You don't have to be religious
To clear all doubts, we have to put this disclaimer first – you do not need to be religious, especially Christian, to celebrate Christmas with your colleagues, which is frankly a standard in the majority of Polish companies. Whether it is a Secret Santa drawing or a party, many Polish people attending such events may also be non-religious or even of different faith. You should never feel obliged to take part in them if you feel uncomfortable with such proceedings, but do attend if you feel curious about it – it is bound to be a fun gathering and a great opportunity to catch up or make new friends!
One of the most popular ways of celebrating with co-workers around Christmas is organising an in-company event, usually within late working hours, often referred to as Wigilia (the same term used to describe the solemn supper held by Poles on 24th December). Of course this kind of job events are more relaxed and often include singing some carols, sharing the opłatek wafer and eating some Christmas-inspired food ordered by the company (or prepared by colleagues, if the group is smaller and more tight-knit).
More and more often employers organise bigger events, sometimes for an entire corporate organisation or a smaller company division. This may be a club outing or a dinner in a restaurant, depending on the relations within your company. These gatherings are rather informal in nature but do remember that going overboard with alcohol may reflect upon your professional image once all the festivities are over!
Fun for kids
If you are employed by a rather large company, you can expect special parties for employee children earlier in December. Usually there is a small budget for gifts from Santa to choose from and extra activities, such as games, dances, pictures with Father Christmas and competitions. If you have kids, do bring them along!
Have you participated in such events during your stay in Poland?