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Workplace Stress Busters: 12 Uncommon Holidays to Celebrate in Q4

Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan on September 28, 2017 11:15 AM

Let’s face it: Q4 can be a perfect storm of overwhelming personal and professional demands.  Between year-end deadlines and the deluge of major holidays, burnout is not uncommon.  But what if counteracting all this Q4 stress with a few off-the-beaten path celebrations helped lead us to an antidote? Say, adding a few holidays that helped fill the proverbial cup rather than drain it? 

Here’s a month-by-month list of little known Q4 holidays just waiting for real estate on your calendar.  Try adding a few to your upcoming plans to boost workplace wellness, reinforce company culture – and simply, keep everybody smiling through it all.   

In addition to reminding employees about health resources centered around Breast Cancer Awareness this month, who knew October is a great time to balance all that candy consumption with kale and moldy cheese…

  • October 4th is National Kale Day.  Plan a kale-inspired luncheon for employees using a local caterer.  On the menu: Kale smoothies, salads and chips. 
  • October 9th is Moldy Cheese Day. Put out some felt berets next to platters of labeled cheeses.  Priceless reactions and healthier microbiomes all around. 
  • October 17th is Wear Something Gaudy Day. Encourage folks to hit the local thrift shop or resurrect Aunt Fran’s jewelry box. 
  • October 19th is Evaluate Your Life Day. Bring in a team of life coaches and offer employees face-to-face consultations.

It’s both National Family Caregivers Month and National Diabetes Month in November.  A great time to show your caregiving employees how much they’re appreciated, and remind employees facing diabetes know what benefits and resources are available to them.   

  • November 3rd is Sandwich Day.  Bring on the food trucks!  Some global inspiration: burritos, panini, Cubans, Croque Monsiers and lobster rolls.
  • November 13th is World Kindness Day. Schedule a soup kitchen volunteer outing, or coordinate a winter clothing drive for the homeless. 
  • November 17th is Take a Hike Day.  Find a trail head near you.  Event takeaways: a company-branded thermos or fleece blanket.
  • November 20th is Universal Children’s Day.  Kick off a holiday toy drive today, tutoring program or encourage employees to explore Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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Pressure’s on for everybody this month.  Keep things as light as possible by celebrating what is officially known as BINGO Month (prizes can be gift cards to major retailers to help with all the gift giving).    Just make sure to look into licensing in your state before scheduling any events at work.  

  • December 1st is Eat a Red Apple Day.  Place a red apple on everybody’s desk today.  Done.
  • December 7th is Letter Writing Day.  Bring back the lost art of letter writing!  Reserve a conference room, put out the paper and encourage employees to write someone special (or, take a few minutes to address that stack of holiday cards). 
  • December 13th is Violin Day.  Add some mid-day relaxation with a lunchtime concert featuring a local string quartet.
  • December 19th is Look for an Evergreen Day. Hand out company-branded mittens and encourage employees to get outside and reconnect with nature.   

And there’s a lot more where these ideas came from. For more inspiration, check out these sites: Holiday Insights and Holidays Calendar. Or,  hold a contest and look to your own employees for the best antidotes for your organization.

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Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan

As Director, Sales and Marketing at, Heidi is responsible for developing innovative, results-driven programs for Care@Work – a consumer-centered portfolio of family care for employers and their diverse workforce. Passionate about helping HR professionals improve the lives of their employees, Heidi follows and writes about the top trends and research impacting both employees and employers in the workplace, including the future of work, consumerism and HR, building employer brands, pay equity and paid leave policy, and company culture. Prior to joining, Heidi led marketing teams at a variety of technology companies including Constant Contact. She lives north of Boston with her husband Brian and their “daughter” Lexi – a 10 lb. Shih-Tzu therapy dog.