Fall brings tree color; falling leaves; bounty from the garden; crisp, cool days and evenings; apple cider; the scent of wood smoke; hunting; Beaujolais Nouveau wine; Halloween; Hannukah; Columbus Day; Yom Kippur; Thanksgiving; Ramadan and many more seasonal delights to celebrate.
Winter brings snow and sleet; Christmas; Kwanzaa; the scent of wood smoke; New Years; Boxing Day; Martin Luther King Day; St. Valentine's Day; St. Patrick's Day; and many more seasonal delights to celebrate.
Teams in various organizations have organized these events for the celebration of fall and winter holidays and traditions.
- Bring in a Thanksgiving luncheon for all company members complete with turkey and all the traditional side dishes. Local grocery stores are a great source for reasonably-priced Thanksgiving dinners.
- Hold a food drive for the needy during both November and December.
- Schedule a Halloween costume contest and parade with all staff members voting for their favorite costumes.
- Serve cider and doughnuts from the local cider mill at break one day shortly after the first frost.
- For the December traditions and holidays, sponsor a dessert table for all employees. People may bring desserts, if they choose, but the company should also order enough treats to serve all employees.
- Hold a window decorating contest or a work station decorating contest that is judged by a committee and award prizes for the best decorated work spaces.
- Many organizations sponsor Secret Santa activities. Employees who want to participate, pick the name of another employee. Secret Santa events are scheduled over several weeks during which the Secret Santa slips gifts in secret to their pal. Or, some groups ask the Secret Santa to supply one gift at an ending event. The gift is often representative of the person's work or hobbies. Always set a price limit, usually less than $25.
- Serve heart-shaped cookies for Valentine's Day during your employee lunch break.
- For St. Patrick's Day, promote the wearing of the green. One company's Activity Committee cooks and serves a traditional lunch of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. At this feast, the group sells bottled water with proceeds earmarked for the March of Dimes.
Ideas for holiday celebrations that create traditions in your organization are endless. These ideas will help you get started, but your company culture and the interests of your employees must guide your holiday celebrations and traditions.