Daily life has become a constant whirlwind of change. Glorious and glamorous. Exciting. Exhilarating. Dramatic. Devastating. We could all use a breather, right? So, how about Christmas in July holiday team building?
Decking the halls for extra dough?
Money is the great motivator for a lot of things. During the summer, Memorial Day and Independence Day sales rake in lots of cash from patriotic American consumers every year. So no doubt a modern-day gimmick like Christmas in July sounds like the ultimate marketer’s ploy, right? Wrong! Turns out it’s not a modern day idea nor is it a marketing scheme.
The idea was the brainchild of a girl’s camp owner in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. There was no snow because this was a summer camp, but that didn’t stop Fannie Holt. As one of the founders and directors, contriving whimsical and fun activities was a part of Holt’s job—and typical of her wonderful personality.
So on July 24th and 25th in 1933 the denizens of the Keystone Camp in Brevard celebrated the first American Christmas in July! Campers decked the halls, cabins, campgrounds, and everything else with traditional decorations. Everyone drank cocoa, sang carols, and some of the staff dressed up as Santa or his elves. And thanks to Holt, they even had faked snow made of swaths of fluffy cotton.
Falalalala a shopping spree is born
In 1940 the movie “Christmas in July” popularized the idea and by the 1950s it went viral, as we’d say today. While it remains an unofficial holiday, shopkeepers, large and small, embrace the idea with gusto. And because the pandemic shooed people away from their favorite malls, Christmas in July campaigns online are now a boon for millions of retailers.
Christmas in July at work
Of course, even if you’re not a retailer, this idea can still pay off for you. How? Through charitable team building. Now that your troops are back in the office, they may need help adjusting to it. Holiday team building is a great way to break the ice and renew old relationships.
Back-to-school supplies are always welcomed by financially stretched parents. Missions: Kids Care is a charitable team building workshop during which you accumulate “prizes” throughout friendly competitions to donate to local kids. Notebooks, pens, highlighters, calculators—these items add up and some families can’t afford them.
Picture the excitement of a housebound disabled neighbor getting a brand new wheelchair! Wheelcharity is a workshop during which you and your colleagues actually assemble a wheelchair for a social service organization to deliver to a disabled child or veteran.
And speaking of assembly: Rescue Buddies are stuffed animals you’ll actually assemble, stuff, and then hand off to first responders. They give the toys to children at the scenes of accidents, domestic violence incidents, and other tragedies. Imagine the happy tears of a child receiving a comforting stuffed animal after a traumatic experience. There are so many opportunities to give of your heart, energy, and resources—all while making someone’s quality of life better.
Charity begins at home
The spirit of generosity and the sense of community are good medicine for the soul. And after months of isolation, stress, and uncertainty, making and donating gifts for people who really need support will be amazingly therapeutic.
Your team will begin to gel and bond in ways they’d never have imagined. All because they took their eyes off of themselves and poured their hearts into the lives of needy neighbors.