“Because it makes us happy!”
That’s the answer one of our law firm’s assistants gave to the partner who innocently questioned the need to put up this year’s Christmas tree — since hardly any clients have come to the office since the start of the pandemic.
We Could Use a Little Holiday Spirit
Let me start by saying that I love the holidays. As a Christmas baby, born on December 23 (yes, everyone ripped me off when it came to presents), I have always associated this time of the year with a big family, friends, birthday cake, lots of hugs, and homemade Greek Christmas cookies.
Given COVID-19, I have come to terms with this year’s holiday season looking a whole lotta different but still filled with a whole lotta love.
Last year — my first year at the firm — I asked for a small budget to buy new ornaments and manage our holiday decorations. The managing partner granted my request, and I put up our Christmas tree. It was a hit.
This year, undoubtedly, our work environment has changed. Energy levels are lower because we’ve lost our sense of normalcy and routine. Whether one celebrates Christmas or not, our brains associate the season with happiness and warmth. Christmas tree lights magically brighten our space, and the shiny ornaments add a sparkle to our day. Holiday decorations can raise spirits and remind us of more carefree days. Perhaps this year, we need that holiday spirit more than ever.
So, this year, the Speigel Nichols Fox LLP Christmas tree reemerged in all of its glamour and joy.
As I left the office after finishing decorating, I noticed the cleaning staff taking pictures of the Christmas tree. They were wearing masks, so I could not see their full faces, but their eyes were “smizing.”
The next day at the office, I saw more smiles. I heard people talking with one another about the Christmas tree and how they had decided to decorate their homes, too. Our office’s aura had changed. I recognize that a few holiday decorations don’t change the pandemic’s impact — yet, even for a little while, something as small as the Christmas tree can help offset some of the gloominess.
Why decorate the office Christmas tree? It is about office morale. For me, it is also about giving back some sense of normalcy, especially for our dedicated clerks and assistants, who have supported me throughout my first year of practice and who continue to come to the office a few days a week. It’s the feel-good factor. It’s an upward curve on people’s faces, even under a mask.
Decorating the tree is my expression of holiday spirit: an opportunity to give back to my work family.
And, in keeping with a millennial lawyer’s habits, here is a picture of our tree:
How are you decorating your office this year? Please post your pictures @attnyatwork or on our Facebook page.
Subscribe to Attorney at Work
Get really good ideas every day for your law practice: Subscribe to the Daily Dispatch (it’s free). Follow us on Twitter @attnyatwork.
Looking for Gift Ideas?
“Five Useful and Stylish Gift Ideas for Female Attorneys on Your List” by Melanie Lippman
“Technology Treats to Brighten Year’s End” from our Tech Tips contributors