Do's and don'ts for celebrating the holiday season at work

Do's and don'ts for celebrating the holiday season at work

It’s that time of year when families and friends around the country gather to celebrate the holidays. But in our multicultural society where teams are comprised of people from a range of backgrounds and religions, how do you celebrate the holidays at work? The following four pointers can help you navigate this festive season:

  1. Do be sensitive of other people’s cultures and beliefs. It’s important to understand that your coworkers may celebrate different religious or culturally significant days than you. For example, even though may you celebrate Christmas, some of your co-workers may celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or some other feast. What’s more: These celebrations may take place at a different time than your own. That’s why it’s wise to never assume your colleagues celebrate the same feast as you and always be respectful of others’ holiday traditions. 

  2. Don’t overspend on gifts. If you have a small team, you might want to give your coworkers gifts. However, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it — otherwise it could get expensive. In addition, in her article titled “6 Rules for Dealing With the Holiday Season at Work” for The Balance Careers, Dawn Rosenberg McKay advises participating in a Secret Santa gift exchange. This involves getting a group of people together who want to take part and letting each person pick someone else to buy a gift for. Again, it’s advisable to set a price range for the gifts. 

  3. Do remain professional at the office party. The office party can be a lot of fun, but keep in mind that it’s still a professional event — not a night out with your friends. Remember: Your supervisor is likely to be there, as well as other managers, so you’ll want to make a good impression. That’s why you should dress appropriately, refrain from overindulging on food or drink, and leverage the time to network with people who can help you advance your career. 

  4. Don’t let holiday celebrations impact your performance. During the holiday season, there are often more networking events, parties, and celebratory dinners than usual. Enjoy them — but make sure that you’re in good shape when you go to work the next day. Arriving late and bleary eyed isn’t going to do your performance any good. 

Regardless of your personal background and beliefs, the holiday season is a time to enjoy with your colleagues. So keep these do’s and don’ts in mind to successfully navigate everything from gift giving to the office holiday party while still maintaining your performance and professionalism. 


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