a festive atmosphere, always remember to place the safety of your co-employees first. Always leave hallways, steps and exits clear of any obstruction.

Be bold and creative. Happy Holidays!


C. Kang | DBPC Blog