Last minute Christmas

last minute gift and travel ideas for Christmas

An office activity to mark the season of giving

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No one at the office is particularly interested in doing a gift exchange this year because it seems frivolous. The part that feels good is the giving, but receiving a gag gift or candles, socks or wine doesn't do anything for us. Instead we'd like to give physical gifts to people in need and I am way overthinking the logistics. There are fewer than 10 of us. A fair spending cap would be 20 USD per person. Our holiday party is super low-key: The office will have decorations all month (not red and green, but more of a festive-solstice blue theme), and during a routine weekly meeting we will devote an hour or two to marking the holiday season.

In the past, a white elephant exchange was attempted. It was OK, but mostly "meh." Conversations about exchanging names for a Secret Santa were mostly like, "I'm willing. Whatever is fine," mixed with a lot of, "meh. I don't need more junk from people who don't know what I like."

Planning this year's low-key celebration falls very obviously and entirely to me due to my position, and I want to start an ongoing tradition that people feel good about; they'll enjoy being stuck at this meeting because we're giving gloves to a shelter, or putting together care packages, or...? Picture: we're eating cupcakes and doing something charitable (an activity) for which we've all contributed ~$20. Any idea what that might look like? What has your office done that seems worthwhile?

The alternative may be, actually, to do nothing and really not celebrate the holidays at all. This is a viable option, but it also seems a wasted opportunity. Like I said, I'm hoping to start a tradition that will outlast me. People will proudly say, "Every year, we [take an hour or two to do this cool, interactive, low-key thing in the spirit of giving]." NB: we all like each other and have huge, caring hearts and no particular fondness for Christmas or materialism.

I really like the care package idea, but not sure how to pull it off. I'm open to any ideas for making this meeting/party a success. Please help me simplify my thoughts around this and point me towards some resources.

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