how to throw an office holiday party people won’t dread

Every December, I receive tons of complaints from people about ways their companies are mishandling the holiday party — from making employees pay to attend, to throwing a lavish event right after laying people off. The whole point of throwing a holiday party is supposed to to increase employee morale, so holding an event that does the opposite is a serious fail.

Three years ago, I put together eight rules for throwing a company party that employees will want to attend. They’re here. (It’s a repeat while my thumb continues to recover!)

{ 80 comments… read them below }

    1. Elizabeth West*

      Oh God, yes. A place I worked once threw an Employee Appreciation Day party. It was 1) mandatory, 2) on a paddleboat, and 3) a thirty-minute charter bus ride away. I was suffering from a situational depression at the time, and believe me when I say that was one of the most miserable days I have ever spent at a job. The only redeeming factor was that it took place during work hours. If it had been after hours, I just would not have shown up and blamed it on car trouble or something.

      1. Jamie*

        On a boat? Because you appreciate me? That’s awesome, thank you, I’m so sorry I’m going to be sick that day. Digestive stuff – don’t ask. It’s killing me to miss it.

        I know I don’t know what date it is – but I’m positive I’ll be sick. I know these things.

        What are people thinking?

        1. Case of the Mondays*

          Ha ha, did you read my boat story below? On a weekend, with clients, everyone sea sick, boat did not turn around.

    2. M-C*

      NEVER on a boat! Or any confined spaces you can’t get away from. Nearly jumped in the bay to swim away once, as the drunks started to creep all over me. Remember, manager, you yourself may not be planning on getting drunk, and you may not be the creep, but there’s always one..

  1. C Average*

    All of these. From your lips to God’s ears!

    (I’m lucky: my company already does this stuff right. But thanks to AAM, I know that’s not necessarily the norm.)

  2. PeppermintBark*

    I’d also reconsider playing party games. We usually have one during our Christmas lunch, but the person who organizes it was out sick this year. Everyone was surprised how much more enjoyable it was to just be able to eat and socialize, instead of playing a game, which usually took a really long time ( we have ~50 people in attendance) and always felt forced and awkward. Even the people who normally enjoy the games liked having the extra time to just sit around and eat and talk.

    1. AMT*

      Oh, Lord. You just reminded me of a supervisor who made party attendees play a stupid dancing game where people were pressured to dance with each other during our 50+ person organization-wide party where no one knew anyone because we were all from different offices. New rule: unless it’s a small, intimate gathering where everyone is really into it, no…freaking…games.

  3. NoPantsFridays*

    Did anyone see the comment on the article by Another Anon, who was offered cocaine at their company party?! Wow! Forget a drinking culture, they have a cocaine culture! lol

    “Besides all this, office party etiquette is a minefield. At one company party for a small company I worked for, the boss offered me a line of cocaine. Now, I want to look like I fit into the culture and I’m a team player, and I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the bonus-of-sorts, but I don’t even drink. That he and other office mates did drugs was TMI as far as I was concerned. I said “Thanks, that’s really generous! But I’m just not into it tonight. You can have mine.” Fortunately he just smiled and said he would. I hope I looked more graceful and open-minded than I felt.”

    I don’t know if it’s OK for me to paste this comment here; please feel free to remove it if it’s out of line. I am just so shocked, I felt the need to post it here.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I missed that one, thanks for the share. I am not sure I would have handled that as well as you did, Another Anon. Part of me would have wanted to run screaming from the room.

    2. Mallory Janis Ian*

      Wow, I don’t think I would have been able to think so gracefully on my feet. My mouth would have fallen open, and with my eyebrows up in my hairline, I would have uttered an incredulous, “Noooo . . . ” But I typically go all “deer in the headlights” when I encounter something really unexpected; I have no game.

  4. Scooby*

    Our party is pretty nice. We have a very nice steakhouse across the street, and the company treats us all to a party there with free drinks, appetizers, and the main course (it starts just before noon). Everyone goes home afterward (usually around 2 p.m)

    Attendance is optional. While I don’t think it’s an absolute rule you have to work if you don’t go, it’s sort of implied, I think, but one could probably leave earlier than 2 p.m. without anyone raising an eyebrow if they were working.

  5. TotesMaGoats*

    I second the no party on a boat because some of us have completely irrational fears induced from watching Titanic too many times. It doesn’t matter that there are no icebergs in the Chesapeake bay.

