This week, I’d like to know, “Will you have one – and will you go?” And – do you have any interesting holiday party stories to share (anonymously, of course!).
It's that time of year again - time for the office holiday party. This week, I asked readers if they would have one - and if they planned to go.
Despite the reports of cutbacks on such things (and there were signs of some of that even in our survey results), not only was there going to be a party for more than half ( 54% ) of this week's respondents - for nearly 17% there was/is going to be more than one. That compares with 68% who said they were having a party in last year's survey (interestingly enough, 71% of the respondents to THIS year's survey said they had a party last year), and 16.5% who said there would be more than one (see SURVEY SAYS - Will There Be a Holiday Party at Your Workplace? ).
Of course, 16.5% of this year's respondents said there would be no party, 4% weren't sure, and the rest (about 9% ) indicated "other", and mostly fell into the category of "not a real party, but some kind of small gathering." One of these noted, "There is no "official" office party - as that fell victim to budget cuts (er... officially: market turmoil). There will be some "unofficial parties."
Another said, "Just a department holiday lunch combined with annual recognition ceremony", while another noted "If you can call eating a meal paid by the employees and sitting in a warehouse to eat it a holiday party...then I guess we are."
More than half were planning to attend the party, albeit with varying levels of enthusiasm. Nearly half ( 47% ) said simply "yes", while 18% said they "have to", and 19% said they "wouldn't miss it." Roughly one-in-ten said "no", 4.3% weren't sure, and 2.6% said "not if I can help it."
Just over six-in-ten ( 60.4% ) said their party would be held off-site, while 27.9% said it would be convened on premises - and the rest - both (as one reader noted, "A holiday luncheon one day and an evening party the next day (not sure why), both at local restaurants" ).
There were, of course, some great verbatims/interesting ideas - and some sobering insights:
"There is a quote I've heard but can't attribute it: "More careers have been wrecked at the office holiday party than at any other time". But it's a great time to get together with colleagues away from the daily work grind, meet spouses, etc."
"We received direction from above that our party, originally scheduled in a local restaurant, had to be re-located in house. As a result, the powers that be rescheduled it from after work (who wants to hang out in the office after 5pm?) to during the afternoon. Last week, we were told that holiday parties had to be cancelled all together. Instead, we're organizing a pay-your-own-way happy hour, and a potluck luncheon later in the month. The continuous downgrading of our holiday celebration was annoying, but I'm glad we're still doing a few things to observe the time of year."
"Seems like the wives of workers look forward to Christmas party more than employees."
"Thanks, from the bottom of my Jewish heart, for referring to it as a HOLIDAY party."
"It depends on work load - if stays the same it will be on site so we can get the work done & they will just bring food in. Eat while you work."
"We're not having an outside party this year due to cost containment efforts and to tell you the truth, it was the best holiday gift I could have received! I like my co-workers, but this time of year is the absolute worst time to try to stuff in one more activity! We will have a "pig out" within our department during work hours and that works great for me! We're donating gifts and money to a local inner city school rather than buy gifts for each other. Makes so much more sense!"
"I work for a small company (less than 25 employees), and every year we gather and management gives us a "previously undisclosed" amount of cash and requires us to go shop for ourselves. Not for the kids, not for the spouse, not for the house, just on stuff for ourselves. Then after a few hours we meet up at a local restaurant and have "show and tell". You have to spend at least the entire amount that day (and have dated receipts to prove it because you know somebody is going to challenge you) or you have to return the entire cash amount. It's amazing what you can learn about your co-workers by how they shop for themselves! And as a mom of small children, I LOVE the opportunity to shop, without guilt, for myself for at least one day. It's the greatest holiday gift I've ever received! I look forward to it every year."
"I absolutely will be attending as we have an open bar and the will be stories to tell until the next holiday party!"
"Best darn show not on TV for drama, comedy, mystery and adult situations. There should be a warning "that due to the human-nature of the program..."
But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who, asked if they were going to attend the holiday party, said simply " "I have to, I'm planning it".
