Celebrating Christmas in a Cost-of-Living Crisis

Celebrating Christmas in a Cost-of-Living Crisis

Nothing is business as usual at the moment and a no-expense-spared Christmas bash seems like a decadent throw-back to past times. When all eyes are on the smart meter at home, frivolous gifts may seem a kick in the teeth to some. Without going 100% Scrooge what can employers do to celebrate the festive season in a sensitive and meaningful spirit?

Making smart choices for a festive celebration

Be realistic about the expense involved in a Christmas party. An office party in a smart gastro pub might have to wait and instead opt for a more economical (and just as fun) shindig somewhere else. Firstly, who enjoys the dried-out turkey dinner with colleagues? You could save a fortune by inviting a really good catering company to your premises or what about an uber-cool food truck rocking up for lunch? If you have some outside space you could create a market feel with mulled wine and festive snacks. If you want to get out of the office think about an activity experience or a trip on a heritage railway together. Make sure the time counts and it’s an experience people will remember. A full Christmas dinner is not obligatory and they are always over-priced and normally below par. Be creative this Christmas.

Make Christmas gifts count

When times are hard, no one wants a joke present or a generic gift pack. Think about helping out with your team’s family Christmas. Perhaps a local food hamper, tickets to a family day out or just a nice bottle of wine. These can be shared with guests and may relieve a little of the burden of Christmas at home. Many companies now opt for a charitable donation and it is generally very popular with staff. Allocate a budget for Christmas gifts and ask who the money should be sent to. You could combine this with a collection for a local food bank or a box to donate toys to children in hospital. Bring back the true spirit of Christmas and have a little festive fun whilst you do!

Don’t let Christmas in the office become an additional burden

For some people Christmas can be tough. Some people don’t have big family get-togethers, some people are terrified of the cost and for some it may be tinged with sadness and loss. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate, but if individuals don’t appear to be embracing the season, perhaps they have things on their minds.

Be mindful of any costs that may come up. Save the Children’s brilliant Christmas Jumper Day raises money for a great cause but not everyone has (or wants to buy) a jumper and there’s nothing worse than being accused of being a scrooge when you’re saving every penny. Raffles, bakesales, even rounds of drinks after work can create a very stressful situation for some. No one should feel pressure to spend money at work and at the moment many people are struggling.

The best things in life are free!

Not able to dish out a bonus or even a bottle of bubbly this year? Give back a few hours. Letting people leave early is wonderful when we’re busy getting ready for Christmas. Can you stagger a Christmas shopping morning across December to help people get ahead? Leaving at 4pm rather than 6pm gives two valuable extra hours with the family (or in the pub!). Working from home can be a godsend to those juggling family, so perhaps encourage WFH in December, saving the bleak commute in the dark. Be flexible and make everyone’s lives that bit easier this Christmas – your team will thank you!