    1. Sascha*

      Or get motion sickness! I can get motion sickness really easily and the last place I want to be is on a boat, even one that’s anchored.

      1. Case of the Mondays*

        At old job we had a summer party on a whale watch w/ clients. We hit rough waters and the majority of the people got sea sick. Not “I don’t feel good” sick, like vomiting over the side sick. Total disaster. They didn’t even bring the boat back early!

      2. Brianne*

        Yes! I was once completely shut out by a boss for ‘shunning’ the Christmas party because it was being held on a boat and I get motion/boat/car sickness. I would have been puking the whole time and it would have been miserable for me AND dragged other people done, someone would have no doubt felt obliged to keep checking on me, sticking nearby etc.

  6. ggg*

    We pay for ours as we are quasi-government. This year it is a buffet at a decent hotel.

    What really sucked was the year we had layoffs. To reflect the austerity of the times, we ordered in Subway and sat at folding tables that barely fit in our conference room. The admins, to their credit, tried to make it nice by baking some desserts and putting up decorations. But there was a general air of misery, and we were packed in there so tight we could barely move around. Many dark jokes were made on the general thread of, if we still had 10% more people, we would have been violating the fire codes.

    1. EvilQueenRegina*

      Last year we ended up having a lunch joint for Christmas and a guy who was retiring. For reasons I can’t share here, the celebration for the guy who was retiring had to be changed to a lunch in the office instead of the previously planned night out at the eleventh hour. Unfortunately, the day before, one admin found out she was going to be laid off. Our manager had given her the next day off but she came in anyway and was just sat there not looking at anyone during the lunch. That was awkward.

    2. Chuchundra*

      Yeah, I work for a government contractor so no paying for parties out of Uncle Sugar’s monies.

      I almost never go to the parties. They used to be held in the conference room, which is way too small to hold all our staff. This year we have no big conference room, so the party is in the main cafeteria building. Still not a great place for a party, especially at ten bucks a throw.

  7. AtrociousPink*

    It turned out I made the right call in skipping my company’s party this year. It was held at one of the owners’ new home — a brand new, very small, ultra-modern home in a hard-to-reach part of an exclusive neighborhood — a clear violation of rule 4, as well as a weird and uncomfortable place for a party due to the home’s size and design. I have it on good authority that the bosses huddled together and virtually ignored the staff, making it pretty clear that the staff was only included in this party as a way to save the cost of having a separate party for them. Adding insult to injury, there were no door prizes and no music. Previous parties had been held at nice, public venues where people mingled a bit more, there was live music, and generous prizes were distributed. The company is a pretty good place to work overall, but they blew the holiday party big time this year.

    1. RO*

      I am dreading holiday party which us at VPs home on a Saturday evening because people want to drink and bring their family members. I nicely suggested that this would be inconvenient for those who commute over an hour away, but I was overruled. Hoping it snows.

  8. Tiffy the Fed... Contractor*

    I wish we had a nice holiday party. Instead we had two potlucks… I hate potlucks. Especially after that Hep A post a few months ago. Luckily I enjoy spending time with the people I work with, because that was the only redeemable part of each event.

  9. Elizabeth the Ginger*

    I would add one more: If there is a gift or favor, and it’s more than just a token (e.g. a couple pieces of candy), then make sure employees who didn’t attend the party also get one. Several schools ago, I worked at a place where the parents threw the teachers and staff a holiday party. They also decided, because someone had really good connections with Apple, to give everyone an iPod Shuffle as they left the party, as an extra treat. BUT – they only bought iPods for the people who had RSVPed. So on Monday, people who hadn’t been able to go to the party felt a little sour about the whole thing. No one had expected an iPod or felt entitled to one before the party had happened, but after the fact it felt unfair that some people had been left out. The parents who had donated the iPods eventually got wind of it and scrounged up some more iPods, but it was much more of a kerfluffle than it should have been!

      1. JB*

        I agree. If you plan to give all employees holiday gifts, and you think it will be fun to give them out at the party, then get a gift for everyone including those who don’t attend. But if you want to do have cool door prizes to make the party more exciting, then people who don’t go don’t get the prizes.

        1. Sharon*

          It sounds to me like if they’d known such nice gifts were going to be handed out, they would have attended. So perhaps the lesson is to let people know in advance if there will be nice door prizes.

          1. Nerd Girl*

            “So perhaps the lesson is to let people know in advance if there will be nice door prizes.”