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
|We have an overall company party where the company closes on a Friday afternoon. We will also do a department lunch at a local restaurant.|
|catered lunch for employees|
|It depends on work load - if stays the same it will be on site so we can get the work done & they will just bring food in. Eat while you work.|
|We are having a bruch for the HR group and then get to go home early. A week later we will have our location holiday party and, afterwards, get to go home early.|
|we received direction from above that our party, originally scheduled in a local restaurant, had to be re-located in house. As a result, the powers that be rescheduled it from after work (who wants to hang out in the office after 5pm?) to during the afternoon. Last week, we were told that holiday parties had to be cancelled all together. Instead, we're organizing a pay-your-own-way happy hour, and a potluck luncheon later in the month. The continuous downgrading of our holiday celebration was annoying, but I'm glad we're still doing a few things to observe the time of year.|
|I work for a small company (less than 25 employees), and every year we gather and management gives us a "previously undisclosed" amount of cash and requires us to go shop for ourselves. Not for the kids, not for the spouse, not for the house, just on stuff for ourselves. Then after a few hours we meet up at a local restaurant and have "show and tell". You have to spend at least the entire amount that day (and have dated receipts to prove it because you know somebody is going to challenge you) or you have to return the entire cash amount. It's amazing what you can learn about your co-workers by how they shop for themselves! And as a mom of small children, I LOVE the opportunity to shop, without guilt, for myself for at least one day. It's the greatest holiday gift I've ever received! I look forward to it every year.|
|but a sadly diminished version.|
|A holiday luncheon one day and an evening party the next day (not sure why), both at local restaurants|
|Last year was off site, but with business slowing, we thought it fiscally responsible to tone down the celebration. Surprisingly the employees suggested that we have it this way.|
|We have a Holiday Bash at a posh catered hall, complete with a cocktail hour, buffet, venetian table, top shelf bar and orchestra. Also, each floor caters or has a covered dish party, breakfast and lunch that usually lasts two days.|
|The parent party is off-site. Our office luncheon is in our conference room. Everyone will come in, fix a plate, and go back to their offices. There really isn't any socialization at the luncheons. People in this office don't appear to like each other.|
|It's in the lunch room and they'll provide some food during an extended lunch time. The kids from the day care center will sing. That's about the extent of it!|
|I have to, I'm planning it.|
|If it takes time away from my job probably not , I really like my co-workers & boss alot but I LOVE MY FAMILY & would rather spend time with them & not work late just for an office celebration.|
|We have a late lunch holiday party off-site during, so it is during the workday.|
|The fact that we get to go home early is enough incentive for me. My last job we didn't have our party until February. It was after work and went well into the evening. Of course there was alcohol at that one so it pretty much had to be a Friday evening (I might actually miss it come to think of it).|
|One is a choice, one is not - will attend both; the one that's a choice is more fun!|
|I have quite enough of these people during working hours, thanks very much. They do not improve much when they have had a few drinks.|
|It's a holiday breakfast off-site, during company time. Everyone has to attend unless they take a vacation day instead. I have to plan and run it. Really is a nice and subdued event.|
|New baby, so would have decide if it is worth leaving the munchkin and finding a sitter. He tends to be more fun than an office function.|
|The luncheon is almost required (you don't have to attend if you're sick and a lot of office people find a reason to stay home on that day).|
|I absolutely will be attending as we have an open bar and the will be stories to tell until the next holiday party!|
|Alas, this is a disadvantage of working from home. Albeit a small price to pay for the convenience of having a home office.|
|But if I can think of a way to get out of it, last minute, I will. Too many people drink too much and act intolerably. Not that I don't indulge, but since I've been at the firm 21 years, it's "been there, done that" at office parties for me.|
|If you don't attend, you have to work or take vacation time! So, in effect, there's no choice!|
|Have to attend a graduation out of town.|
|Not the entire office, just our department. And since it is in our area and during our lunch hour, I'll be attending. Wouldn't want to miss some free food because we don't get much of anything else around here!|
|Sorry, no. 🙁|
|I've only attended two holiday parties in my life and they were both boring.|
|Once during a very stressful time in the office - our boss decided we should go outside for a snowball fight.. people did go out & participate... it really was great fun & a stress reliever|
|Not really, just the usual/occasional drunk employee. One year--probably 15 years ago, two male employees got into a 'friendly' wrestling match on the floor... at the feet of the firm's president!|
|Our office party will be in January when everyone's calendars are easier to book. I am also happy to report that instead of trading $10 gifts, one smart employee (not me) suggested that we just use that money to donate to the local rescue mission. None of need anymore candles or other stuff around.|
