The holidays are upon us, in our homes and in our workplaces. If the traditional office holiday party elicits a been-there-done-that sort of feeling, we encourage our CloudVO partners and friends to shake things up with events and projects that build community both inside and outside of your space. Here are 14 tips for spreading holiday cheer and giving back to your community inspired by the community managers from our sister company, Pacific Workplaces (PAC). 1. Potluck Lunch Keep things low-key with a potluck lunch. Invite employees and members to join and have each person bring something. This is a great addition to any of the other events, drives, or contests you’re planning to hold in your space. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring members together to enjoy food and chat. Themes can be around a specific holiday or just to celebrate your community. 2. Charitable Drive This holiday season, several PAC locations are hosting charitable drives for clothing, food, coats and jackets, sleeping bags, blankets, toys, monetary donations, socks and more. The East Bay spaces have a competition to see who can collect the most food donations for the local food bank, the San Mateo location is holding a relief drive for those affected by the California wildfires, and Greenhaven is doing a blood drive. The Sacramento Capitol location is doing a donation drive for My Sister’s House, an organization that helps women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a safe haven, job training, and community services. 3. Celebrate Member Strides PAC Sunnyvale is hosting a New Year’s Social and “champagne day” to celebrate members whose businesses have made great strides during 2018. Members of the space have published books, had multiple FDA approvals and landed major accounts, so the community wants to celebrate with them. 4. Workspace Decorating Contest Bring holiday cheer to your shared workspace by holding a decorating contest. Encourage members to decorate their dedicated desk, meeting room, or office in an effort to win best décor. Winners can be voted on by community managers and the award ceremony can take place during a holiday activity. 5. Gift Wrapping Stations One of the simple joys of the holiday season is wrapping presents in cheerful paper and ribbons. Make it easy for members to wrap their gifts (and keep them secret) with an in-house wrapping area. Pleasant Hill and Palo Alto PAC teams create gift wrapping stations or rooms for members. PAC provides the wrapping paper, bows, gift tags, tape, hot cider, snacks and holiday music. 6. New Year’s Wish Board A wish board is a great way for members to participate in something and have it displayed for everyone to see. In preparation for the new year, have members fill out a paper star, snowflake or other design with their 2019 resolutions and anything they’re looking forward to in the next year. 7. Ugly Holiday Sweater Day Spark fun and laughter all day long with an ugly holiday sweater day. This is also the perfect opportunity to snap some pics for social media. 8. Care Bags Holiday traditions at NextSpace San Jose include making care bags for the homeless. These bags are filled with everyday essentials, such as socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, snack bars and hygiene items. 9. Secret Santa A Secret Santa is a fun way to spread holiday cheer. The Bakersfield team makes Secret Santa gift buying easier on members by displaying a poster in the lounge showing all the Secret Santa participants’ names and “Things I Like” underneath each name. If you want to add a new twist to your workspace Secret Santa, try doing a “modern” secret Santa where members exchange e-gift cards. No one has to worry about running around and shopping for something. Plus, who doesn’t love Target or Amazon? Tip: You can still draw names the old-fashioned way. 10. Holiday Tree In Palo Alto, PAC members participate in a group tree decoration and lighting event, complete with popcorn strings, ornaments, tinsel and lights. 11. Gratitude Projects You may have heard of a gratitude jar, where people write down things they’re grateful for and put them in a jar to be read later. Pacific Workplaces San Mateo is putting a twist on the practice with a Thankful Tree, where members can write what they are thankful for and display as little notes on the tree. 12. Cocktail Classes In San Francisco, PAC VO member company SF Mixology does various cocktail-based events for the space’s annual holiday party. This year, they’re teaching a cocktail class for members. 13. Giving Tree The San Mateo PAC team has an annual Giving Tree to helps kids in need. The tree has a list of children’s names and what they need (basketball, toothbrush, backpack, etc.). Members can choose a name and supply the requested items. 14. Here Comes Santa PAC Capitol in Sacramento invites Santa to make an appearance in the space. They have a member who volunteered for Santa duties and they invite parents to bring a small pre-wrapped, pre-labeled gift before the event for Santa to give to their child(ren). It’s a great photo-op and a good way to spread the holiday cheer to members and their families. However you celebrate the holidays in your workspace and home, be safe and may your days be cheery and bright. Happy Holidays from all of us at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces. Written by Cat Johnson and Sasha Bonar.