            This makes me sad. It’s like telling your co-workers and employer that they’re only worth being around if there’s something in it for you. Either go or don’t, but don’t base it on the prizes or gifts being given at the event.

      2. Adonday Veeah*

        Disagree or not, fair or not, if you’re giving out iPods to the attendees and not to those who skip, there will be hard feelings. This may or may not be the result you’re going for in throwing the party.

        1. Nerd Girl*

          They’re called “party favors” not “I couldn’t bother to attend the party but I’m going to whine until I get one favors” and that’s how I read this. The parents were the ones who threw the party, not the school. It was their own money. They chose to send the teachers and staff home with iPods as favors. Those who didn’t attend should realize that sometimes not being there means missing out on stuff. That’s life.

          1. fposte*

            You obviously can’t control the parents in a situation like this. But actual employers really shouldn’t reward some employees with an expensive gift and not others just for their attendance at a party–it suggests the workplace prioritizes the holiday party over putting in work-related effort.

            1. Nerd Girl*

              I agree. I think that employers shouldn’t give expensive gifts to their employees as reward for attendance to a party. But I also think that even if the gift is a small chocolate lollipop, the people who didn’t attend shouldn’t expect to get one. If a person is unable/unwilling to attend a party or event (for whatever reason) that person needs to understand that there may be an experience, gift, or opportunity that may be missed by not going.

            2. Not So NewReader*

              I agree that is should be all or none. There are many reasons why people can’t make an event. And there are many bosses/companies that “punish” people for not attending. It’s really not a good road to start down.

          2. Jamie*

            I agree – the people who didn’t go got the benefit of not having to attend…which would be worth a lot more than an iPod to me.

            To me this is clearly a door prize or party favor – I can see it being a nice gesture to give one to someone who had intended on coming but had an emergency which couldn’t be avoided but not enough to suss that out.

            And besides – if they didn’t RSVP this is the price for bad manners. It means respond sil vous plait – not let me know if you’re coming and otherwise ignore the hosts so they have to guess if you’re not attending or just too rude to respond so they have no idea how much food to order.

            But yeah – if it’s not compensation it’s not owed anyone.

            1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

              Sorry, I meant they only got iPods for the people who RSVPed yes – people who didn’t go RSVPed no, rather than not RSVPing at all.

    1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      To add on to my original story:

      Most people did go to the party; many of the people who didn’t go would have liked to, but were unable to. (My co-teacher couldn’t go because she had already committed to a professional development event that evening, for example. I didn’t go because I literally was unable to get there – the party was held at a family’s house up in the hills away from public transit, I didn’t own a car, and none of my colleagues lived remotely near me for me to carpool with them.) The iPods were explained as a gift because the parents appreciated the teachers for teaching their children – not that they appreciated the teachers for coming to the party.

      I completely agree that if there’s a raffle or something similar, if you don’t go the party, you don’t get to participate. But I felt kind of doubly-down when I heard that not only had I missed a party I would have liked to go to, people who had been able to go had been given such a nice gift. (Associate teachers only made about twice minimum wage, so an iPod represented a substantial chunk of a paycheck for those on the lower end of the totem pole.)

      I’m not trying to whine, “I didn’t get a gadget!” – but it didn’t feel like the gesture of “Thank you for all you do for our kids” that they were going for.

    2. NotKatietheFed*

      My old company would usually give out nice company clothes at the Christmas Party (embroidered sweatshirts, sweaters, etc – not just t-shirts). They would only give them to the people who went (you would give your size when you RSVP’d) but if you couldn’t attend for work reasons, like TDY, you got one too. Since it was a small company, usually if you had a good non-work reason, you could get one too – I got one the year I had to cancel at the last minute because my dog died the day before.

    3. Connie-Lynne*

      My husband’s former employer, a tech company, did something similar. Nice iPods as a winter present — for all of the already well-paid developers and other engineers on a major project. Nothing for the testers or non-technical staff, all of whom made much less than the staff getting iPods.

      Most people had no idea, but we happened to have a few friends who were in the “no iPod” class.

  10. Lamington*

    We are living #7. Layoffs and budget cuts but a $200 per person plate at a fancy steakhouse and you could take your plus 1.

  11. Hanukkah Balls*

    In line with #7 — don’t throw a big party and then end it by asking staff to donate to your organization. Especially don’t follow up that in-person ask with personalized letters to all staff who chose not to give signed by random employees who do chose to give (meaning that staff other than Development and HR were given the names of staff that don’t contribute — BIG invasion of privacy in my book!)