|There are a few parties - but the "ladies" party is in the evening and drinks are usually available. I've not witnessed any inpropriety as a result, but have seen teetotalers (including my boss) squirm with discomfort as the rest of us imbibe a welcome refreshment (or two).|
|We collect "stuff" throughout the year and wrap it up and draw names for gift-giving. Its usually a fun affair, as some of the stuff is really off the wall. Everyone looks forward to seeing what we've collected during the year, and the cost to the company is nil.|
|I worked for a small regional brokerage firm in the 1970s as a registered sales assistant. My fondest memory of a Christmas party was 1973. On Christmas Eve, when the market closed, the partners provided three bottles of liquor, plastic cups, a bag of ice, a box of Ritz crackers and a piece of cheese. We all stood around the board room and had a drink to the toast of "next year will be better." The postscript was that the market did bottom in 1974, but the regional brokerage suffered a capital shortfall and was acquired by a big wire house.|
|a number of years ago, two female employees got into a huge physical altercation over a married attorney...very classy|
|It has been a number of years-30 or so - but we had a small office party at a local club and when I came out of the restroom, my extremely handsome , somewhat inebriated, boss was waiting and embraced me in the best kiss I had ever had. He was just 7 years my senior and continued to "catch me" in situations very discreetly for some followup affection for several years. I was too young to understand that this was sexual harassment but he was my boss, and I was also enjoying it despite the fact that he and I were both married.|
|Branch party at a previous company I worked for....lets just say that a work function that includes a free hotel room is bad news.|
|No. Nothing "intriguing" happens where I work. I work with a lot of men and they never "make" anything. They stop at the local supermarket and pick something up--like chips. It's mainly up to the women in the office to come up with the expensive stuff--as usual, the smallest salarys put out the most dollars for these things.|
|At a previous company I worked for, we had annual "end of year" celebrations (couldn't call them Christmas or Holiday parties because we had to be PC). Employees formed committees and handled certain tasks - music, food, door prizes, etc... I was on the music committee and was standing on stage showing another committee member how to use the equipment we had rented. I went to leave the stage and my high heels got caught in the electrical wires that we had failed to tape down. Instead of walking down the steps, I fell down the steps, and landed at the head of the buffet line that had formed. I didn't attend another "end of year" celebration for 3 years.|
|By having our big, catered, non-alcoholic holiday party at lunchtime on-site, we deftly avoid situations that would make for intriguing stories. Unfortunately, that means we also deftly avoid having rip-roaring fun!|
|Normally have a catered office party offsite, but received word that all company-sponsored celebrations were cancelled this year due to cost-cutting measures. However, we were encouraged to donate to company-sponsored charities and organize an employee potluck in the office.|
|Seems like the wives of workers look forward to Christmas party more than employees.|
|Thanks, from the bottom of my Jewish heart, for referring to it as a HOLIDAY party.|
|While I like my co-workers and enjoy working with them, I resent spending my time on an office party. Party will be on a Saturday night and I prefer to utilize my time for activities I select/enjoy. This year I will be having dinner with friends and attending a concert by the local Choral Society.|
|We give our employees cab vouchers in case they have too much to drink at the party. I was told that some people were reluctant to use them because the company would know who they were. I now have my signature stamped on each cab voucher to take that concern away (of course they don't realize I can look up the address the cab took them to and usually figure out who used it). Now everyone can say the head of HR got really drunk at the party.|
|We are only having one this year because the arrangements were already made, and paid for, very early in 2008, before the economy took its current nose-dive. There surely won't be one in the foreseeable future...which is hard to "foresee".|
|The company is doing a party for the first time in 5 years and we're happy for the improved finances that make it possible again. My own unit is going out to dinner for the New Year on the 2nd of January since we have to work that day anyway.|
|We actually do a holiday luncheon potluck style. The company provides the meat and then the employees can show off their cooking prowress by bringing whatever sides or desserts they want. It's an all day snacking affair and the employees really enjoy it.|
|Instead of a party this year, our manager has decided to make a donation to the United Way. Woo-hoo!!! In return, I intend on placing a mini-fridge full of beer under my desk (LOL)...|
|I usually don't attend the holiday parties because I really don't want to waste my down time with people I normally wouldn't hangout with. However this year I decided to take one for the team and attend the party. If nothing else at least there is free alcohol!|
|Since we have two different store locations, we have a party at each. It's usually nothing fancy, just some light hors d'oeuvre's, beer & wine, after hours. There are usually some drawings for prizes including cash prizes. Plus, the president of the company gives a "state of the union" address on how the company is doing financially.|
