Celebrate the Bright Spots of This Strange Year

Maybe next year.  As a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, I got way too used to that phrase for most of my life.  In 2016, it was finally THE year.  No longer would those three words be the mantra I heard every September (and yes, often earlier) leaving Wrigley Field after the final pitch of the season.  And yet, here we are just four years later, and “maybe next year” is something we all hear nearly every day.  Weddings, reunions, and now, holiday parties- all pushed back as we deal with a global pandemic that has forever changed life as we know it.

While we look ahead to time with immediate family, and others in our close circles, I encourage you to remember your co-workers.  We may not be together for holiday parties or office gatherings, but here are a few ideas to help bring joy to those we spend so much time with throughout the year.

Write a Satirical Poem

Try writing a few clever lines to make people laugh.  Start with a 4-line poem, just two sets of rhymes.  Ask your wisecracking coworkers to do the same.  Use your next team meeting to read them aloud.  You can even ask people to vote on which one is best and reward the winner with a prize.  Lots of words rhyme with “TP” and “Zoom” and “team”.  And here’s a freebie, “appetizer” rhymes with “sanitizer” since that is a must for every 2020 reflection.

Recognize Big Events From 2020

Virtual baby showers or e-mail recognition of 30 years at the same company are not quite the same as when done face-to-face.  Recognize the good things that have happened in what has been a challenging year for nearly everyone.  Take time to congratulate someone again on a personal milestone and remind them you will celebrate the right way as soon as possible.  If nothing significant comes to mind, just a thanks for handling the extra work and burden that fell upon everyone’s shoulders will be appreciated.

“Remember that time when…”

I have long believed that the first half of most company holiday events is spent reflecting on previous years, while the second half is when new memories are made to be remembered (or forgotten) for years to come.  While new memories may not be made at holiday parties this year, you can still look back to all the fancy dresses, ugly sweaters, former co-workers, and the time you crammed two too many adults into a cab to the after party.

Even in the years the Cubs didn’t make the playoffs, or give us reason to cheer past July, they had their moments.  A spectacular catch against the ivy.  The debut of a surefire Hall-of-Fame prospect.  A walk-off home run.  As 2020 comes to a close, remember those moments as we all eagerly await the chance to safely celebrate together again.  Until then, I appreciate you for reading and cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!

For further discussion, contact Zach Pastko at zpastko@wcapra.com.