As a competitive person who is absolutely head-over-heels for Christmas, Monika Orrey was practically born ready for her workplace’s holiday decorating competition.
She had only been the financial services manager at the company for about two months when the contest was announced, but she didn’t let being new to the job keep her from going all out like she always does when it comes to the holidays.
“I was at first concerned my new colleagues might think I was odd but soon remember that I am happiest when I am authentically me,” Monika said. “So I pushed right past any concerns and got to planning.”
After some serious brainstorming, she landed on the idea of showcasing her “well-known” sweet tooth by constructing a massive, life-size gingerbread house around her cubicle. But rather than being made from gingerbread, she used cardboard that she later covered in brown craft paper.
“When the cubicle decorating contest was announced, I started stockpiling cardboard right away,” she said. “I was able to collect bowls from the dollar store, paint pinwheels on them, attach the bowl to a white cardboard tube and cover in cellophane for extra large ‘lollipops.’ I bought some candy stickers and found more candy images online that I printed out for more decorations.”
With everything she needed in tow, Monika went into the office one Sunday so she could surprise her co-workers with her creation the next morning. It took her around eight hours to complete.
“I consider myself very festive, or as my daughter would say, I am ‘extra!'” Monika said. “I do indeed have far too many decorations at home according to my family, but I know they love it.”
Monika’s family aren’t the only fans of her festive décor — when her co-workers showed up on Monday morning, they were absolutely blown away. And although she did end up facing some pretty stiff competition, Monika’s over-the-top gingerbread cubicle ended up taking first place!
“I wanted to share my love of Christmas and make people smile… oh, and win the contest!” she said. “Many colleagues brought their kids in to see my gingerbread house and it brought smiles to many — mission accomplished!”
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