Christmas Retrospective

The Christmas Retrospective has three components, based on Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future.

Christmas Past — each person can have an opportunity to reflect on things they regret or wished they could have changed, not only on previous sprint but also on the project from its kick-off.

Christmas Present — team members share appreciations for people they have worked with during the year. You could use some Kudo Cards.

Christmas Future — is an opportunity to create a wish list for how people wish the team/project will improve/change in the new sprints to come.

Use it at the end of the year when you want to…

reflect on the year that was and surface people wishes for the year ahead.

Length of time:

Depending on the size of the team, 60 minutes should be enough.


The day before the retrospective give each team member a wish card.

Ask each team member to write one wish for the team and bring it to the retrospective to share with the team.

How it works:

  1. Begin the retrospective by telling the tale of how the real story of Christmas Past, Present and Future goes.
  2. Give the team enough time (e.g. 10 minutes) to come up with topics and wish cards (prepared before the retrospective) sticking them on the Christmas Retrospective Board.
  3. Group any related items and discuss as one team.
  4. After a Braistorming session, define actions for improvements you want to make (use a model as a support for example S.M.A.R.T.)
  5. Vote on the most important actions to take forward for next year.
  6. Following the retrospective the group leaders should look for opportunities to grant some of the Christmas wishes.

Here is the output of our “light” Christmas Retrospective:

Your team may really enjoy the Christmas Retrospective. It can break the monotony of the usual Retrospective and it can provide a good guide for developing team decisions for next sprints, but first of all a nice way to exchange Christmas wishes ;-)


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