Help me win our Christmas decorating contest
November 18, 2017 5:49 PM   Subscribe

The small private university I work for as a departmental Christmas decorating contest each year. The winners always have some sort of theme and I need help brainstorming ideas for this year. We have basically no budget, but tons of enthusiasm. I work for the business school and our offices are located in a one-story house on campus.

In the past, we have mostly focused on decorating the small foyer of the house and the hallways, but we have some open offices, a kitchen, and a front yard that could be decorated as well. Some ideas that I've come up with so far:

1. Christmas Monopoly (tying in to the fact that we're the business school)
2. The Great Lutheran Bake-off (we're affiliated with a Lutheran church)
3. Startup Santa with Angel investors (not sure how we would actually decorate for this, but the name is good)

We have access to typical office supplies, a Christmas tree, a fake fireplace, and Santa and Mrs. Claus costumes and could probably spend $100-200 to make something awesome happen. I'd love to hear your ideas!
posted by shesbookish to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If the small Lutheran affiliated school happens to be St. Olaf would you want to do any sort of Frozen tie in?
posted by raccoon409 at 5:56 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lots of snowflakes cut from annual report balance sheet pages? 95 stocking nailed to the fireplace? Monopoly money garlands swirling around the tree, from the angel investor tree topper? Have fun!
posted by kate4914 at 7:55 PM on November 18, 2017

"Startup Santa with Angel investors (not sure how we would actually decorate for this, but the name is good)"

I think this is super-cute -- do your students put together businessy projects, like maybe first-semester students in an entrepreneurship sort of class? Could you use their project logos with angels made of office supplies coming down with dollar bills? It could be both cute Christmas decor and nice advertising for your students' academic work. (And if they had to do, like, presentation boards of their proposed products/companies/apps, you could display those as part of the decor!)

Do you have a lot of international students? I have a small collection of nativities from around the world done in local folk-art styles, and they're super-charming, and generally not too expensive. You could see if any current students (or faculty, or local churches) have any localized decorations to loan, and hit them up for local decorating ideas more generally, and make a sort of "Christmas around the world" display. Ethnic groceries are always a good source!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:25 PM on November 18, 2017

"95 stocking nailed to the fireplace? "

I'm pretty sure you gotta get 95 student papers (and student permission) and hang up 95 separate business student theses!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:26 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Or have a blast making up ridiculous thesis titles, Eyebrows, and put them IN the stockings! This is too much fun!
posted by kate4914 at 8:54 PM on November 18, 2017

Because I am ridiculous and it is past my bedtime...

Can you do large paper cut-outs to hang along a wall? Perhaps start-up Santa rides in a sleigh pulled by reindeer labeled Dashr, Dancr, Prancr... They could be reindeer, or they (and Rudolph for sure) could be unicorns.

A different version - if you can find cheap dollar store Santa, elf, snowman, and/or reindeer decorations, perhaps you could put ties on them?

Maybe Santa's naughty/nice list is a stock ticker (particularly if your school already has a ticker display of some kind) or a P&L

Instead of decorative faux "wrapped presents", you have a pile of faux briefcases (easy to make with cardboard boxes) with bows on them.

I also love the idea of more traditional-style Christmas decorations (snowflakes, paper garlands/chains, etc.) made with monopoly money.

I have no idea how to convert this in to decorations, but clearly Santa is the CEO, Angels are investors, Operations makes the toys, Marketing wraps them, Accounting checks off who is bad or good, Strategy maps out the route for the sleigh... At the very least you could have one of the open offices set up for CEO Santa, maybe with a bunch of finance-y graphs tracking "growth in christmas spirit".
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 10:03 PM on November 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

One Christmas at work one of the departments made a fake cable car across the ceiling, with the cars made of boxes, all gussied up and painted (they looked great), with photos of everyone in the department at the windows of the cars. It looked really good.
posted by essexjan at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2017

Thanks for the ideas, all! I marked best answers that made me smile. I'll bring the ideas to my coworkers tomorrow and we'll see what sounds good to them. Thanks again!
posted by shesbookish at 6:41 PM on November 19, 2017

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