Life At Work

The Case for a Company Christmas Party

The holidays are right around the corner and I know you will all be busy bees, likely hosting an open house for your customers in addition to cranking out designs for the myriad seasonal parties and, perhaps, decorating clients’ houses and businesses.

With all that’s going on, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you and your team are allowed to celebrate too!

Christmas parties are usually sources of great memories to look back on for years to come. Since your floral team is basically like family (I hope), why not spend the holidays together like one?

Yearly traditions bring everyone together, help people reconnect, and boost morale. It might seem stressful to add a party on top of your growing holiday to-do list, but it really is worth the effort in the long run.

Here’s why:

A Party Reminds You That You’re All Human

Running a flower shop is a huge undertaking. It’s high stress with tight deadlines and long hours (especially during holidays), and it can be physically demanding. After awhile, you and your team can start to feel like a bunch of robots, operating on autopilot.

Get-togethers, such as holiday parties, remind you to sit back and relax for a moment. Have a drink, eat some delicious food, and have some fun conversations that aren’t about flowers for a change. Maybe exchange presents to show how much you appreciate each other. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy party. It can be low key and still lots of fun!

I personally love having a good old-fashioned potluck. It gives people a chance to show off their cooking skills and it’s less expensive than going out to a restaurant. It’s more warm and personal.

A Party Melts The Stress

You might not have any idea how stressed you actually are until you have the chance to let your hair down. A party gives everyone a chance to get to know the fun, relaxed side of you. Chances are, there’s someone on your team you occasionally (or often) experience tension with, who may surprise you in a good way when they have the chance to show another side of themselves in an environment outside of work. Perhaps the quiet one of the group will wow you with great conversation and humour.

A Party is Refreshing!

When you take the time to take it easy, it gives you all an opportunity to go back to work fresh as a daisy (provided you skip the hangover, of course—more on this soon). It’s like pressing the reset button on a computer. A party can give you an attitude refresh.

That said, whether your party’s fancy or low key, there are some things you should take into consideration before letting your hair down.

Watch The Drinks

Drinking is usually part of holiday festivities, but be careful. Even within a close-knit group, it’s important to drink responsibly. Know your limit. The last thing you need is to do the walk of shame the next time you go to work.

Also, take everyone’s keys. If people are driving to the party and plan to drink, make sure they can’t leave on a whim while impaired. I know what I’m saying here should be a given, but when the drinks start flowing it’s easy to abandon common sense. So be proactive about transporation before you get into the wine.

Sharing Too Much Information

Some people, intoxicated or not, have a tendency to open up about your personal life to the point it’s just uncomfortable. This is another reason I emphasize watching the drinks! Becoming too emotional and open with your team can backfire. Drink only to a point where you will remember the evening and what you said to people. Having your colleagues fill you in on the fuzzy moments can create really awkward moments. This not the goal of the holiday party!

Plan The Party Together

Over the course of my working life, I have noticed that the holiday party always seems to fall on the shoulders of one or two people. This doesn’t seem fair. Why not all get in on the planning process? It is a party after all! You’re all attending, so it makes sense to all be a part of it—not just indulge in one person’s hard work. If you find it hard to get together for the planning process, I highly recommend creating a closed group on Facebook. That way you can contribute to the plans on the go.

Set The Price

A common practice at holiday parties is to exchange gifts. It can be stressful trying to find the right gift for a coworker, but this exercise shouldn’t stress your wallet. Twenty dollars should be more than enough to find a decent gift for a colleague. Of course, as a group, you can come to your own conclusion about what price point works for everyone. Regardless, keep it equal and simple.

Don’t Dilly Dally

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan the party. If you want to go out to a restaurant, for example, book well ahead of time. Every business will be trying to squeeze in its holiday party within the same time slot. If you wait, you will be too late. (Ahem, this is another reason potlucks can be a great option!)

If you follow these guidelines, I have no doubt you will all have a wonderful time and grow that much closer together. It’s worth it!

Cheers!

Cavelle Martin
Cavelle Martin is a former CSR in the wholesale floral industry who once helped renowned designer Kristine Kratt, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, during a design show. Cavelle is the creator of “Mental Break - In Progress,” a blog she started in 2014, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, to help fight the stigma against mental illness.
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