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

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.

Origins
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.

Diversity
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

Holiday Party Ideas

For most companies Christmas party is a yearly tradition. It is a merry way of showing appreciation to your employees/co-workers. This can be quite a feat since workers are looking forward to having some time off especially during the holidays. This is some sort of a break and stress reliever after a year –long time with meeting deadlines and targets at work. Consequently, initiating a fun and memorable staff party is an event your teammates will definitely look forward to. You can adopt the following holiday party ideas that’ll guarantee fun and excitement:

Make it a family affair
If you change your guest list and switch it up from just inviting staff, include their families to your company Christmas party, it creates a fun affair. Extend party invitations to spouses, children or loved ones. This will be a perfect time to overindulge, let go, and mingle with co-workers and their family members, making it an extraordinary occasion.

Activities
Think of activities that’ll engage your employees. Initiate different games to make the celebration more interesting such as, Christmas Decorating Contest or comical awards that are achievement based. This will have an enjoyable impact, which will create an entertaining presentation for everybody to enjoy.

White Elephant Gift Exchange
Are you familiar with the “white elephant” gift exchange? This is completely different from the ordinary gift exchange that most companies tend to do which is called “Secret Santa”. The idea is for everyone to bring something that could be totally useless, from their basement or attics. This can be played in numerous methods, one way is by drawing numbers to see who goes first. While the gifts are still wrapped, have your guest pick a present and then let the opening begin. The goal is to choose wacky, funny or entertaining gifts. If you’re really uncertain, just pay a visit to your local thrift store.

Theme your office Christmas party
Tired of the cringe-worthy banners and mini-trees that you used every year, why not do something a bit different this season? To have a successful and spectacular themed party, you need to tap into your creative and imaginative side. Pick a theme that you and your colleagues will agree upon. There are tons of appropriate themes that are amusing and exhilarating. You can consider the following:

  • Winter Wonderland
  • Christmas Movie Marathon Party
  • Venetian Masquerade Ball
  • Beach Party

Once you and your employees/co-workers decide on a signature party, discuss what you want before performing the necessary preparations. Plan at least 2-3 months in advance to create a fun and exciting party that’ll not only entertain your co-workers this holiday season, but something that they’ll remember.

The point of having a successful Christmas party is to merge just the right amounts of pleasure and comfort. With these ideas, you can host a party your staff will look forward to attending rather than coming up with excuses to avoid the familiar.

 

Leslie | DBPC Blog

Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Christmas has its origins in early 336 AD according to the Roman calendar. Mary and Joseph were blessed with a son, Jesus Christ – the son of God. Today, Christmas is one of the most universally celebrated holidays. This time of year, everyone gets into the spirit of gift giving and spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones. There are many ways of enjoying this holiday cheer. Whether it’s leaving some treats out for Santa or simply decorating the tree. People find many ways to celebrate. Some like to wake up early in the morning and go to church, light candles, sing Christmas songs and read stories.

Christmas is full of varied family traditions. Here are some ways to celebrate the holidays and enjoy or learn more about the holiday tradition.

Decorate the Christmas tree & House
This is a fun occasion for the family to go hunting for the perfect tree and then decorate it with lights and ornaments including cartoon characters, toys and coloured balls. Take the opportunity to brighten your house with luminous lights and hang Christmas pictures and mistletoe in doorways. One can also dangle Christmas bells on doors and set Christmas statuettes of Santa or Rudolph on tables. Families can also brighten up a computer desktop with Christmas Wallpapers and provide Christmas puzzles at home for kids. Traditions can vary based on region, for example, in southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to celebrate Christmas. Christians in China use paper lanterns to decorate their Christmas trees and houses.

Christmas Caroling
Go caroling with your friends, family or in a group of others instead of going alone. Rehearse together and gather more people make the songs more powerful. Some can also add instrumentals to boost the performance. You can go together door to door and sing for neighbors. Caroling is also encouraged in churches in some areas.

Gifts Giving & Family Gatherings
Invite friends and family for a dinner or arrange a potluck and keep some traditional food like mince pies, chestnuts, plum pudding, roast goose, mulled wine or from scratch eggnog. Customize Christmas cards and calendars and send to your friends and family. When giving presents to family and friends, be creative and leave them in different places! Try putting them in shoes, boots, stockings or go for a more traditional place under the Christmas tree. Presents are opened on different days around the world as well. In Holland, Kids open it on St. Nicholas’ Eve on December 5. In Belgium, Germany Czech Republic and some other European countries open on 6th December. Children in the UK, USA, Canada and many other countries open their presents in the morning with their family together on Christmas Day – December 25th. The latest presents are opened on January 6th which is known as Epiphany celebrated in Spain and Mexico. One popular way of giving presents in groups such as clubs, school classes and workplaces is to have a ‘Secret Santa’. This is where you pull the name of a random peer or co-worker out of a container and then buy a present for them. When the presents are given out (often at a Christmas party) each person is given their present but they will have no idea which person in the group bought it for them!

Share Candy Canes
Distributing Candy canes to friends and family is a popular Christmas tradition. It is the most popular of all the usual Christmas treats. There are several stories behind the origin of the Candy Cane’s shape. One explanation is that it represents the J in Jesus’ name. The other explanation is that it looks like a shepherd’s crook to keep the sheep from wandering away from the flock. The Bible says that, “The Lord is my shepherd” in keeping us safe. The candy cane’s white color is also a symbol of purity, and the three red stripes represent the blood of Christ. Thus, simply eating a Candy Cane can help remind us about the true meaning of Christmas.

Santa Claus
Some people like to attend the Santa Parade to show their festive spirit and take in some holiday cheer! Others might choose to take their children to see Santa Claus – the merry old man in the red suit that we all know and love – in department stores, shopping malls or even parties. Kids get to tell Santa their wish list, and parents can use the experience to create some positive, long-lasting family memories.

May your Christmas be full of fun, cheer and wonder! Merry Christmas!

 

U. Lakhia | DBPC Blog