I’m a big fan of The Office (the American version) and one of my favorite moments is when Jim and Dwight are put in charge of the party planning committee. While they’re in charge, they have to plan a birthday celebration for Kelly, a very loud and girly co-worker.
Because it’s Jim and Dwight, the “party” has a taped together sign that reads, “It is your birthday.” They have a very basic set up and her “gift” is to choose whether or not to take an hour nap or watch tv for an hour.
In my department, we don’t get the option of tv or nap, but we do celebrate birthdays. We’re in the middle of what I like to call “birthday season.” From April to October, there is at least one birthday (if not more) per month.
I love celebrating birthdays since they usually involve food days and singing loudly, but they’re also an expense. In our department, we all chip in about $5 each per person to buy them a group gift. And if we have a food day, there usually are costs associated with that too. This adds up to about $60 per year on birthdays. Not a lot, but still something I need to consider when building my budget, and it’s usually something I forget.
I don’t mind chipping in money or bringing a dish to pass, but part of me wonders if we shouldn’t just combine our money and celebrate once a year with a party or group event. Would this be more cost effective? Or would this take away the specialness of the person’s birthday?
How do you celebrate office birthdays?