The Halloween candy is slowly disappearing while the Christmas decorations are starting to make an untimely reappearance. Not to be a grinch, but am I the only one who isn’t quite ready to hang my wreath and exchange my pumpkin spice latte for a peppermint mocha?

Although most holiday preparations can (and should) wait until Thanksgiving is over, now is the perfect time to prepare for the holidays in the workplace and you don’t even have to involve tinsel or gingerbread to partake.


  1. Submit your holiday time off requests. Who likes lines during the holiday season? No one? While long lines seem to be synonymous with the holidays, there is one line that you can avoid by planning ahead. Avoid waiting in line behind your coworkers to have your time off request approved by submitting it ASAP. Not only will submitting it before the holiday rush allow you to finalize your travel plans, but it will also allow your manager to make the necessary schedule changes to ensure that productivity does not plummet along with the temperature this December.
  2. Communicate plans with your team. Come together as a team and discuss holiday vacation plans. Consider creating a group calendar marking when team members are planning on being out of the office, and keep an open dialogue throughout the next couple of months. Coordination, cooperation and communication are key as the holiday season approaches.
  3. Make arrangements. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to ensure that company productivity doesn’t suffer as a result of your absence. Alert your clients in advance of when you will be out of the office, and set your out of office to include when you plan on responding to emails and who they can contact while you are gone, if applicable. Arrange to have a trusted coworker who can you can direct questions to while you are away and reciprocate the favor when they take their time off.
  4. Wrap up your big projects. Gifts aren’t the only things that need wrapped this holiday season. Knowing that you and your team members will be spending more time outside of the office in the upcoming months, it is important to wrap up any lingering projects now. Don’t let an unfinished project prevent you from enjoying time with friends and family.
  5. Get ahead. Regardless of how much time you are planning on taking off this holiday season, you should use the next few weeks to get ahead of your workload. Work has a way of inevitably snowballing this time of year as holiday commitments start building up and being intentional with your time now will allow you to celebrate later, guilt free.


Rather than starting your holiday decorating and festivities now, use this time to prepare yourself for the holidays in a different way—at work.