1. Give time off. Few people—both colleagues and clients—are 100% productive during Christmastime, and so giving your staff time off is a win-win. Whether this means shutting down for a few days or closing early, more time to spend with one’s family, beat the traffic, or just lounge around and watch TV is a surefire way to foreclose burnout.
2. Host a party. By getting staff together outside the office, allowing them to meet their coworkers’ significant others, and encouraging conversation that doesn’t revolve around work, holiday parties bolster morale and strengthen community. Indeed, here in DC, they’re so common as to be expected. What’s more, they’re a tax write-off. Another win-win.
3. Hold contests. Whether they pertain to business (for example, who racks up the most billable hours or who thinks up the best name for the new conference room) or to outside activities (for example, Secret Santa or a weekly quiz about the news), contests keep employees engaged at work, rather than staring at the clock. Especially when there’s a prize at the end, competition incentivizes people to come into the office every day.
Addendum (12/17/2012): Success!