Lunchtime poll – office holiday party
December 7th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
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What a difference each year makes. At my former place of employment, the '07 company bash was a full, open, swankity restaurant bar with strolling hors d'oeuvres bearers, meat carving and crepes stations, and fussy desserts as far as the eye could see. The next two years, it was bowls of pretzels and McWine in the hallway while we watched the company president shake his groove thang with the ladies from the mailroom.

Seeing as Eatocracy is a staff of just two, we're proooobably not gonna go renting out the entire whale room at the Museum of Natural History, but a good long lunch is likely in order.

Tales of office excess and debauchery are most welcome in the comments below.



soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. PNK

    No party, no dinner, no celebration at all. Our smallish but doing very well company just got bought by a huge company, doing even better, no perks at all. Our health care costs did go up, however, with the buyout, and some execs got rich.

    Oh, and we also get to go through a job-justification process and see if we get to keep our job in 2011. My job title is "TBD" – no joke, it is the real title since the buyout.

    My celebration is having a job! For now.

    December 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  2. Angela

    My Associates, Friends, I gave them a Christmas Gift-Giving idea of giving a 24.oz Jar of my Homemade "Speciallty" BBQ Sauces either in flavor of Mild-w-Honey or Hot!-n-Spicy!!! to someome as
    a different thought as a Christmas Gift or for themselves if they are entertaining and want to try my sauce on one of their Meat Dishes to their Guests.

    December 14, 2010 at 11:55 am | Reply
  3. Angela

    I'm Self-Employed and have a Home-Based Business of Homemade "Specialty" BBQ Sauces, that current I do everything my self, until I am in need for additonal assistance to hire. So, I am pretty much am Solo.

    Several years ago in 2002, when I worked for someone else at a upper scale Department Store at Lord & Taylor, I worked as Sales Associate full time in the Mens Sportswear Department, and each department in the store was allowed to have their own Christmas Party, and I cooked a large pan of Pork & Beef Ribs with my Homemade "Speicalty" BBQ Sauce, that was Mild-w-Honey, and everyone drooled over the ribs, and licking their fingers in enjoyment. The aroma of my BBQ Sauce traveled throughout the store. It was great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, today, in 2010, I created a Plan from my heart and passion and selling the 3 Sauces in Original-Mild-w-Honey and Hot!-n-Spicy!!! in 24.oz Jars and 64 fl.oz Gallons. My new private company is now SOUL FOOD SENSATIONS-Homemade "Specialty" BBQ Sauces.

    December 14, 2010 at 11:48 am | Reply
  4. Shawn Archer

    This is unrelated but they removed the comment section on that article. There is an article on CNN today called "6 mysteries that science can't solve". They edited the article and removed the first three. They also removed one author. The author's name was Jennifer Margulis. The so-called mysteries are: (prepare for a laugh)
    Divine phenomena: Padre Pio's stigmata

    In 1918 a young priest was kneeling at prayer when he looked down and saw blood dripping from his hands, sides, and feet. His wounds were believed by many to be signs that he had been touched by Jesus's suffering on the cross; others charged they were self-inflicted.

    Though embarrassed by the controversy, Padre Pio went on to perform his work, gaining a worldwide reputation as a healer. His good deeds reinvigorated the flagging Catholic faith in a way nothing else had since Saint Francis of Assisi preached simplicity and humility 700 years before. When he was canonized in 2002, 300,000 people braved 100-degree weather to attend the ceremony at the Vatican.

    Oprah.com: How to find miracles in your own life

    The Hindu milk miracle

    On September 21, 1995, a worshipper at a New Delhi temple offered a spoonful of milk to a statue of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god. To his astonishment, Ganesha sipped it.

    Scientists argue that "capillary action" could have caused the milk molecules to adhere to the statue's surface, drawing the milk up. But within a few hours, Hindu temples from Bangladesh to Canada were reporting that their idols were drinking milk, too. Then, 24 hours later, it was all over.

    The survival of Baiturrahim Mosque

    When the 2004 tsunami slammed into Banda Aceh, in Indonesia, it leveled almost everything in its wake. But as the 30-foot walls of water washed over the city's grand mosque, its 123-year-old minarets and domes stood strong. Muslims everywhere took it as a miracle that God's house of worship was spared the ocean's wrath. less less

    December 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  5. Mike

    Ours is actually at the whale room at the Museum of Natural History.

