12 Most Compelling Reasons To Be At Peace During the Holidays

12 Most Compelling Reasons To Be At Peace During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas and Chanukah a mere month away, lots of people are probably telling you to give thanks. They’re giving you advice, lists and recommendations on how to think about thankfulness in a time of uncertainty and economic distress.

I’ve been thinking along different lines. Thankfulness is all well and good – we each can find reasons to be thankful – but peace is another thing entirely. I think laughter is often the best solution for just about anything in life and career.

Peace is part of the holiday equation, right up there with joy and thanks. We’ve covered thanks (or left it to others;) joy is an intangible, highly personal sensation, a bit emotionally charged for a blog. Let’s look at peace, which I think is under-rated.

When was the last time you really felt at peace? What would it take to get there, perhaps even to sustain the sensation? Can there be peace if you’re not 100 percent happy in the workplace? Is it even reasonable to expect peace in the workplace?

Let’s look at six workplace peace-breakers, and then at six peace builders. Who knows? You could be at peace by the end of this blog. Wink.


1. Holiday music, especially in the workplace

With the possible exception of Ode to Joy it’s tough to come up with any peaceful holiday music. From the nasty hilarity (the first time) of ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ to the sappy exhortation to ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, it’s tough to tolerate holiday music, especially in the workplace. Unless you have earplugs, expect to lose any sense of peace.

2. Holiday office parties

A complete buzz-kill. Celebrating with co-workers is just dangerous. So much has been written about this it’s not worth a review. Just know those parties won’t always lead to peaceful feelings.

3. Yankee swaps

Fighting over the sole Chia-pet is no way to achieve peace. Take what you get and leave as early as possible.

4. The office open house

If your workplace leaders think it’s a great idea to have an open house for families, clients and prospects, shelve the notion of peace. Small children sticking their grubby hands in bowls of food, unhappy spouses, edgy clients – it’s a recipe for disaster, and it gets worse if the management expects you to bring the food.

5. Office decorations

Particularly difficult in workplaces with people of many faiths (which is pretty much all of them.) Flashing lights are not a good thing, especially if you’re trying to get things done.

6. Holiday emails to clients

What could be worse? Hideous emails with insincere, sappy sentiments, with a sub-text of ‘don’t fire us.’ Ah, we though of what’s worse: the bounced emails and unsubscribes. No peace there.


7. Volunteering

Whether it’s leading a workplace drive to gather donations for a food pantry or helping out at a shelter, giving back can lead to deep feelings of peace.

8. Set aside a day (or more) of contemplation

The holidays mark year’s end. If you can wrap work up with a few days to spare, set aside the time for reflection. What went well? What didn’t? Where do you want to be, and how can you get there? Get this taken care of before the New Year and you won’t feel as pushed to make resolutions you can’t meet – and you may find some much-needed peace.

9. Clean your office

Give yourself the gift of a clean office and you’ll feel better. You may even feel it’s a more peaceful and productive place to be.

10. Recognize the efforts of your team members

Whether you have direct reports or a matrix-managed workplace, take the time to recognize the hard work of those on your teams. This has to be a genuine effort or it will backfire, but if you approach the taks with humility and an open mind, it may bring you peace.

11. Go home early

Try to get to the office a bit earlier, and leave earlier. Take some of the rush out of your day and you’ll be closer to feeling at peace.

12. Give yourself a present (or even a break)

Recognize and acknowledge your hard work. Congratulate yourself for surviving another year, maybe in a job you don’t love, certainly in a difficult job market. Accept yourself and you’ll find precious peace.

How do you achieve a sense of peace in this tough world of work?

Meghan M. Biro


Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized leader in talent strategy and a pioneer in building the business case for brand humanization. Founder of TalentCulture and a serial entrepreneur, Meghan creates successful ventures by navigating the complexities of career and workplace branding. In her practice as a social recruiter and strategist, Meghan has placed hundreds of individuals with clients ranging from Fortune 500s to the most innovative software start-up companies in the world, including Google, Microsoft and emerging companies in the social technology and media marketplace. Meghan is an accomplished consultant who has helped hundreds of individuals in all levels in the organization (V,C level executives, mid-career, mid-level managers, software architects and recent college graduates) and across generations (Gen Y to baby boomers), develop effective career strategies that propel them to achieve personal and professional success. Meghan is a speaker, practitioner, author, blogger and mentor who is passionate about the subjects of leadership, recruiting, workplace culture, social community, branding, and social media in HR. She is Founder and co-host of two Twitter Chats: "#TChat, The World of Work", a long-standing weekly chat and radio show and #HRTechChat, both communities dedicated to addressing the business needs of the rapidly evolving people-technology landscape. Meghan is an avid social community builder who is inspired by connecting the people and talent dots. Meghan is a regular columnist at Forbes and Glassdoor and her ideas are often quoted, featured on top publications such as CBS Moneywatch, Monster, Dice and various other HR, Social Media and Leadership hubs of your choice.

468 ad

I cleaned my office today, it looks great, and I'm so much calmer. I'm ready to tackle the crazy year end, and hopefully enter the new year in peace!

Thanks for this post, reminds us not to waste time on the craziness this time of year can sometimes bring upon us. Cheers! and Peace!


Peace. What a novel thought. You are so right, Meghan, that we rarely think of "Peace" as a goal of the holidays. Certainly, avoiding office Xmas parties is a great suggestion. Getting sloshed at one is stupid. Getting sloshed at your in-laws house may be a good idea for peach. Lol...


I sure seem to struggle with that "Go Home Early" thing. I have a home office, so I have a bad habit of working around the clock. Something tells me that a few of the 12 Most gang have this problem ;)

Peace-breakers were hysterical because we can all relate.


Thanks for your comment Marc! If you give to yourself you can then give to others more fully. Sounds cliched but it's important to remember in this hectic season.

Sort through all the noise - Right? Thought I would take the more realistic approach for those out there who need to find some peace and quiet. Workplace peace is often a tricky balance. Laughter is good too ;-)

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday season!


Thanks Meghan. Take time to think. Take time to smell the roses. Take time for you. There will be enough time left for everything else, later!




@WineEveryday Peace! Stop the madness ;-) I certainly hope that desk is cleared. I will be checking back in on you soon to ensure workplace harmony. Thanks for stopping by.


@BruceSallan Hi Bruce. Sending much holiday peace in your direction ;-) I hear you, Peace as a concept often seems overlooked. I wonder why. The sometimes dreaded office cocktail party....not always the best career platform in certain office scenarios. There is so much material here for storytelling. PS: Say hello to your in-laws for me...A toast to holiday laughter!


@dbvickery Thanks Brian. Humor is good workplace medicine. Makes sense re "Home Early" concept. It's key to take time for personal breaks. Luckily, the sharp rise in home office culture is bringing a sense of peace from the harsh reality of "workplace politics" - I hear feedback from many people (especially this time of year) that it's still an issue. People are still people I suppose. Yes, find peace now!