When it comes to the holidays, it can be difficult to determine what type of celebration is appropriate in the workplace. I learned a long time ago that decorating the wrong way could alienate both employees and customers, thereby spoiling the holidays for everyone.
While I didn’t like giving up my Christian beliefs, I was not the only person whose feelings were involved. Being the human resources person meant I needed to bow to the opinions of others in order to create an atmosphere that would honor different cultures and lifestyles.
Rather than eliminate the holidays altogether, I came up with a way to introduce them in an acceptable format for the masses. It worked well so I’d like to share the idea with you.
Rather than having a standard Christmas tree, we decorated one with items that had to do with our business and, more specifically, our office. It actually turned out quite well.
If you want to make one of your own, you will need a few supplies:
9mm or larger beads in different colors,
Office paper (preferably recycled),
Old pens and markers,
Ribbon (satin, grosgrain, velvet, etc.),
CD or DVD disks,
Hot glue gun,
Here are some of the best ideas we came up for our holiday tree.
Idea #1 – String beads on paperclips for ornaments. We used the logo colors for our company.
Note: larger paperclips work better for this purpose than the standard size. Use the regular aluminum type of some of the newer, more colorful varieties that also come in plastic.
Idea #2 – Make origami animals from Post-it Notes. They come in a wide variety of colors and the weight is good for this paper folding process.
Idea #3 – Make paper chains out of trash paper. Our office was notorious for making too many copies of documents. Rather than trashing them, I insisted on finding a way to recycle the paper. Making paper chains for the holiday tree was one answer.
Idea #4 – Hang customer’s business cards. Many of them were bright and colorful and it gave our customers a little extra publicity. We usually had more cards than we could use even for our seven-foot tree.
Idea #5 – Wrap pens or markers that are no longer useable in colorful ribbon and attach a silk flower to the top of it. These can be used to fill in the spaces between branches.
Idea #6 – Have employees write Christmas messages, poems, stories, etc. on envelopes and put them inside the tree branches.
One of our traditions was for every employee to share their dreams for the company in the coming year by sealing it inside the envelope. Then the following year, we’d open the previous year’s envelopes to see how many of those dreams had been realized.
Idea #7 – Take pictures of the employers and/or customers and cut them into shapes for ornaments on the tree. We used colorful folder clips to attach the pictures to the tree branches.
Idea #8 – Spell Christmas messages out with paperclips. Use cardboard that needed to be recycled to form a plaque for the message. Use craft paint, gift-rap, fabric or ribbon to add color and pattern to the cardboard backing.
Idea #9 – Cut different sizes and shapes of snowflakes out of office paper. Spray them with snowflake glitter and then attach them to the tree with paperclips.
Idea #10 – Use CD or DVD disks that were no longer viable as ornaments for the tree. Some employees would design special disks by attaching things like flowers, butterflies, jewels, etc. to make them unique.
The point is to get creative and let the employees have a little bit of holiday fun. You might be surprised just how great your holiday tree might turn out.