    December 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  6. Enozdaed

    Typically my office, which is rather small, but is part of a lager company has its own party at a restaurant with drinks and usually we get a hotel, which our company uses, to comp. rooms for everyone. I don't attend because I hate these things. Usually everyone ends up trying to get me to go to. They must think I am more fun than I actually am. In the past, a larger company that is our main client has invited us to attend their Christmas party, which is a formal event, but the past few years they have discontinued their party. This year we have our small office party and a party for everyone on our floor during working hours. Which is more like a catered lunch. Then we are also having a company wide party which is after hours and my boss is saying is mandatory. All three of these are within the same week. The company must be doing very well this year since this is the first time they have ever hosted a company wide party.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:53 am | Reply
  7. fattymcpatty

    I work for a small company (8 people) and we celebrate EVERYTHING with a potluck. Birthdays, St. Patrick's Day, Valentines, Fourth of July, Presidents day, Easter, Memorial day, Labor day, Halloween and Christmas, Super Bowl Sunday, etc. No wonder I'm "fattymcpatty". It would be nice though to celebrate our holiday office party at a restaurant for a change instead of bringing the same old deviled egg, lime-jello salad (Seriously Laura, quit bringing that crap-nobody ever eats it), stuffing/dressing/potato side dish, green bean casseroley goop, (turkey/ham/beef/insert meat here), potluck stuff. Oh well, I'm just happy to be employed at this point.

    December 8, 2010 at 1:08 am | Reply
  8. LV Angela

    I've been working for the same large company for 10 years, we used to have big Christmas parties that included our whole market (about 300 employees plus guest). Free food, alcohol and entertainment, even free cab fare to get home. Now there's no holiday party at all. In the spring we get a party at a hotel, free food, pay for your own drinks and no guests. Our company is doing great, just decided to cut back on all the "luxuries". Really sucks, it's nice to get together with everyone and have fun after all your hard work all year. Maybe someday.....

    December 8, 2010 at 12:23 am | Reply
  9. Danielle

    This year we are having a lunch for the whole office (18 people) at a restaurant that's a client. We're having some games and an open bar. Then we get the afternoon off to finish our christmas shopping. Pretty nice deal. The past few years we've had a sit down buffet dinner with a cocktail hour (spouses invited). We took an office vote and decided to do this and donate the difference to the homeless shelter that our office manager's husband works for. Be grateful that you still have a job and aren't living on the streets.

    December 8, 2010 at 12:04 am | Reply
  10. Ms. Prescott

    Our company quit having parties last year, which was understandable considering there were lay-offs. This year has been a great year for the company though and still no party. While our bonus was cut, I hear the bosses had a record year for themselves. Does anybody wonder why a secratary would spit in the bosses coffee? I have a strong feeling that dissing the employees will be very costly, in the long run, for them. PS: We would have been thrilled to donate party funds to charity but we're not so happy about financing another managers vacation. A really dumb move by the company, they have no idea.........

    December 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  11. depressed

    my company has not had a holiday party in 2 years. instead we have had to lay people off every year for the past few years. there is lots of money to pre pay expenses and give the big guys bonus' but you can't lay people off and then have a big party – bad form.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  12. Simon and Gar Farkel

    I work for a fairly large company (over 300 employees in my location alone). We've done both – the elaborate party at a hotel, or the smaller catered event here in our breakroom. This year it's at a golf/country club with heavy hors d'oeuvres, and cash bar. I'll avoid it. I actually like the pot luck events we do with just my team mates.

    December 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  13. ljubinka

    I am quite fortunate to work for a company that has not downsized their holiday parties (yet). The only change is that in the past years (pre-2000), each employee would receive a gift at the party (usually Mikasa crystal). Since then, the party has continued (outside venue, formal dress, open bar, dinner, dancing) but the gifts have gone by the wayside. We work in a business casual office so we joke that we don't recognize each other all dolled up for the party.

