Here at SEM, we not only enjoy providing superior service and products to our clients, but also love having fun. This holiday season, we decided to have a gingerbread house competition and to allow our social media friends to vote on the winner. All seemed to be moving smoothly and easily at first: we asked for signups, made our teams, and scheduled the event for 20 December. Employees signed up to bring snacks and cider, the Culture Committee purchased gingerbread house kits for participants, and gingerbread builders were asked to bring in decorations for their houses.
That’s when things got a little heated.
Next thing we knew, employees were rushing into work with bags of candy clandestinely tucked beneath their winter coats, water cooler conversations abruptly ended if a rival team member approached, and whispers about stained glass made out of Jolly Ranchers (!) could be heard.
On the day of the event, spirits were high and everyone was excited to get to work. Team #1 made a classic gingerbread house with marshmallow snow, a candy cane sign, and even a brick walkway. Rival team members cried foul when they saw the brick walkway, crying out, “Paper isn’t edible! Disqualified!” However, after an intensive internal review, the Culture Committee clarified the rules stating that there were no rules, and the competition continued.
Team #2 decided to create a non-traditional gingerbread house, and we will just leave that one right there.
Team #3 went all out with a complete gingerbread train, gingerbread tree, and gingerbread man. They made train tracks out of black licorice and brought glittery snow to put under it all. Rival teams (of course) called foul on the gingerbread train since it wasn’t “regulation” size, but the Culture Committee reiterated the rules – there are no rules – and the competition continued.
Throughout all of the bantering about regulation gingerbread trees and unfair paper walkways, and while Team #2 made their… well, let’s call it a modern art creation, Team #4 quietly and diligently worked to create their masterpiece, a traditional candy house complete with stained glass windows (yes, they went there), custom frosted trees, a pretzel fence, and Santa on the roof.
At the completion of the competition, we turned to social media for votes, and did our clients, friends, and family ever show up! After a weekend of voting, Team #4 was crowned the winner of the gingerbread house competition. And while the prize is lunch out for the winning team, the real prize is bragging rights.
And there has been plenty of bragging, to which the rest of say, “Until next year…”