By: Max Crampton Thomas
3 min read December 2020 —Traditionally, a company’s end-of-year holiday party is a celebration to toast to the accomplishments and successes of the prior 12 months. In a year marked with unprecedented challenges and roadblocks stemming from the worldwide pandemic, these end-of-year celebrations have perhaps never been more important in boosting company morale and providing some time to appreciate all those who have helped weather this storm. The challenge for most companies this year is to create the celebration in what is still primarily a remote working environment. Invest: spoke with some of Florida’s top business leaders to explore how their companies are innovating and adapting to celebrate the holiday season this year.
We celebrated 2020’s blessings with our traditional Christmas/Holiday dinner party in early December, at which we honored and thanked all of our team members and their spouses for another year of collaboration, comradery, and service. The only difference this year compared to prior years is that our out-of-state team members did not travel to participate in the celebration, which meant r participants were fewer and we missed those who stayed home. We will make up for the miss next year!
We had a successful October art festival with a limited number of artists and controlled access. After that, we had the Exotics on Las Olas, which was an exotic-car show. The annual Christmas on Las Olas will not happen in the form people have become accustomed to due to its size and the expense to keep everyone safe. We are now going back to our roots with the 12 Days of Christmas, which include retail and restaurant promotions, light shows and other Christmas events. It is smaller events spread across the first 12 days of December.
Our company was born in September so we have a birthday party every September, usually with a couple hundred people in our office. We had to cancel that this year. And it was heartwarming to see all of the notes from those customers missing the opportunity and looking forward to next year. Our departments have gone to virtual happy hours, which are probably a little safer.
As much as I love Zoom, it doesn’t bring as personal a connection as a face to face meeting. We’re not going to do the company dinner or holiday get-together that we’d normally do. It’s way too risky for the reward. Normally at our annual dinner, we give out milestone awards in five-year increments. We’re going to do that on a Zoom call with the entire company, and then we’re working with a caterer to create gourmet meals and deliver them to all of our team members.
This year, we thought of something really different to create a sentimental gesture for our employees since we could not host our company Christmas party, which usually includes over 450 people. We canvased our team members and asked them to submit recipes and stories of their fondest family food traditions. The Crum family contributed too, and we’re printing 400 “FrankCrum Family Recipe Books” for all to enjoy over the holiday. This exemplifies the family culture we have, and our admiration for our employees and their families.
For Thanksgiving, we had an early afternoon themed Happy Hour on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and let everyone take the rest of the day to begin their holiday weekend. We always discuss what we are thankful for and this year we added a twist with a game of “identify the refrigerator picture.” Lots of laughs! Otherwise, we have a Happy Hour every Friday at 4.30 p.m. For the December holidays, we usually go to Capital Grille. This year, we have sent an Uber Gift Card to each team member and will have a holiday virtual lunch together. Each person is going to also send in a baby picture of themselves so we can guess who it is. We are thankful our team has remained connected and close during 2020.
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