  12. Sunflower*

    My company is pretty cheap and I think our company party is just fine. We order a bunch of catered food(no alcohol), put it in the conference room during lunch and then everyone comes in and eats for about 15 minutes before we all go back to work. I’m sure there are some people in the office who think we’re being cheap and I would LOVE to have the day or afternoon off but as someone who is friendly with everyone here but would never spend time with anyone outside of work, I love it.

    With company parties, it’s best to keep it simple. Most people will appreciate free food and don’t expect more than that.

    1. Windchime*

      We just had our holiday party today. We all went to the conference room where the managers had cooked a big brunch for all the employees. There was a yummy egg/cheese/hashbrown casserole, egg-nog french toast, fruit, lots of sweet breads and other yummy stuff. There was Christmas music and videos. Several employees brought their children and that made it tons of fun, to see the little ones playing together.

      Then there was a drawing of several turkeys and hams and a grand prize of a big gift card to a local fancy restaurant. No games, no lengthy white-elephant gift exchange. Just good food, a few prizes, and some heartfelt words from the C-level people.

      1. Windchime*

        It wasn’t really “Christmas” music…..more holiday music. (I just wanted to make it clear that there was no obvious religious component.)

    2. Mallory Janis Ian*

      We’re having our office party at my bosses’ house tonight (they are a married couple). Usually, they have this event during the day at a golf clubhouse that our firm designed. The bosses hand out bonuses and we give them a gift that we all chip in for. This year, the bosses wanted an evening party at their home, and couldn’t be politely dissuaded from this idea (we all tried to steer them toward the golf clubhouse luncheon, but at some point, continuing to debate about it would have felt to close to spurning their hospitality, so we all let it drop). The main reason for not wanting an evening party is that all the designers have been working around seventy-hour weeks for quite some time and they’re just sick of the office right now. Typically, they go get some dinner at around 6 pm or so, then come back to the office and work for several more hours.

      1. RobM*

        I appreciate that its not possible for everyone but I would have no problems spurning this hospitality by staying at home. I _really_ dislike being expected to attend enforced “mandatory fun” in my own time.

        We had a party during working hours on on the 19th. I booked the day off. I hope everyone who went enjoyed themselves but I don’t regret missing it.

  13. De Minimis*

    Related to the whole “employee paying” issue….I know sometimes rules require the employees to have to pay something. This is how it is at our workplace–government rules [or at least as they are interpreted here] forbid any kind of large scale party where everything is provided using agency funds. We can still have parties, but they have to be something where everyone pitches in.

    But if that is the case, please just have one party. I have three work-related parties this month and am having to spend way more than I feel comfortable with. It’s unlikely that I’m going to still be working here next Christmas, but if I am, I’m going to start opting out when I can.

  14. AnonEMoose*

    My company doesn’t really do holiday parties anymore (although some departments may do team lunches or the like). But they did a “hot chocolate social” that was nice. They set up big urns of hot chocolate with a bunch of different toppings and some other snacks; the executives were there saying “thank you” and handing out casual day stickers (we love our casual days, here).

    They had a movie playing and places set up for people to sit and socialize if they wanted. It was low-key, probably didn’t cost all that much, but still a really nice gesture. Personally, I’d rather have something nice during the workday than an evening or weekend bash. I like my co-workers, but 40 hours a week is enough.

    I should add that they did do a company outing during the summer, which I rather prefer to the holiday party. November-January is busy enough!

  15. Pretend Scientist*

    Definitely needs to happen during work hours. Ours was moved from 1-5p to 4-8p due to “schedule changes”, despite the date and time having been set months before, and it didn’t go over well,

    1. puddin*

      During work hours – Exactly! Not only are we expected to pay for our holiday party ($40 pp!) but it is held on a Saturday night. If I am out with Mr. Pudd on a Saturday night looking to spend $80 on some fun, it would not be to ‘commute’ to my work location for a rubber chicken dinner with a wedding DJ. nope.

  16. Not Here*

    I’m a big proponent of #2. As admin staff, I’ve had to work most company events in almost all of the companies I’ve worked at. I usually had to be a part of planning, and therefore did not get to sit back and enjoy (and did not get the option of not attending). Plus, that also put me out of the running for any prizes (one time I was actually in the drawing and won, and because I had to organize the event, some staffers complained that I won even though it was a random drawing. My boss ended up taking the prize back and pulling a new name for it which really frosted my cookies considering that I was the lowest paid person in the office).

