Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Enjoy The Spirit Of The Holidays

Starting around Thanksgiving you can find articles, cable shows and in-store demos about Christmas recipes, decorations and parties and tips for make-up, clothes and hair–all focused on the first 25 days of December, with a few things that can hang around through New Year’s Eve. There are also an abundance of articles about Holiday Hassles, Holiday Depression, Post-Holiday Depression, Holiday Debt and Holiday Stress.  December is also National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month, which is an optimistic effort by the Boy Scouts of America to counteract the rest of it by encouraging people to do a good turn daily, especially during December.

Workplaces vary too much for me to attempt (or presume) to give advice about how to avoid National Reduced Work Month.  However, that is a valid concern in many businesses and organizations.  Managers, supervisors and employees need to find ways to ensure that good work continues and customer, client and organizational needs are met, even though there are interruptions and increased social activities.

One of the best ways to make the month of December stress-free and hassle-free at work–and increase the fun of it for you and everyone else–is to accept it, participate in it appropriately and smile with good cheer. Don’t grumble, sigh heavily or hide in your work area to show how dedicated you are. It makes you look petty, judgmental and dull, whether that is fair or not.  

  • Whatever the policy is about gifts, food, decorations or parties, take part in the season in appropriate ways for you and your work.
  • When people are decorating, offer to help. Admire the decorations and comment on them more then once.
  • Get a soda or coffee for the main decorators as a way to say thanks.
  • Suggest simple rather than elaborate food or parties and offer to assist.
  • If people are allowed to bring desk-top decorations or items for a cubicle, workspace or office, sincerely compliment the festive effect.  
  • If someone brings cookies or other food, eat something or take it to save for later (whether you eat it or not.)  Compliment the person who went to the trouble of bringing the food.
  • Offer to help take down decorations. Get a soda or coffee for those who have done the work. End the season with a thank you.
  • Apply these concepts at home as well. Order delivery food on the day your family puts up decorations. Play Christmas music. Talk and act like Christmas is special, in whatever way it is special to you.

The bottom line: Don’t spend December griping about the holidays or talking about how depressing or stressful they are. The more you do that the less joy you’ll be able to find, even if it’s right in front of you. Enjoy each Christmas season from  now on–and help others enjoy the holidays, too.

December 1st, 2010 Posted by | Life and Work, Supervision and Management | 11 comments


  1. What an adorable dog! Love it! My mom has a Jack Russell Terrier that’s OK but he isn’t friendly. Tipper even looks like she’s smiling!

    We can’t decorate much in the work area but each person can bring a small item for the break room so that should look good. I sent the link to Mike because he is one of those who gripes about the holidays all the time, just to be doing it. Thanks for the reminders! 🙂

    Comment by denisek | December 2, 2010

  2. I don’t gripe about the holidays I just gripe about how much hassle it is and how much it costs. I’ll try to keep it to myself this year. OK Denise?

    Comment by Mike | December 2, 2010

  3. Tomorrow is decoration day for us. I’m bringing in some treats for the break room, but you inspired me to bring a cooler of ice and pop too. Our work goes on no matter what day it is, but I think we make the holidays good for most people, especially the ones who will be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our goal this year is to not have too much food around since no one wants to gain weight!

    Comment by P.A.H. | December 2, 2010

  4. I wear a pin or other Christmas decoration on my clothes a few times during the season and always get comments and a smile. You’re right that we shouldn’t waste the chance to have a good holiday.

    Comment by Careerist | December 2, 2010

  5. I don’t come to work to celebrate or party and don’t like the decorations. Sorry, but I prefer to not have that distraction. I can’t stop it but I don’t want to be required to be part of it or looked down on because of my opinions.

    Amendment, added at the request of the writer:
    I didn’t mean for that to sound so bitter. I like Christmas if it’s kept at home and not brought to work so much. I also don’t think anyone should be looked down on for working instead of standing around.

    Comment by R. T. | December 2, 2010

  6. That dog looks like a sweetheart! Have a good holiday season and thanks for your help this year. C.

    Comment by Apaloosa2 | December 2, 2010

  7. Good reminders. They’ve PC’ed the fun out of the holidays at my work. But, I promise to do a better job of enjoying what we do. I hope you have a good Christmas and a great 2011.

    Comment by SG9932 | December 2, 2010

  8. Tina says: Thanks to everyone for their comments. I love hearing from readers because it helps me know my articles aren’t just floating out into the Cosmos!

    I’ve written to each of you individually. Thanks again!

    Comment by TLR | December 2, 2010

  9. We aren’t supposed to do anything related to Christmas because we’re a government office. I wish we did more because I like coming to work and seeing decorations.

    Comment by angelheart | December 2, 2010

  10. Thank you! I caught myself mildly griping the other day and don’t even know why I was doing it, because I really do enjoy the holidays. You’re right, it can be a habit. Hope your holidays are good ones. Thank you for your help all year. H.D.

    Comment by NotaGrinch | December 5, 2010

  11. I manage a state government office with 50 plus employees. We have a lot of Christmas decorations and will be doing a big Pot Luck next week with a gift-exchange. Those that don’t want to participate don’t have to, but most do at least some things. Work gets done just fine, but we all make December a fun month at work. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    Comment by Sailor2 | December 5, 2010

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