The Highland Fayre Christmas Day

by Stewart 18. December 2013 00:20

We all have small family traditions and quirks that make our Christmas day special to us; whether it’s a particular decoration or a certain TV programme there is something that signifies Christmas for all of us.
 
This week talk in our office has turned to Christmas and we’ve compiled a list of our favourite festive traditions:
 
Carol’s Christmas doesn’t start until the 24th when her and her family finally get round to putting up the tree.
 
“We’ve never had it up before Christmas Eve, it’s the last Christmassy thing that we do in our house.”

Once that’s done the family sits down to a relaxing meal together.
 
When Stewart thinks of Christmas he immediately thinks of cooking dinner with his dad.
 
“I’m 25 now and have my own place but Christmas at my Mum and Dad’s is just too special to miss.
 
“I even have to wake up there on Christmas day so I don’t miss a minute of it.”

For Sam Christmas is all about popping the champagne at an hour that would usually be considered unacceptable.
 
“I just love the sound of a champagne cork popping, that means Christmas to me.”

David has a house full of Children so his Christmas is a bit different to some of our staff!

“It’s a madhouse round ours at Christmas but having kids means that we have new traditions together.

“Our favourite is leaving reindeer ‘food’ out for Santa’s helpers; once we’ve sprinkled it around the garden the children know it’s bed time which is great for us parents!”

 Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a family dispute.
 
For Clair her favourite tradition is playing games that usually end in a barney.
 
“We play 60 year old board games in the afternoon and somehow it always ends in an argument; that’s when I know it’s really Christmas.”

If you’re missing out on a family Christmas this year then at least send a fantastic present to say sorry! Have a look at our Family Christmas page.

Secret santa gifts under £20

by Stewart 9. December 2013 20:56

Secret santa is a lot of fun at Christmas time and buying presents can be enjoyable too!
 
Have a look at our favourite gifts for under £20:
 
Gift for her
At just £18.88 this spectacular strawberry hamper is filled with lots of lovely produce and is perfect for the sweet treat lover in the office.
 
With Ahmad Strawberry Sensation tea, Forest Feast Sumptuous Strawberries and Ovidio Italian sugar almonds there will even be enough to share!


A bottle of wine
You won’t fail to get it right with a nice bottle of wine; all you need to know is which colour!
 
You can even have the bottle personalised with a Christmas message to add an extra bit of festive sparkle to your gift.
 
Our personalised Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux and Chardonnay range from £15.54 to £17.94.

 
Hip flask
A hip flask is a stylish and useful present for anyone in the office and these days they come in lots of hilarious shapes.

Gauge the personality of your secret santa recipient and then go for a design that matches; a traditional engraved flask for the more mature gent or maybe something with sparkles for the young ones.

 
A wee Scottish hamper
Have you got a Scot in your office that is missing home at this time of year?
 
Our hamper packed with Walkers of Aberlour Sultana Slab Cake, The Kindness Bakery Handmade Shortbread Bites and Mrs Bridges Scottish Strawberry Preserve will transport them home again.

At only £19.50 it’s an ideal office present.

If in doubt buy something odd
Sometimes a secret santa present should be completely ridiculous!
 
If you don’t think your recipient would like fine food or a useful gift then there are some things that will always be funny.
 
A comedy mug or a set of reindeer antlers will be sure to get a laugh around the office and they won’t break the bank either.

To browse more gifts pop over to our hampers by price page.

5 experience days for the office Christmas party

by Stewart 3. December 2013 18:47

The Christmas party can be the best night of the year for you and your staff and so it should be!
 
If you want to take everyone on an exciting trip then have a look at our 5 favourite experience days for the office Christmas party:
 
Go-Karting
 
This is a great outing if you have lots of competitive types in your workforce as there’s nothing more likely to bring out a love of winning than a racetrack!
 
Take your whole team along for a day of competitions but remember to brief them on dress code first so that they don’t all turn up in black tie.

 
Comedy club
 
If you don’t think your employees will enjoy a day of high-speed racing fun then maybe a few laughs will be more to their taste.
 
Some comedy clubs offer cheaper rates for large groups and you’re always guaranteed a hilarious night out, whether your laughing with the comedian or at them.

Paintballing
 
If the team is full of young ones then let them burn off some steam by running around a field firing brightly coloured paint pellets at each other.
 
You can split the company into teams to really amp up the competition; everyone will love the chance to get the boss

Cocktail making

This is one for everyone!

There are very few people who don’t enjoy a cocktail or two throughout the festive period and you could even have a mixologist come to your office and teach you in house.

Just remember to have virgin cocktails for the drivers.

Salsa class
 
If there’s one thing that Strictly Come Dancing has taught us it’s that men love dancing too.
 
Ask your staff to dress up and take them for an evening of dance tuition with a professional; even if they’re wary to start off with they’ll soon be polka-ing with the best of them!

For great hampers to serve at your Christmas party head over to our office Christmas hampers page.

Employee motivation at Christmas

by Stewart 2. December 2013 23:44

Here are our five top tips to improve employee motivation this Christmas.
 
1.  Give the gift of flexibility

In a survey by Canada Life Group 36% of UK workers stated that flexible working hours would improve their productivity.
 
If you can’t allow flexitime all year then Christmas is the ideal time to let your staff choose when they work; time to see family, buy gifts and go to school plays will mean your staff are focussed at work.

2. Deck the… desks

Spending eight hours a day in the office during the festive season could be depressing without a bit of Christmas cheer.

Darren Tracey of staffmotivationmatters.co.uk suggests running a competition for the most festive desk.
 
This will encourage interaction between staff and a small, inexpensive prize may be all the motivation they need.

3. Ask about their life

Paul Jewitt Harris, practice director at Lane4, says that chatting to your staff about their day as well as asking them about their Christmas plans is great for raising spirits.

If you’re a SME then financial motivation may not be possible but it costs nothing to show interest in someone else.

4. Give a gift

There’s a lot to be said for the traditional approach to staff motivation. According to a Forbes article from Vicki Salemi happy workers are 180% more energized than their unhappy counterparts.

If you want to spread the Christmas cheer amongst your staff then give them a Christmas hamper full of luxury goodies for the last week at work before the holidays; a quick mince pie can do wonders to improve happiness!

5. Remember the New Year
Even the most dedicated staff can get the January blues.
 
Wayne Harrington from Edenred says:
“Spreading the motivation programme across the festive period into the New Year banishes January blues traditionally associated with the return to work and motivates staff for the year ahead."
 
An annual membership to the cinema or national trust is a great motivational tool and lasts the whole year!


For a selection of lovely hampers visit our Corporate Christmas Gift page.

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