Discover traditions, histories, and unique ways to engage with your employees during this festive season.
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
Repeal Day commemorates the end of a 13-year-long Prohibition era in the United States, which began in 1920 following the ratification of the 18th Amendment.
This period saw a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages.
However, by 1933, public opinion had shifted, leading to the ratification of the 21st Amendment on Dec. 5, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending Prohibition.
Play jazz music in the office and complete the theme with some Roaring 20s decor. If you’re an in-office team, take everybody out for happy hour at a cocktail bar. Gift cards to local pubs, or for cocktail-making kits are a great thank you to employees.
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
Initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, International Volunteer Day was established to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism.
This day is an opportunity for volunteers, and the organizations they represent, to celebrate their efforts, share their values, and promote their work among their communities.
Arrange a company-wide volunteer day where employees can choose a local cause or charity to support. You could also set up a board to highlight individual volunteering achievements throughout the year.
For those who participate, consider gifting a personalized "Thank You" gift card, or offering to match donations to a charity of their choice.
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023 - Friday, Dec. 15, 2023
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem. King Antiochus destroyed the temple in 175 B.C. and outlawed the practice of Judaism. The Maccabees revolted. When they returned to the destroyed temple they found enough oil for just a single night. According to the Talmud, one of the Hebrew holy books, that oil somehow lasted eight nights.
Jews use a menorah, a candleholder with nine candles, to celebrate. They light the center candle, called the shamash, first. Then they use that candle to light one candle on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second night, and so on.
Jewish families celebrate with gifts, games, and traditional foods like latkes.
Invite employees to learn more about Hanukkah traditions and provide office treats like sufganiyots, which are a little like jelly donuts!
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023
Nobel Prize Day is observed in remembrance of the death of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.
In his will, he dedicated the majority of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prizes, awarded annually for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economic Sciences.
Use the day to celebrate your employees’ brilliance. Encourage departments to showcase their innovative projects or ideas. You can even hand out your own gift card prizes for the most intriguing projects to pursue in the new year.
Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023
Festivus, a playful holiday made famous by the television show "Seinfeld," actually owes its origins to Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe. The O’Keefe family celebrated Festivus as a secular, noncommercial alternative to Christmas.
The O’Keefe’s celebrated the day on a random day each year. And though there was no aluminum pole, there were other symbols like clocks, bags, Viking hats, and more. There was even an “airing of grievances” of sort, which the O’Keefe family recorded each year for posterity’s sake.
Set up a Festivus pole in the office and organize some team-building exercises as a more office appropriate nod to the “Feats of Strength”. You might want to skip the Airing of Grievances, though!
Monday, Dec. 25, 2023
Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, but it also embraces a wide range of secular traditions and cultural adaptations worldwide.
For example, the big, old, bearded guy in the red suit traces his origins back to a fourth century bishop whose feast day became a day for giving gifts. His modern getup, along with his magical reindeer, is rooted in Clement Clark Moore’s 19th-century poem “The Night Before Christmas.”
Meanwhile, we have German traditions to thank for Christmas trees, Scandinavian and Celtic revelers added the infamous mistletoe, and the British started giving Christmas cards back in the 19th-century.
Decorate the office with Christmas lights, put a Christmas tree in the corner, and hold a holiday party. Give your employees holiday cards and a gift card they can use to treat themselves. You should also consider things like food baskets, or personalized Christmas ornaments.
Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023
New Year's Eve marks the end of the Gregorian calendar year.
Celebrations and traditions vary worldwide, but many people make resolutions, watch fireworks, and hold a party with friends and family to countdown the last seconds to midnight.
Personalized planners and calendars for the new year are a great option for employees. You could also gift champagne, party poppers, and a gift card to a local bakery or eatery to help them celebrate.