    My husband's company on the other hand? They have a buffet dinner at a local casino. And you have to pay to attend the party. :-(

    December 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  14. SafetyHarborSteph

    My company (medium sized international marketing corp) goes all out at the Corporate office. This year it's at a restaurant on the water – open bar, apps, live music. Last year was at an art gallery. Really swanky stuff. Everyone is pretty laid back so it's always a good time. Merry Christmas!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  15. fob

    I work nights at a place where most of the employees work during the day. They are having a catered lunch, but everyone has to pay for their own if they want to come. The few of us here at night will probably order out for pizza before we go on holiday break. My husband's company used to throw great Christmas parties with a dj and door prizes, but that ended a few years ago. I miss it.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  16. cheppa

    I worked for a small law firm a few years ago and they made us come to their "party" in order to get our bonuses. The lawyers and law clerk entrenched themselves in the conference room where the food was set up – a couple of party trays from the local grocery store. When it came time to be handed the bonus the big boss made a big deal about it. Turned out to be a $100 check with taxes taken out. I laugh very time I think about what a big deal the "office manager" made about the bonuses and the party.

    December 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  17. Pippi

    As the planner of my company's parties, I always make sure we do something with a theme and with something for everyone to do other than drink, like kids interactive museums or indoor kart races, with unusual side stuff like a palm reader or karaoke video. And lots and lots of finger food. Unfortunately we haven't had a party in two years and it's the one thing employees keep asking to get back.

    December 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • JainaJade

      @ Pippi
      I also plan the company parties but luckily we haven't had to cut ours back. We also do it at a hotel with a theme that the employees get to vote on, Casino Night three years running! I also try to include side events for those that don't gamble, this year we have a few X-boxes with Kinect hooked up to them so we shall see how that goes. The big part is always the Top Shelf open bar paid out of pocket by the boss along with some very nice presents and bonus checks :-D

      December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am | Reply
  18. Erin

    Just got my invite today. Apparently we're having a big party at a hotel but I'm not sure what it'll be like as they haven't had anything elaborate like this since I've worked here (about 2 years). Last year it was just an ok catered lunch in the breakroom and a week later our department hosted our own open bar (not sure if it was paid for by the company or one of the managers though). I'm not sure if I want to even bother with this thing this year as it eats into my personal time (rather than occur during work hours).

    December 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  19. Kim

    I don't think "the company" is doing anything this year. But my boss took her staff out to lunch (I don't think she can expense it either). I thought that was very nice.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  20. JCR

    We took a poll and decided for the second year in a row to donate the money allocated for a party to the food bank instead. It's a great cause but we could really use a party since we've all been working harder with fewer people, taking on more work, etc. We all just kind of brought in chips and dips one day last year and will probably do the same again.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  21. T3chsupport

    This week, we get to decorate our cubicles. Yay!
    And we'll have a potluck. And a gingerbread house competition.
    It's a pretty fun office. No huge, drunken holiday shenanigans for us though. Which is a real shame, because we'd all really like to embarrass ourselves for one another. We'll keep lobbying for next year...

    December 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  22. Caroline

    I work for a huge international company, and they do not have a christmas party. Fine with me, I'm just happy to have a job this year. The last company christmas party I went to, my drunken boss danced with a palm tree. Not a pretty sight.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Gr8fuldude@Caroline

      At least he did not regale you with a rousing chorus of...

      ...

      wait for it....

      "Sweet Caroline!"

      December 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  23. WinterClover

    The owners of my company are refusing to do anything at all. Every year they have had a party and given small gifts. This year they are not even putting up decorations or sending out Xmas cards...pretty lame!!

    December 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  24. Snowbunny

    We used to have a potluck lunch and then after play the "white elephant" game. It was SO much fun. Everybody would find junk around their house, wrap it and exchange it with an anonymous person at work. Oh, we'd laugh so hard at the crap we'd get!!

    December 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Valerie

      Hahahaha...that sounds like a lot of fun! : )

      December 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  25. Cristina

    We have a set limit per employee and I (admin asst.) take that, head to the grocery store, buy the "platters" of food and we have it in our conference room. It's usually around 15-20 of us and I get the veggies, fruit, sandwich, boneless wings, shrimp and a couple of desserts. It's not much, but it's nice to get a break for a couple of hours and visit with people who work in other offices.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  26. amayda@jillmarie

    We do the same thing we do every holiday, have a potluck! Christmas, however, includes a cookie exchange this year. :)

