A few years ago my facility had a Christmas Tree contest. It was a facility-wide competition, with the best tree winning a celebration lunch for the sponsoring department. Several departments pulled out their old artificial trees, plopped them into available corners, and decorated them to whatever whim they had. A few of the more crafty ladies schemed and themed to make their Christmas trees truly outstanding. But to be honest, they didn’t have a chance. Not that year.
Shortly after the contest was announced, the facility manager called the team around and shared with us the plan. We didn’t have a tree, but that didn’t matter. A 6 foot blue ladder would work just fine.
We spent the next week and a half gathering materials and decorations. Then one slow afternoon a few days before the tree judging we sprung our plan into action. We opened the ladder and stood it in the corner, wrapped it with a garden hose, caution tape, and plenty of Christmas lights and started adding “ornaments”. A few “gifts” under the tree added the perfect touch.
Shortly after we finished, people began to trickle in. Soon the trickle became a torrent, and then a flood. Those crafty ladies with their carefully planned trees were flabbergasted. A few of them even protested that we should be disqualified because we didn’t have a tree. Everyone who looked at the tree knew instantly that the competition was effectively over.
In early January we enjoyed our reward. Boy was that lunch delicious!