We have an annual Holiday season cubicle decorating concept at my office. It's one of those ideas that has mixed morale building value. I've seen it bust up friendships: see Christmas is a solvable Engineering problem.

This year there were three categories - Best group decorations, Best individual decorations, and the Scrooge award for not participating. Scrooge of course could have gone to over half the company including almost the entire R&D department.

This year I took my inspiration from Calvin and Hobbes. I went to Lewiscraft and bought some styrofoam balls and other bits and made a set of around eight 8" snow goons. There is a two-headed snow goon, a beheaded one, one chopping another up with a shovel, and so on. All arranged on a fuzzy white cloth on my desk as a holiday diorama.

This engendered two reactions from passers-by. Some were impressed, especally those who recognized the source. Others were appalled - an equally satisfactory reaction.

When the judges came by (including the President and CEO) they seemed appalled. But to my surprise they decided to rename the Scrooge award the "Twisted Christmas" award and give it to me, for my "sadistic snowmen". I won a bag of humbugs.

I am most pleased ... but there was considerable jealousy within the company. I expect next year's competition to be fierce.

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