    December 7, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  27. mmmkay

    My company has an elaborate Christmas Eve breakfast with all 12 of our employees and spouses. Five types of pork are offered along with other southern crap that makes you feel like having a heart attack afterwards. I got suckered into it the first year, but have managed to schedule out of town excursions far enough in advance each subsequent year that I get to skip it. I'd be much happier with a couple of shots of whiskey in the conference room.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  28. jillmarie

    I work for a multi-million dollar corporation with 600 locations and guess what? No Christmas party, bonus, nothing! My particular office will be going out to lunch together on our own dime. Charge it on the company credit card? We don't even have petty cash for office necessities! They're so cheap.
    My husband's former company used to have fabulous parties at a catering hall and have themed parties like "casino night". Then the ecomony tanked and they had pizza in the breakroom and got no bonuses. He started to work for a different company this year, so we'll see...
    Nothing can break my holiday spirit though. I'll have a blast anyway, just wish it wasn't on my dime!

    December 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • koors

      I feel your pain. I just started working for a huge engineering firm, thousands of employees worldwide, have recovered very well from the recession, and how do they thank us? No bonuses, no party, only a miserable little lunch that my mediocre cooking could probably trump. THANKS A LOT

      December 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • Baby Bear

      We must work for the same company...
      Office Party = Not happening. If we want to do something for the holidays it is basically a potluck where everyone brings something in.
      But honestly, I am just happy that I have a job – that's enough for me to celebrate!

      December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  29. Heather

    Looks like none of you work in a fun office. Everyone in my company looks forward to the holiday party all year long – we go all out and have a great time on the company's dime.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Sir Biddle@Heather

      Check this out and see why I am happy to be on the road next week rather than celebrating with oxygen thieves like these two. http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2lvk0h4&s=7 (Its clean, don't worry)

      December 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • Jerv@SirB

        Are you related to them??

        December 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • Sir Biddle@Jerv

        Nope but they do hail from the Richmond area.

        December 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • Jerv@SirB

        LMGDAO! When I first looked and laughed at the photo, I didn't want to post and then find out that's your sister or something. Since the "oxygen thieves" are here in Richmond, I shall seek out and destroy, oh noble one.

        December 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
      • Gr8fuldude@Biddle

        Dang man!
        Now I feel like Brad Pitt or something...!

        December 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  30. Suz

    We've made a lot of sacrifices these past few years in the name of cutting costs so people can keep their jobs... kind of surprised that my firm is spending as much as they are – the party they're planning is on par with a very nice wedding (open bar, sit-down dinner, band, etc.) for 200 guests. Guess we had a good year, or maybe things really ARE turning around regarding the economy as a whole.

    At any rate – looking forward to the free entertainment courtesy of the usual suspects who drink too much. :)

    December 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  31. Sir Biddle

    I'm on travel to San Fran all of next week, so I miss them all. Yea, nothing like standing around talking shop and the standard BS. Think the movie Office Space when cake was being handed out or it was announced next Friday is Hawaiian Shirt Friday.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  32. Jerv@Truf

    Yeah, had to watch my sis go into rehab after rehab after rehad and finally got her act together last year. Hoping your buddy Jdizz gets his monkey off of his back.

    December 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  33. Jerv@Truf

    LMAO! Too funny!

    December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Truth@Jerv

      The comapny was reorganizing, so I just sped things up a bit. It is hard to watch someone who cannot handle booze self-destruct. A VERY bright guy, just a letch with no boundaries.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  34. Lin K

    The company I work for has a party outside the office, but here is the catch: only the first 500 people (out of at least a thousand) who sign up are able to attend. Nothing says The Holidays like a little competition!

    December 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  35. Truth

    I hate these things and avoid them like the plague.

    In the past though, I had a boss who I HATED, who could not handle his booze. Would get a drink in him and walk around trying to guess women's bra sizes. So one year, he was going full force, when I told him a redhead near the window was eyeing him. Our HR director's wife was not amused. Hilarity ensued.

    December 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Evil Grin

      Agreed. I dislike them immensely. Usually, out of deference to those who don't celebrate, we don't have a party, but this year we are. I'm hoping it'll be something I can avoid.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • 4U Mister

      I detest these as well. I don't want to see what my co-workers are like when they cut loose. I have to work with them. It is not a good idea!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  36. Jerv

    Just started a new job in July and my new boss goes all out, the works. Can't wait.

    December 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Reply

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