    Also, if you have several locations, don’t just have a big, swanky party at the main location and leave the other locations out in the cold. I worked for one place that had a big, blowout Christmas party at the main office, but the satellite office workers weren’t invited (because the main office was not in driving distance to the regional offices). Everyone in the company got emails about the big event, and the people in the main office got half a day off the day of the big event. People the regional offices didn’t even get a budget for a Christmas lunch. We just got to see the emails (and later the pictures), it felt like we were the orphan kids with our noses pressed up to the glass watching the rich people eat roast goose. To make it worse, the main office had big events, like company picnics or employee appreciate days, all the time but never thought to do anything for the regional offices. (For a little background, the regional offices were all very small, 10 or fewer people, so we didn’t expect anything big, but some acknowledgement or appreciation would have been nice)

    1. Elizabeth West*

      Yeah, I was warned in advance by a coworker not to show up to the Family Outing Day for a previous job because I don’t have any kids and would be put to work! The boss said it was “for everyone,” but it was held at a kid-friendly venue off hours and Coworker said just don’t. Don’t do it.

  17. soitgoes*

    I’d suggest to be delicate about any plus-one issues. This is a fairly unique situation, but my company is small, so to have the party where we wanted it, we had to commit to a minimum attendance number. I don’t have a significant other, and a coworker’s boyfriend has class that night, but we still have to scrounge around for people to come. The dinner is in a nice place so I’m sure I’ll be able to find a friend who wants a meal, but that’s not the point. Having a manager plan a party under the assumption that everyone is partnered up is really short-sighted.

      1. Jamie*

        That is really weird. If it were me I’d have been so tempted to ask them if the extra person needed for admission were going to be offered up as some kind of human sacrifice for the entertainment portion of the evening. Otherwise, why so interested in my bringing a disposable stranger?

        Or maybe their conversation is of such poor quality people needed to supply their own. But as Miss Manners says, if couples wanted to only talk to each other they could more comfortably do that at home. (paraphrasing of course.)

      2. soitgoes*

        No, it’s not that they won’t let us come. It’s, “There’s a 15 person minimum, so everyone has to bring their partners or we won’t get our money’s worth!” There are 6 people at the company, including the boss. He’s bringing his wife and kids, and it only evens out if everyone else is coupled up. Again, I’ll probably find a friend to bring, but the fact that I can’t just go alone is obnoxious.

  18. Gwen*

    At my company, parties are held on Fridays. The office closes at noon, people head to the party for food/drinks/socializing. Some people split pretty much right after lunch is finished, and some hang around until things usually wind down around 3 (and a lot of people then continue on to a bar for an after-party!). I really like doing it this way, personally…it’s fun to quit early on a Friday, there’s free food & drinks (usually 2 hosted by the company, then cash bar after that so no one’s really out of control at the actual company-sponsored event), and everyone I work with is pretty sociable.

  19. Grand Canyon Jen*

    Yes, yes, yes! to #2. As a receptionist for several different organizations, both corporate and non-profit, I can say that I’ve never been to any kind of employee celebration held during work hours. Can’t leave the door/desk/phone unattended, and God forbid anyone else take those responsibilities over, even for a half hour. I can’t count the number of “festive lunches” I’ve tried to eat furtively at the front desk.

    1. Grand Canyon Jen*

      Thinking back, I do have to say that one place thought they were including me, but every time the doorbell rang, I had to run and get it, so after 15 minutes or so I just gave up and went back to the desk.

      1. De Minimis*

        We don’t close for ours, but we do have it set up to where it goes for about 90 minutes so people who work in departments with staggered lunch periods can all participate.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      We would do it at Exjob so my backup would go get food whilst I was on the desk, then I would go get food and he would watch the phone. That way we both got to eat as soon as the party started and didn’t have to make do with pan scrapings at the end.

    3. Incognito*

      Ha – the only person who dislikes these things more than I do is the receptionist. I always offer to cover the phones and she always insists that she doesn’t mind and I go to the party. It’s all very civil and polite on the surface with very bright eyes and animated expressions – but it’s a verbal tug of war for who gets to skip it.

      Then they decided it was the only time of the year they were okay with voicemail. Sigh. We both lose.

  20. Jamie*

    I am telling you guys that the next best thing to no party at all is the way my company does it.

