“It’s Christmas time in Hollis, Queens/ Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens/ Rice, stuffing, macaroni and cheese/ And Santa puts gifts under Christmas trees”
That’s one of the most iconic Christmas raps songs of all time by RUN-DMC! It’s a holiday tradition. Do you know what else is a holiday tradition? An Office Christmas party. I know with all the various cultures and religions that most places simple call it the Office Holiday Party where gifts are encouraged but not required. Did you know that some religions do not practice gift giving? And since more and more Americans do not identify with any religious denomination, the cultural norms and traditions are a lot less stringent than in the past.
But who are we fooling here, even with less folks practicing Christianity and believing in one thing or another – we can all agree that everyone likes a good party. An Office Holiday party is a great opportunity to bond with your co-workers, onboard new hires, build unity and loyalty, and just have a great time together.
(Please note, we are skipping the cautionary tales of the Office Holiday party (that was the old PIC, this is the new PIC2.0 the Defiant Ones, actually, so if you are looking for ways HR can stop people from getting drunk and fired, go on someplace else. If you are expecting this article to outline best practices to keep everyone safe and sound, go on someplace else now!)
Back to the lesson at hand! The Office Holiday Party is a great time to come together but there’s just one thing, most of us are worn out from the holidays. Yes, folks, there is a such thing as Holiday Fatigue. Think about it, you’ve just gotten all the left over turkey and dressing out of the house, cleaned up from family and friends visiting, and finally gotten your own house in order. In addition, you have shopping lists for your spouse, lovers, kids, mothers, brothers, friends, friends with benefits, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, play cousins, step kids, and NOW we have to add coworkers to the list?!
See the holiday party, although it has good intentions can often times add to the stress of the holiday season. “What do I get Jack? He could use some peppermints because his breath stinks but that would be cruel.” or “My Boss needs a guidebook on how not to grope employees, but I’ll let HR handle that one.”
All-in-all the party is a great idea but here’s a tip, why not move the party from December to early next year? Wait a second before you start trippin’ think about it.
Having your holiday party after the new year is awesome for several business reasons and here they are:
- It reduces the stress and distractions from all those things I listed above. The family is gone now and you can concentrate on your work family.
- There are millions of after Christmas sales so you can purchase gifts on the “low”.
- Restaurants (bars/venues/facilities) charge more during the actual holiday season then right after the holiday season. As an HR pro or Manager, you can look like a real hero to your boss because you can save the company thousands of dollars with this little move. Restaurants experience a big slow down in January, February, and March (before spring) so you can negotiate a great deal if you just wait a month.
Now, this happens lot already but I just heard about it last year thanks to my friend, Andrea who is in the hospitality industry. In January 2017, when she mentioned that she had booked several after the holiday, holiday parties, I asked her, “What kind of new shit is this?” and she said, “It’s not new shit at all, but a lot of people don’t realize you can save a ton of money on the venue, food, and alcohol.” she went on to say, “And the people love it too because the holidays are over so they are actually wanting to unwind and relax – with all the stuff going on in December, this is perfect time for a party.”
My mind was blown.
And hopefully yours is too.