We asked startups, Fortune 500s, and remote-reliant teams to share how they keep the holiday spirit alive at work.
Yesterday, we celebrated our third annual Secret Snowflake at PowerToFly! We wanted to know what other companies do to keep the holiday spirit alive at work, so we asked our partner companies to share one or two of things they do to celebrate. From spending quality time together in person (even when their teams are spread across multiple locations!) and giving back to their communities, to taking time to rest and recover for the new year (a couple of them even shut down between Christmas and New Years), their answers did not disappoint.
Read on to get an inside look at the many creative ways these companies celebrate the holiday season and kick off the new year!
Greenhouse — A New York City New Year.
Greenhouse SF Party
"At Greenhouse, we like to end the year on a high note and start the new year off right. To close out the year and celebrate our successes, each of our office hubs hosts their own holiday party and our distributed employees are given the opportunity to choose their own Greenhouse-sponsored activity. We love seeing each employee show their own personality through the photos that are posted on Slack the next day. As a distributed workforce with teammates all over the United States and Dublin, we don't always get to meet face to face. So, we like to ring in the new year together by bringing the entire Greenhouse family to our headquarters in New York City for Kickoff Week. During this week, we get to meet our fellow teammates in person, show off our unique knowledge at Trivia and karaoke night, and bond on both a company and team level."
[Learn more about Greenhouse.]
Quip — Cookies and camaraderie.
"This year, Quip held our fifth annual Holiday Cookie Cook-off. Quip employees brought in cookies to share with their coworkers and compete in categories including Most Millennial Cookie, Best Non-Cookie Cookie, and Grand Champion Cookie. More important than the baking and the voting, everyone at the company looks forward to eating all of the amazing cookies, and socializing with coworkers across the company."
[Learn more about Quip.]
Blockstack — White elephant and wacky socks.
"At Blockstack, we held a 'Fuzzy Socks White Elephant End of the Year Party' this year for both HQ and remote team members. We provide the fuzzy and patterned socks so that everyone who joined (team member and their families/partners) can wear them and feel included as part of the celebration, whether in person or remote. We played White Elephant with gifts provided by the company, so that we can swap gifts around. For remote folks, we ran a spreadsheet with fun descriptions of the gifts to intrigue remote folks to choose the present."
[Learn more about Blockstack.]
Braintree — Letters to Santa.
"At Braintree, every year we look forward to participating in Chicago Sun Times' Letters to Santa program. Every child deserves to get gifts for the holidays, so this is our chance to help make that a reality. We receive letters from local elementary schools, and Treeps sign up to help purchase gifts between $25-$30, ensuring every child has a happy holiday! This year we saw participation from over 180 employees, who provided nearly 350 gifts for local students."
[Learn more about Braintree.]
Dell — Random acts of kindness.
"At Dell, we close for the week of Christmas to give everyone time to relax and recharge before the new year. We also keep the holiday spirit alive through different team activities. This year, one of our teams is having an acts of kindness contest. Participants contributed $10-$20. Now they have until January 3rd to complete ten acts of kindness (e.g. giving up a parking space at the mall, or your place on line at the cashier, or any other). At the end, each participant will submit their top act of kindness and the team will vote on the #1 act. The winner gets to select the cause that the entry money is donated to."
[Learn more about Dell.]
T. Rowe Price — A "Holiday Giving Campaign."
"T. Rowe Price hosts an annual Holiday Giving Campaign, and every year, associates go above and beyond to make an impact. More than a dozen nonprofits around the world are supported each year by the firm's 7,000 associates. Giving and serving in the community are important aspects of T. Rowe Price's culture, and the Holiday Giving Campaign is a longstanding tradition that has grown along with the firm. Through donations and volunteerism, T. Rowe Price's associates make a difference in their local communities all year long—but the holiday season especially sparks a spirit of generosity and camaraderie. To learn more about T. Rowe Price's culture of giving read out latest report at, TRowePrice.com/CRReport."
[Learn more about T. Rowe Price.]
CarGurus — A top-secret, surprise private performance.