    On the clock so non-exempt are paid to be there. Catered lunch, thank you speeches from tptb, raffle* and after the raffle you can mingle for a while, go home or back to work – depending on what shift/department you are in.

    I stay for the speeches and the raffle until about 5 minutes after my name is called and then invariably I’m needed for something and I get to work in a quiet office with everyone upstairs. I look forward to it every year.

    *Everyone gets something, raffle is full of all vendor gifts (because otherwise purchasing would make out like bandits) supplemented with some major prizes by tptb. Names are pulled out of a box on giftcards so when you’re called they give you the $50 card and you select something from the table. So called early you get a wide range and the pickings get slimmer as time passes…but the big main gift (game system, tablet, 42″ tv are some from recent years) goes to the last one called.

    My one pet peeve is that of course they don’t include the owners in the drawing – but everyone else is and it bothers me a lot when managers are called early and take big ticket items. I know the logic behind not having two raffles as there is enough labor/management division in manufacturing – but I always grab very low end stuff. A box of Frango mints, coffee cup with a Starbucks gift card I’ll never use, whatever – but when I see people on the higher end of the payscale grab the spendy sporting event seats, couple hundy gift cards, higher end electronics when others who make a lot less haven’t been called it leaves such a bad taste in my mouth and yeah – I am super judgey about that. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times but no one who does it seems to have a problem with it – they think it’s fair. I don’t like it.

  21. CF*

    I *HAVE* to share my Holiday Boat Party story.

    One year, my company threw a holiday party on a yacht in San Francisco Bay. It was very stormy, and the captain recommended just staying in port and having the party there but the owner was indignant and INSISTED that the boat go out to sea.

    Midway through the party, the waves got REALLY rough to the point where the food fell off the table onto the floor, liquor bottles crashed to the floor and shattered, and people were actually screaming (though no one got hurt). Lots of people started getting seasick, which made even more people nauseous.

    I don’t get seasick and have a twisted sense of humor so I found the entire thing quite hilarious. The boat finally had to dock in Sausalito (the other side of the Bay from San Francisco) and people had to borrow money to take taxis back to the S.F. side, where most people had parked.

    Making the entire thing even more hilarious, one of my co-workers got EXTREMELY intoxicated and started coming on to the owner’s husband right in front of her.

    The stories, the stories, the stories :)

    1. Sherm*

      This blog has taught me never to say “I’ve heard everything.” Were people at least reimbursed for their cab fare?

  22. Sherm*

    Yes, don’t force people to go to the holiday party. If the party promises to be at all fun, many people will WANT to go, but you take some of the joy away if you make it yet another obligation they must fulfill. (I speak from very recent experience. The manager said that everyone should RSVP yes, but he didn’t show up himself.)

  23. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

    We used to have a nice holiday affair. Nice restaurant, open bar, +1s included. Saturday or Sunday evening, but no mandatory attendance so, if you wanted to drink and eat for free wit your co-workers, have at it. (People generally get along and enjoy each other so the majority of folks attended.) It was fun to get to meet families and enjoy ourselves. Nothing bad ever happened – no overly drunk co-workers, people making passes at each other, somebody telling off The Boss. Just fun.

    Then the recession hit and, because we’re not tacky, we cancelled the big affair. It’s common sense that you can’t lay people off and then throw an open bar fancy party for the remaining staff.

    Things are good again but we haven’t gone back to the nice party and I miss it. (Not enough to do the work personally to make it happen again, so, there’s that part. ) We do a holiday luncheon for staff in house, nicely catered, with some pretty decent door prizes and singing and a bit of craziness but………. I’m X feet from my desk and my computer. I can’t enjoy a holiday party while I’m still in work mode.

    I miss the nice party. I don’t get out much.

  24. Connie-Lynne*

    This year, I was out of the country visiting another office during holiday party time. It was so exciting to be able to see how folks elsewhere do the holiday party — and, IMO, they did it up right.

    No partners invited, unfortunately, but on a weeknight, and early. Started off with extra-nice in-office lunch, an ugly Christmas jumper contest, a ping-pong tourney, and other “let’s stop working early but still have fun” activities (including drinks for those who like it). Lots of folks went home at their usual time, but there was also an early-evening activity (the dog track! with vouchers), which gave folks something to have conversation about that wasn’t work.

    I wasn’t the only out-of-town visitor, and I noticed that not just the office manage, but also the regional director and his staff, made a point of welcoming and including the non-locals.

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