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The Christmas Countdown vs COVID – keeping your staff festive this season

Pexels Ekaterina Bolovtsova 5970870 (1)

Aisling Harrison Blog, Holiday, Christmas...

With exactly 4 weeks to go until Christmas Day, it’s safe, but sad, to say we’ve all had to adapt our festive traditions this year.

2020 has been full of enough misery so we’re not going to dwell on how COVID has ruined Christmas, we’re going to look at how we can salvage the festivities and oh what fun we can still have at work.


Even in Tier 1 restrictions, mass gatherings are forbidden and the maximum number of people who can meet in a restaurant for a meal is 6. For medium and large businesses, an event for the whole company to celebrate Christmas is just not feasible this year.

For many businesses, the Christmas party is not just about celebrating Christmas and toasting the New Year, it’s an opportunity to bring all employees together and review the success of the year as well as announce any exciting plans for the New Year.

Just because this cannot be announced and celebrated in person, businesses could still host a virtual presentation to let their staff know that despite the adversity, what they have accomplished this year.

Make it silly! Scrap the usual prizes for people who have sold the most, and acknowledge who out of your staff had the best lockdown haircut or who was the worst at adapting to Zoom meetings!


A workplace Christmas favourite, which can still go ahead this year, as long as hand washing and distancing are ensured to eradicate any close contact or contamination.

Instead of allocating someone to walk around the workplace with names in a hat, use a name generator online to assign Secret Santa’s. It’s quick, easy and contamination-free!

It’s a laugh and doesn’t have to be expensive. The hardest part with Secret Santa is actually keeping it a secret!


While Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year for many, others less fortunate find it an incredibly difficult and lonely ordeal, which is only going to be exacerbated by the COVID restrictions.

Due to the pandemic, an overwhelming amount of charities have suffered a reduction in donations and are operating on a much lower volunteer workforce.

So, why not encourage staff to do a festive fundraiser? Christmas Jumper Day 2020 is coming up on Friday, 11th December, which raises funds for Save The Children. Or how about a Christmas raffle or quiz to raise money for a charity?

Right now may be an awkward time to ask their staff for money, especially if they were furloughed or have experienced job losses in the household. However, a pound or two from everyone in your building can go a really long way for someone in need.


If you can’t take your team out for a Christmas meal, bring the food to you and treat your employees to a takeaway!

A slap-up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings may be difficult to fit in during a lunch break, but a naughty but nice takeaway may help raise the festive cheer.


Now, usually, when it comes to Christmas decorations and music, there are two extremes. Those who cannot wait to start throwing tinsel around and blasting Bublé, and those who want to leave it until the last possible moment so as not to lose the momentum.

But with 2020, decking the halls may be a welcome distraction for your teams. Even for the Scrooges … complaining about pine needles and fairy lights is better thinking about COVID!


Christmas and the festive period will be different this year. But one thing that remains the same, is that it is a time of year to be grateful for what you have, sharing the love and looking forward to a brighter future.

Hopefully, this time next year we’ll have less restrictions, masks and bubbles, and plenty more reindeers, mistletoe and baubles!