"Among many holiday traditions at CarGurus, such as donation drives, individual team celebrations, and Secret Snowflakes, we like to celebrate the start of the new year with a company-wide party! Last year we invited all 900 employees, along with a plus one, to the House of Blues, for a private surprise performance by Snoop Dogg! This year, we will keep up with our tradition by having our subsidiary company PistonHeads join us to partake in the holiday festivities. The live performance is still under wraps, but we cannot wait to share who it is. Follow us on our Instagram culture page, @cargurusculture, to see all of the fun that is about to come during the rest of the holiday season!"
[Learn more about CarGurus.]
Procore — A "Week of Giving."
"Towards the end of the year, each Procore office gets to celebrate, reflect, and give back in ways that are unique and special to our offices. But celebrating isn't all we do—our Austin office, for example, participates in a "Week of Giving" where we give back to the local community through donation drives, volunteering at local charities, and writing gratitude cards for children at SAFE, a human service agency in Austin serving the survivors of child abuse."
[Learn more about Procore.]
Vrbo — Unique themed parties + festive sweaters!
Vrbo's 2019 Haunted Holiday Soiree that was on Friday the 13th!
"Each Vrbo office around the globe is uniquely decorated and has its own holiday celebrations, but our One Team value is what brings us all together to reflect back on the year we've accomplished together. We gather in our most festive sweaters for a holiday version of our monthly companywide meeting with leadership, 'Table Talks,' to recognize achievements and discuss what we can look forward to in the new year. In Austin, we hosted the Latinos in Tech End-of Year Fiesta, which brought together 10+ tech companies to celebrate the city's strong and growing Latinos in Tech community. An Austin employee favorite is our holiday party that we've hosted Downtown at Moody Theatre for the past three years!"
[Learn more about Vrbo.]
VideoAmp — Contributing to the community.
"At VideoAmp, we celebrate the holidays and get into the Holiday Spirit by giving back! A few years ago, VideoAmp was a tiny company with roughly 17 employees, and one thing we all shared together was a commitment to people. "VideoAmp Gives Back" started off simple. At first, we worked with organizations that allowed us to volunteer, like the Salvation Army. Eventually decided to do everything in house during the holiday season: from lunch kits, hygiene products, and toy drives to sponsoring families' Christmases. All these events were recommendations from our employees, and as our company grew bigger (we went from 70ish in 2018 to over 200 employees in 2019), so did VideoAmp Gives Back!"
[Learn more about VideoAmp.]
Scout RFP — A sophisticated San Francisco soirée.
"To celebrate the holiday season, Scout RFP hosts a Holiday Party every year at a venue in San Francisco, where we are headquartered. Our employees who are remote or work in another office fly in, and everyone is invited to bring a plus one. We rent out a private section of the venue and have food and drink available to all our guests. It's so fun to see all of our coworkers outside of a work setting, dressed in cocktail attire, and with their plus ones."
[Learn more about Scout RFP.]
Intuit — A holiday market in support of small businesses.
Every December, Intuit puts on a Holiday Small Business Market, where local businesses and vendors are invited to Intuit campuses to showcase their creations and (hopefully) spark unique and creative gift ideas for Intuit employees. The event encourages support of local businesses, a sentiment in line with Intuit's mission of powering prosperity. Many of the local vendors are also small business customers of Intuit's QuickBooks product. Intuit also has a Toys for Tots drive in partnership with the Marine Corps and our team at Intuit Boise also partnered with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to write letters from Santa. For every letter written, Macy's will donate $2 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The team hand-wrote 378 letters!
[Learn more about Intuit.]
SeatGeek — Giving, giving, giving.
"Here at SeatGeek, the holidays are all about giving. We have an employee-run group internally called GiveGeek that organizes charitable events and donation opportunities for the company. This holiday season, GiveGeek has partnered with a few different organizations to create 3 unique opportunities for employees to give back to the community. From purchasing gifts for under-resourced children, to writing cards for local seniors and partnering with a local food drive, GiveGeek helps create opportunities for SeatGeek employees to make a positive difference in the community."
[Learn more about SeatGeek.]
Nextdoor — An end-of-year shutdown.
"At Nextdoor, we're scaling quickly and have offices/team members in over 10 locations around the world. In addition to some amazing Holiday parties, we're grateful to have been given the opportunity to implement an end-of-year shutdown and our offices will be closed until the first day back in the office on January 2nd. This allows our team members an opportunity to step away from all of the hard work we've put in at Nextdoor and reconnect with our community of friends and family."
[Learn more about Nextdoor.]