Christmas Work Parties, Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
If your year is anything like mine, December might be your busiest month historically. It's the month of the most advertising, back-to-back holiday weekends, preparations for the impending new year, trying to take those last few days of paid time off, and of course, the office Christmas party. Trying to squeeze it all in can take its toll.
Most years, the Christmas party isn't anything to worry about. In years past, under different managers and such, the party used to be an evening festivity that was booked somewhere away from work... Once it was fine dining, an event center, the Hilton and Apache Casino Hotel once or twice each... and I think it was a universally enjoyed thing. It was all handled, all you had to do was show up and enjoy your evening.
I admit, 99% of the time, I'd skip it and just stay at home working on projects in the garage. After all, do you want to hang out with your coworkers after work?
In recent years, whether it's the tightening of the corporate budgets or what have you, the Christmas party has become an all-hands-in staff luncheon. You know the pot-luck type, everyone prepares something and we all smile through twenty minutes of eating before dispersing... It's can be a real bummer for everyone.
Sure, it's nice to be nice for the holidays, but when a twenty-minute party that I can't not show up to now costs me the night prior to prepare a dish, plus the clean-up afterward, what is the point?
Honestly, it's hours and hours of work in the kitchen the night before and the morning-of preparing for this simple luncheon. For years I've tried convincing my colleagues that we should, at least once, enjoy a Kelso family Christmas dinner.
After a few years of doing the traditional turkey and ham, my mom eventually got to the point where she now spends an hour or so making tacos and nachos for everyone, and we all sit around and eat it all up. No leftovers to put away, no complaints about the universally loved food. It's a Christmas fiesta and nobody complains, nobody slaves away in the kitchen, clean-up is as easy as tossing crock-pot liners in the bin.
I've literally tried to pass this off to my work-peeps because it's just so simple and easy. No more rushing through work feverishly trying to get it all packed into the time we have outside of the meal, but alas, I keep getting the whole "That's not Christmas" from all the official and honorary Boomers that think there's a deeper meaning to the meal.
As we're days away from our expected and planned work Christmas party luncheon thing, there is no plan. We've had this perfect storm of people being out, people prepping to be out, and an injury reserve list that our collective work-mother is listed on this year, and nobody is stepping up the plate to carry out the old-school wishes.
I've spent the last few business days working to ensure a good compromise, having the meal catered, but the indecisiveness and side-effects of people not wanting to rock a metaphorical boat are at an all-time high.
Once again, I mention "Let's cater in a taco bar."
No-go. In fact, there's talk of just canceling the whole thing and picking it back up in January when we in radio historically sit around and twirl our collective thumbs waiting on that Valentines' revenue to start rolling in.
It's at this moment I start to think I've pushed the anti-traditional party movement a little too far at this point.
One simple truth has reigned supreme throughout this process. You cannot please everyone, and if you can't all agree, nobody gets to have any fun.
While I may enjoy the Christmas work party that won't be, I feel somewhat bad for those of my coworkers that look forward to it each year. In response to my willingness to do whatever to bring a little joy back into the lives of my work family, I will make a sweeping declaration...
From now on, I won't suggest just "not having a party," but instead I'll suggest the boss just gives us all gift cards so we can all enjoy a catered holiday party meal... individually... at our own leisure... in our own time... and that's the art of the compromise.