Earlier this year, someone made a comment to me that they no longer had a company Christmas (excuse me, holiday) party at work anymore. I thought that was really sad, and I mentioned that I was glad that we still had ours.
Ours is a great one. We rent out a hotel lobby and banquet room(s). It’s open bar before and after dinner. We have a sit down dinner of pretty decent food. There’s a great, huge live band that plays until after midnight. Each person who comes gets a raffle ticket for neat prizes — everything from a GPS unit to a gift certificate to movie tickets. There are lots of prizes, although I’ve never managed to win in the time that I’ve been working here. They even let us off work early that Friday so we can get home and pretty up for the party.
A few days after I made the pronouncement about how we have our great Christmas party, an email announcement came out that we were not having our traditional Christmas party this year. Instead, we’d have a party at our new headquarters to cut costs, and we were no longer to bring a guest.
I was bummed, but … I can deal.
This fall, expenses were cut further, and no Christmas party at the division level. The individual departments could do something small if they wished, and we were assured that our department would do something to celebrate yet.
Well, this past Thursday was our departmental Christmas party. Most people weren’t there because we only found out about it the prior Monday. With so many people who work remotely, there wasn’t much time — nor incentive — to move around work schedules to be in the office. It was from 11:30 to 1pm in one of the conference rooms. We should stop by as we were able. Oh, and it was potluck. But we were to only bring in store-bought food.
Apparently they were a little worried that we might want to poison our bosses. Oh the difference a year makes. It’s actually really sad. Needless to say, I didn’t go to the office specifically for this party. It just didn’t seem like there was all that much to celebrate.
I can only hope that next year life returns somewhat to normal. The lack of a Christmas party isn’t big in the grand scheme of things, but it’s definitely symptomatic of what else is going on in the rest of the country. Too many people have lost jobs. Too many people are in fear of losing their livelihoods and their homes. Too many people are taking part-time work they don’t want just to try to make it.
A Merry Christmas to everyone. And let’s pray that it feels more like a merry one next year.