It’s Time to Celebrate! How to Make the Holidays Special From Your Home Office
Whether you’re new to working from home or a veteran, the holidays can pose special considerations. With work obligations and the focus on making the holidays magical for your family, how can you find the time and space to make the holidays fun and meaningful for you? And, what’s the best way to get into the holiday spirit without some of the office-based traditions that can make this season feel special? As a work-from-home veteran, here are my top tips for celebrating the holidays from your home office without missing a beat.
Create New Traditions
The first year I worked at home during the holidays, I missed the office holiday lunch and gift exchange. By the next year, I knew the key was to find a way to replace those traditions with new ones that made sense from my home office. Think about the office parties and activities that you cherished and how you might replace them this holiday season. For example:
- Gather a few like-minded work-from-home moms and organize a holiday lunch at a local restaurant.
- Organize a virtual gift swap or Secret Santa exchange with co-workers or remote team members.
- Host an online cookie recipe swap or a Zoom cookie decorating party.
- Invite your virtual co-workers to a Zoom-based holiday party — maybe even wearing your best ugly Christmas sweaters! Encourage everyone to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, snacks or toast with some bubbly for more festivity.
- Choose a holiday-themed book and organize a Zoom call to discuss it or gather with your children and have someone read a children’s Christmas story.
- Ask your virtual co-workers to join forces with you to adopt a needy child or family to shower with holiday gifts.
- Launch a holiday scavenger hunt where co-workers or friends search for holiday-related items around their neighborhoods and share pictures. This tends to work best if you designate a specific time frame to conduct the search and host a Zoom party to share the images. Appoint one or two people to serve as judges. Provide virtual prizes ready at the end.
Bring the Holidays Into Your Office
One of the things you may miss by working from home is seeing holiday decorations around your office. Well who says you can’t decorate your home office with some fun decor, Christmas smells and music and maybe even a small tree? And wouldn’t it be fun to see how your remote teammates decorate and celebrate holidays? Here’s are some fun ideas to consider:
- Decorate your home office space so that you can enjoy the visuals of the holidays. Even just a few lights or some greenery can change your desk enough to give you a merry holiday feeling.
- Find a holiday-scented candle and burn it in your workspace.
- Get a small Christmas tree for your desk or office.
- Play carols in the background as you work.
- Wear your holiday sweaters and clothes for Zoom calls.
- Ask your co-workers to share pictures of their holiday decorations in a private online community or take turns on zoom to show your holiday decor and Christmas tree.
Schedule Time for Holiday Rituals
When you work at home, it’s easy to let work bleed into your personal time. For much of the year, that might be OK, but it’s essential to carve out time specifically to participate in holiday-related traditions at the end of the year. Planning is the solution to this dilemma.
Find a quiet moment well before the rush of holiday activities and think about the things you want to do this holiday season. Your regular roster of holiday parties and travel will likely be smaller than usual this year due to COVID. Think about how you want to spend that extra time. Make a few notes about holiday must do’s, things you’d like to squeeze in, and new ideas you want to add. Here are some items you might jot down:
- Wrapping presents
- Completing your holiday cards
- Watching special holiday movies
- Making crafts with your kids
Next, grab your calendar and schedule a specific time to do the things that make the holidays feel special. When you set aside time, be generous in your time estimate. If you expect to need 90 minutes for baking, plan two or three hours, so you don’t feel rushed. When the time you designated for holiday activities rolls around, honor it. You’ll be glad you spent the time marking the holidays.
Make it a Merry Christmas!
The extra time that comes from working at home is a gift that makes it easier to balance professional pursuits and family life. But, it can feel lonely during the holidays. Taking a few steps in advance can help you fill your holidays with cheer and make them memorable and meaningful.
Tell me what you do to make the holidays special from your home office.