December 14, 2009

Before I was working as a full time comedian and magician, I had a lot of jobs.  Some of these jobs were actually in offices.  Can you imagine me sitting in an office all day?  They even expected me to be there in the morning!  Obviously, if you know me, you know how long I lasted under those conditions.

However, just because you’re stuck in an office all day doesn’t mean Christmas fun can’t extend to your workplace. Depending on the environment where you work, it’s certainly possible to mix holiday fun with work.  If your boss doesn’t like it, scream Scrooge in his face and blame it on the eggnog the next day.

One obvious choice for some fun at the office during the holidays is to have a party. You could have several, in fact. How about a cookie exchange party? Plan to do this at lunchtime one day, and during that block of time, everyone brings several dozen cookies they made. You have to set a particular number of cookies for everyone to bring.  Here’s how it works:  Everyone has an empty plate, they go around the table picking up cookies that look good to them and place them on their plate. If everyone brought 3 dozen cookies, say, then everyone gets to take home 3 dozen cookies. This is not a particularly unique idea, but one that brings a bit of fun into the workplace.

Keeping in mind whether or not the public visits your workplace, you might choose to decorate. Why not have a Christmas tree decorating event? Everyone brings 6 ornaments and as a group activity, everyone decorates the tree. This is a good way to build team spirit and decorate your workplace at the same time.  Sure. it’ll probably piss off the Jews in your office, but my dad’s Jewish and he got over my family decorating for Christmas.  He even still sends me money.

Don’t forget to institute a “secret Santa” event at work, where you secretly buy gifts for someone and have some type of gift exchange.

However, ever heard of a “Santa’s helper” activity? Someone in the group has to begin this on the sly. Essentially, this first person (the only one in the know about how the whole thing began) puts together a little gift. Ideally, it’s a basket with a few gift items in it. They might be decorative items, baked goods,  bath items, or whatever else seems appropriate. Attach a card saying that “Santa’s helper” dropped by and brought these items. Now the person who received the “helper’s” gift must put together a little something for someone else and – again on the sly – deliver it to the next person. It continues until everyone has received a visit from “Santa’s helper”.

Nothing brings people together like a group activity designed to help others. What if your office-mates came up with an activity designed to help people less fortunate at the holidays? You might adopt a local family and everyone in the office purchases items for that family. You might choose to purchase Christmas trees for needy families. If the public visits your office often, you might even begin a “sharing” tree and people can bring items to put under the tree for needy families or children. As a group activity, the office workers can then deliver these items to the needy.  If you did indeed scream Scrooge in your boss’s face, you’ll be the one delivering the gifts.

The particularly festive office might want to have someone come in and do a cooking demonstration. If there are enough people interested, you can hire a cook or baker to come into your office on your lunch hour and do a demonstration or class. Say you want to bake but don’t know what to bake this year. A baker can come in and demonstrate cookies or other goodies you might not have thought to make. Or someone can come in with ideas and samples for the perfect Christmas meal. These ideas are perfect for the environment where people work many hours and are quite busy but still want to do their regular cooking and baking each year.

Of course, the best thing you can do is hire entertainment for your company’s holiday party.  It’s not too late!  I still have dates open and would love to come and entertain at your office or wherever you’re having this year’s party.  Simply go to Los Angeles magician and fill out a booking request form.

About the Author

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Zach Waldman is an internationally renowned stand-up comedian and magician who specializes in providing customized entertainment for exclusive private parties and corporate events.

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