49. Holidazed and Confused

December is either a magical, mystical month or humans are so tired of the cold and dark that we have evented no less than 40 sacred or secular celebrations – all packed into the month of December – at least according to Wikipedia!


Happy Holidays – well, at least Holidays with more ease, meaning and joy.  On this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our hosts tackle the holidays at work.

How do you feel about the holidays – are you a scrooge and don’t enjoy the holidays or just do not want to participate?  Are you a Tiny Tim and do it out of guilt?  Or are you a Cindy Lou Who from Whoville – just spilling over with holiday joy?  As listeners know, we think whoever you are is just spectacular – so embrace it, come to terms with it and make the holidays into a time that works for you.

We can really step in the metaphorical “it” during the holidays – as evidenced by Crina’s tale of coming into the office early one morning to decorate her office (and those of others) with trappings of the Christmas spirit.  Unfortunately, her ardor (and good intentions) did not have the desired effect as not all of her co-workers shared her enthusiasm and wanted to live in a Christmas wonderland for the next several weeks.

Holidays are complicated – some of us are depressed and some are excited and some struggle with big issues from childhood that affect our holidays.  There are good reasons that some of the best episodes of The Office are about the holidays. People can be really messed up.

Our hosts tackle gifts, parties, activities and collective days off – at work – during the holidays,

Gifts present an interesting power dynamic.  Some people feel that they should not give their bosses a gift and that gifts flow down.  And if that is your belief – that is just fine.  Alternatively, if you are a gift giver and you find joy in that, do it – up the ladder, down the ladder, and across the ladder (and that should be a thing – across the ladder).  Kirsten shares her stories of co-workers who give really fun, uplifting gifts – and her admission that she knows people at her workplace do not participate in gift giving, but she does not know who they are – and that is just fine.  You will hear that a lot in this episode – what works for you is JUST FINE!  Whatever you do – do not spend a lot of money!!

Most employees dread parties and with good reason.  Some of us feel uncomfortable interacting with our co-workers in an entirely different way, some people misbehave at parties and some people just do not like a party.  Parties can be a great time for team – building and setting office culture – particularly inclusion of all employees.  These kinds of parties tend to have fun activities – and keep us out of the punch bowl.

Many workplaces choose to engage in a giving activity – adopting a family or a child for Christmas, working at the foodbank, delivering meals – these are all wonderful ways for co-workers to connect over something bigger than themselves. 

And then we have many folks’ favorite part – the collective days off where we can all stop and  take a deep breath.  We know these breaks are rejuvenating and necessary – and there is something really special when the whole workplace does it! 

Whoever you are, whatever you enjoy – make the holidays your own.  If you can make agreements with people about what the holidays look like in a way that works to give you more of what you want during the holidays – wonderful.  If not, remember you can make agreements with the best person to make agreements with – yourself.  Okay listeners – get out there and make some more ease, meaning and joy! 

And a good read:

Preparing for the Holidays During COVID-19