As part of our “get in the mood for Christmas”, our floor ran a “pimp your pod” competition, with a prize for the best-decorated pod. Our work space is divided up into sections, or “pods” of four people each, who sit facing out into the corners of their pod.
The pod next to us started out early, making snowflakes from paper to hang from the ceiling. It is a strange feature of the Southern hemisphere Christmas that, despite it being sunny and warm, decorations still feature snow and reindeer and the familiar trappings of the Northern hemisphere tradition. There’s even a television advert that features“Walking in a Winter Wonderland” despite it being the middle of summer.
Over the next few days, other pods started on their decorations, with balloons, streamers, and a chimney variously being constructed. When we were asked what we were doing in our pod, I held up a piece of tinsel (about ½” long) and said “here, that’s what we’re doing”. We didn’t actually say “bah! Humbug!”
’Twas the night before judging, and all over the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a…wait, what’s that? The three members of the pod turned up after work and, with the assistance of one Santa’s helper, decorated the pod with green tissue paper, wrapping paper, and a sign saying “Beery Christmas” (made up of letters from logos of various beer brands), and the pièce de résistance, the beer tree (topped with a green teddy beer).
When people arrived for work the next morning, then, they were presented with the fruits of our labours (as we have the pod right next to the door, they couldn’t help but notice it). The beer tree drew many comments.
And so it came to the judging. Two judges, the heads of the two departments on our floor, judged based on effort and imagination. We felt that with our beer tree and our themed decorations, we were in with a fighting chance…and so it turned out, as we took the first prize, a $100 restaurant voucher.