Christmas lights on a laptop

Holiday Cubicle Decorations That Won't Annoy Your Co-Workers

You may love spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear, but not everyone enjoys the holidays. That doesn’t mean you can’t be festive around the office, but when you’re choosing your holiday decorations, you should think about how to spice things up without annoying everyone around you.

No Flashing Lights

Christmas lights are a classic way to make things merrier, but you have to be careful. If you’re going to use Christmas lights in your cubicle, you need to make sure they stay in your cubicle. You also can’t expect to turn off all of the regular lights to soak up the holiday spirit. Avoid draping your lights across or around your coworkers’ cubicles without their enthusiastic permission. Also, stick to solid color; no flashing lights. Flashing lights are distracting, and multi-colored lights can make it harder to get work done.

No Gingerbread Houses

There are lots of crafty ways to make your cubicle into a cozy, festive space without going totally overboard. Cover your walls with cute wrapping paper, make paper snowflakes, drape garland around the edges of the cubicle and your chair, or even bring a small Christmas tree to put on your desk. But don’t turn your cubicle into a fully covered gingerbread house. If you’ve created a roof for you cubicle out of Christmas lights or cardboard, you’ve entered into the realm of over-the-top, annoying coworker holiday behavior.

Anything That Talks or Moves Loudly is a No Go

Those cute moving snowmen and reindeer that Hallmark loves to give out with purchases may be the cutest and funniest thing you’ve ever seen, but it is likely to annoy your neighbor at work after it sings jingle bells one too many times. Hint: Two times is too many.

Don’t Encroach on Others’ Personal Workspace

If your office is a friendly, collaborative kind of place, then your coworkers may be down to get a little festive in the common spaces. This may mean draping lights around the walls or setting up little Christmas trees. However, remember to let your neighbors do what they want with their own spaces.

Be Seasonal Without Being Exclusive

The Holidays can be tricky, because Christmas is traditionally seen as a Christian holiday that falls at the same time of year as other religious holidays that are less recognized and commercialized. While it’s generally acceptable to have winter-themed decorations like Christmas trees and Christmas lights, it may be a good idea to avoid religious symbols likes angels, crosses, stars, or scriptures. This all depends on your office space. If you work for a religious company, it may be perfectly acceptable. If you work for a corporation or unaffiliated company, you should go for an inclusive holiday-and-winter-season approach to decorating. 

Last Updated: April 15, 2015