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Celebrations Together in Nursing: Workplace Gatherings and Specific Food-Related Needs

With significant events taking place throughout the year, planning for workplace functions and festive traditions is ongoing. There is so much beauty in the connection and spirit of gathering in nursing. Let us be open to bringing all of our team members together to join in the fun and celebration by purposefully incorporating something for everyone, including our friends with specific food-related needs. Celebrations surrounding food, while enriching, can be a source of stress and anxiety, especially when the same scenario continues to play out: Most of the team is having a great time bonding over potlucks, while some are left worried and isolated. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can enhance our novel and seasonal celebrations with togetherness. And as educators, we can achieve change through sharing sound education with others.

Let’s explore some ideas that may inform, inspire, and delight everyone:

  • Organize food in designated areas to create spaces that are free from food items and open for other purposes.

  • Include prerecorded music, musical instruments, and dancing.

  • Provide non-edible keepsakes.

  • Involve art that can inspire discussion and collaboration, such as poetry readings, stories, and collages of photographs from important moments (research, team projects, or community presentations, among many others).

  • Offer words of encouragement and gratitude.

  • Foster space for reflection and dreaming of the future.

  • Slow down the pace and reserve time to just be together without predetermined structure.

  • Weave in activities and decorations that bring joy and remind the group of their shared experiences.

  • Keep in mind that when it comes to specific food-related needs, food may only be as fit as the preparation process; therefore, some may elect to opt out.

  • Enrich your party planning process by encouraging all to participate in the preparation in ways that make sense for your group.

By fostering comfortable and engaging connection, celebration becomes more meaningful, and also more memorable. Inclusive workplace gatherings, planned through thoughtful attentiveness, have a more complete sense of purpose and capacity for harmonious connection. Each peer’s presence and daily contributions to the collective are highly valuable. Let us work to ensure that our spaces for celebratory gathering are reflective of the fullness of humanity and the respect we carry for inclusion.

Pause, Reflect, and Plan: While this post encompasses our own attitude and philosophy towards celebrating special moments, we hope that you take with you what feels relevant to you and useful for your community and, perhaps, build on or adjust these ideas in ways that each situation calls for.

Interested in exploring further outside of The Ignite Blog? Check out the resources below!

Note: The resources here target a few of the specific food-related needs our nursing peers may have; however, many more considerations exist. Connect with your group to plan gatherings that bring people together and savor the season.

Sending you our very best wherever you join us from and, as always, thank you for reading and sharing.


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