Virtual trivia games, cook-offs, Olympic competitions, and movie nights. On-site scavenger hunts, potluck dinners, ugly sweater competitions, and karaoke. All of these fantastic activities can provide a momentary escape from reality—a temporary antidote to the pandemic. But if what you seek is lasting relief, holiday team building through charitable giving may be the ultimate cure-all.
In study after study and survey after survey, millions of American employees have reported being stressed and depressed. As a result, they have less energy and little interest in social, non-work related activities. Many suffer insomnia—tossing and turning from anxiety about current family crises and future financial woes. Sadly, some have turned to alcohol and drug use in order to cope. And the emotional strain has increased instances of reported domestic violence against spouses, partners, and children.
As their families imploded, a lot of workers burned out and then dropped out altogether. Called “The Great Resignation,” millions of workers have quit their jobs and turned the American economy on its head.
Holiday havoc: staycations
In some communities families are still being urged to forgo holiday travel to minimize exposure to and transmission of the coronavirus. Among those who comply with this appeal, the subsequent online family feasts may give a whole new meaning to “Zoom fatigue”. And the prolonged yearning to be with absent loved ones may make this year’s holiday blues more pervasive and more severe than ever.
Holiday horrors: vacations
Overbooked, stuffy planes. Overcrowded, noisy trains. “Are we there yet” madness in the family car! Before the pandemic, holiday travel was already pretty stressful. But now it’s downright frightening no matter how or where you go. In the air there’s gridlocked airport security checks, unexpected flight cancellations, and dangerously unruly fellow passengers. And on the ground: highway road rage, random gun violence, and hysteria over Covid-19 masks, vaccines, and virus-exposure! Heaven help us!
Holiday healing: charitable giving
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . .means a little bit more!
Thus spoke the Grinch in the 1957 children’s classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. And never was a truer word spoken! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your holiday could mean a little bit more this time? Imagine creating an oasis of holiday bliss that will linger well into the new year? Welcome to the world of charitable team building!
Charitable team building: giving and receiving
Homeless shelters and social service organizations across the country are struggling to provide basic provisions for families in their communities. Some are chronically impoverished, but others were middle income families who are suddenly victims of the pandemic’s economic impact.
You and your colleagues can relieve some of that strain in your own hometown by spreading some much needed holiday cheer. For example, you can partner with a local restaurant and Donate-a-Dinner to a cash-strapped family, or even to some of your favorite first responders.
Just picture it: harvest-size tables laden with all of the traditional fare: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pies. Or, how about an assortment of non-traditional, vegan dishes like sweet potato casserole, vegan stuffing, and sautéed Brussels sprouts? You can fashion the feast to suit any palette!
Holiday hunger games
On-site or remotely, your staff will form teams and compete in a series of activities designed to sharpen their communications skills and inspire each participant to become a real asset to their teammates. The teams’ goal: to amass the biggest and best donation. And in partnership with a local charity, you’ll fill the bellies of grateful recipients whose hearts will be filled as well.
But the biggest winners may be your employees. That’s because this kind of camaraderie bonds teams together professionally and personally, giving everyone a sense of belonging. And during these challenging times everyone needs to feel needed, valued, and appreciated as a company asset.
And remember: this donation will last long after the dishes are empty. Your kindness will strengthen the hearts and boost the morale of both givers and receivers for a long, long time. That’s how holiday team building can heal!