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7 Ways We Made This Holiday Season The Best One Ever

It’s rare to find a place that embraces giving, caring, and sharing as much as we do—especially for an employee benefits company! Our OneDigital Hartford crew of 45 jolly folks pulled out all the stops for our 2nd Annual Week of Give, Care, Share this holiday season. Instead of celebrating with one simple event, we took a full week to enjoy each other, support our community and sincerely treasure this special time of year.

Each day, beginning on Monday, December 15th, held a holiday-themed activity hosted by a different department or leader.

We kicked off this yuletide adventure with “How the Grinch Stole Waffles,” a scrumptious breakfast hosted by our loveable Sales “Bullpen.” What could be a better way to begin the week than with hot, fresh, made-to-order waffles and handcrafted syrup straight from the maple taps of Principal, Jeff Worley?

It was hard to follow such a yummy first act, but the Marketing Team hosted our first-ever cookie swap, dubbed “Have Yourself a Merry Little Cookie,” and filled our tummies with dozens and dozens of sugary, chocolaty, peanut-buttery joy. With over 20 entrants hauling in 60 treats each on that Tuesday, the room was bursting with over a thousand sweets! It’s a wonder that Santa Claus himself didn’t drop in just for a bite…

Our culinary motif continued on Wednesday with a noontime feast hosted by Managing Principal, Brian Driscoll. “It’s a Wonderful Lunch” held a lively gathering of folks eager for an hour to socialize, dine, and reflect on the past year. Memories and laughter filled the room when Brian scrolled through a visual look back of 2014.

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On Thursday, our Farmington office was transformed into a sparkling magical wonderland when we all participated in the “Elf Yourself Holiday Spirit Contest.” Advisor, Mary Coulter, led this creative and decorative day-long project where people and cubicles were decked out in their yuletide best. Elves, reindeer, twinkling lights, ornaments, and trees could be spied around every corner. We voted for Best Costume and Best Decorated Space after much deliberation. Market Analyst, Gina Palladino, sporting a handmade, life-size gift box won for Best Costume, while the Marketing Team, who converted their entire space into Santa’s Workshop, complete with a dancing, singing Santa, won for Best Decorated Space.

The week culminated in the highly anticipated holiday happy hour, “Drinks inDrinksinToyland_web Toyland.” Guests joined Principal, George Papagelis, and his team to share in a special toast to the tune of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, written and performed by George, himself. His poetic tale of the past year praised each department, team, and individual, and had his audience cheering with laughter and even a few tears.

While each day held a specific event, we also had a few other projects bubbling in the background. An office-wide Secret Santa was initiated, and it was met with much excitement. Participants wrote 3 things about themselves on a large gingerbread ornament and hung it on a Christmas tree in the café. They then drew a name from a hat determining for whom they’d be getting a gift. If they needed inspiration, they could visit the Christmas tree to look up what their gift-receiver might be interested in. This was a fun way to learn a little about our coworkers and also have the chance to bring a smile to each other’s faces. On Friday afternoon, at “Drinks in Toyland,” we shared a mass present opening. Everything from silky scarves to sparkling baubles to even a few pints of ice cream could be seen emerging from wrapping paper and gift bags.

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In an effort to give back to our community, we decided to participate in an Adopt-a-Family Program through the United Way. Two Connecticut families in need were matched to our office, and we were eager to help out. Posted on bulletin boards in our café, holiday wish lists of slippers, games, music, and more were quickly fulfilled by our generous OneDigital Hartford family. By the time the week was through, donations were piled up high, overflowing the tables we had set out.

With every generous gift, brilliant smile, and tasty bite during the Week of Give, Care, Share, we were reminded of just how much we all mean to each other. Having the chance to create a bit of joy for someone else, and share in the moment with him or her is truly something to be treasured. As we enter the last few weeks of 2014, don’t forget to find all the little ways to give back, show how much you care, and share happiness.

Happy Holidays from our team, Now a OneDigital Company.

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