|We do a white elephant gift exchange. It can be very interesting.|
|The thing that's most interesting about our holiday party is that it's held in January after all the holiday festivities. It's actually kind of nice to have something to carry over into the New Year:>|
|If we have one, employees will pay all of the costs - firm has specifically said no company funds allowed for holiday parties this year.|
|There is a quote I've heard but can't attribute it: "More careers have been wrecked at the office holiday party than at any other time". But it's a great time to get together with colleagues away from the daily work grind, meet spouses, etc.|
|I love reading about how stupid people can get at these events and look forward to reading the comments you receive. I wish I had a good story to share!|
|Last year's party was onsite because the Board Meeting was taking place at the time - in other words, it became a meet and greet.|
|December is our busiest time of the year and to take a couple of hours out during the day just means I have to find other time (usually my own) to finish the work I didn't get completed because of attendance at the holiday "party".|
|Thank God we aren't having one this year. It always consisted of "volunteers" planning a party with a budget too low to book a park bench. Then a party where people looked for the first chance possible to leave.|
|I will be attending a private party given by an employee. It's a packed house and everyone is happy to be there to reconnect with retired and former employees. It's really the highlight of my little social season and I am so grateful to be invited.|
|The whole company has a party at a local hotel--big deal, all the bigwigs show up. For people who live far away, or want to get plastered, they offer special rates at the hotel for that night. It's usually very nice, but it's still a forced affair.|
|Mandatory ones are the worst!|
|We're not having an outside party this year due to cost containment efforts and to tell you the truth, it was the best holiday gift I could have received! I like my co-workers, but this time of year is the absolute worst time to try to stuff in one more activity! We will have a "pig out" within our department during work hours and that works great for me! We're donating gifts and money to a local inner city school rather than buy gifts for each other. Makes so much more sense!|
|I work for a government plan. We have never had a Christmas party. My wife, however, works part-time for several charities. They both have very nice Christmas parties.|
|I really don't like it when your employer hosts a holiday party, but you need to pay to attend. Just don't have one or reduce the fan fare to ensure it's more affordable for the employer to host and not have employees foot a portion of the bill.|
|No intriguing stories for my office. Our party is a potluck held at the office over the lunch period before a monthly department meeting. Our department has never held a true after-work party (although some employees have had them on their own). I do miss that kind of stuff. My wife's office holds a holiday party each year at the Cherokee Town Club in Buckhead -- full open bar, great food, long night! Funny thing is, they now hold the holiday party in January because everyone's so busy making money for the company in December. But at least they still have it!|
|We serve liquor at ours which I think is a recipe for disaster but so far nothing has hpapend. And since I don't want to have anything to do with the planning of any event I have kept this opinion to myself. I know our HR Manager has raised this concern but those above her have not listened.|
|The big company bash is canceled - so our dept decided to have a simple afternoon potluck get-together - better than nothing.|
|I don't like them. I'll attend if I have to, which is most of the time. These things become "required." Everyone stands around in little circles and talks to the same people they've talked to all day, all week, all month, all year. There are many awkward silences. When you work in an office where people don't really like each other it's difficult to socialize. Bah Humbug!|
|The President of our company is so kind as to allow us little folk to grace his country club every year for our party. It makes you feel proud to be part of his justification of his membership fees.|
|My employer and my husband's employer have both opted to have no holiday parties this year. Business is slow at both companies due to the economy, so this is no surprise.|
|Can't ever bring spouses so I usually don't attend. This year they cancelled the party and decided to have a carnival with booths at the workplace that we have to contribute money to. Not attending that!|
|Our holiday parties are always during normal business hours, generally 1:00 to 5:00. Employees are free to go home if they prefer. We have about 75% participation. Parties are employee only (plus a few "consultants").|
|The worst office party I managed to miss was for a company that decided not to give a Holiday bonus, usually distributed at the party, but decided not to announce the change until the party. The party was held very close to the holidays and many employees counted on the bonus to pay for gifts. Luckily I was on a flight back to town that was weather delayed. So happy to miss that disaster of a party.|
|Best darn show not on TV for drama, comedy, mystery and adult situations. There should be a warning "that due to the human-nature of the program..."|
|Ours will be very scaled back this year. Some appetizers, wine, and beer will be it. Frankly, I'd rather skip it, but management is cutting the work day by 2 hours and letting us that usually come in during the wee hours, to come in late, so there's no excuse!|