Like everything else concerning widely celebrated festivities this year, Halloween passed by quickly with a different kind of atmosphere, and unfortunately, the upcoming Christmas celebrations are not looking any better considering the continuous healthy restrictions. But there might still be light at the end of the tunnel for Christmas party-goers! ?
In Finland, the last few months of every year are usually devoted for pre-Christmas parties held amongst friends and colleagues. People tend to start organising “Pikkujoulu” celebrations, as we call them in Finnish, as soon as the Halloween costumes and candy have been put away. This year, the need for avoiding physical contact and gatherings have been questioned, the years-old tradition to celebrate and party with your boss or your colleagues, especially in Finland, have been put on hold. The question everyone is asking at the moment is “will this year’s Pikkujoulu be in person, on Zoom, or will it be cancelled altogether?”
Usually in Finland, it can be a contest to how many Pikkujoulu invites one can get. How about this year? Will people still be asking about Christmas parties? It certainly wouldn’t satisfy many to know their work Christmas party will be on Zoom, never mind when it comes to telling their friends. One might even say there is an element of shame to it. No Zoom meeting can compete with the real thing.
So why does a Pikkujoulu on Zoom sound like such a miserable prospect? Would a different platform make it less formal, less like work? Would new and different online apps be appealing instead? Perhaps companies could make an effort to send Christmas packages by post, to give employees something to share, even by distance. At the very least, nobody has to worry about getting home when the night is over; the food can be whatever you bring to the table; if you don’t feel comfortable in your clothes, you can switch off the video and change into something more comfortable.
Traditions like Secret Santa are still safe, thank goodness – ordering online certainly is within the distancing guidelines!