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Christmas parties

Do people still have massive company Christmas parties? I remember donkeys years ago when I was in London working for the same company I do now, although probably a takeover or merger removed, we used to host huge outside tented Christmas ‘do’s’ at great expense at locations like Spitalfields or themed inside ones at places such as The Brewery at Chiswell Street. Bloody brilliant they were. Do companies in London still do that?

The reason I ask is today we have our team Christmas lunch. Seven of us eating, getting a little tiddly but a far cry from the glory days of 90’s excesses. In fact when I was in Chicago we used to put our team lunch up for sponsorship because team Christmas lunches, expensed ones anyway were banned. Actually we had some very good and guilt-free afternoons.

I suspect most companies these days struggle to warrant an expensive end of year staff blow out, preferring to offer days off or hampers or bottles of cheap plonk instead. Mind you some still may not agree with such nimiety.

Shame really because most employees work their balls off all year and a little free drink-up can go a long way. My lot are happy to have a late lunch and write the afternoon off and as an added bonus the company are hosting a two-hour staff cocktail party in the office tomorrow after work, although more cheese and pineapple on sticks than bacchanalia.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s been many years since my company hosted a big do, when partners were also invited. We used to go to one of the big hotels in the West End.

    Initially it stopped because the company became a lot bigger in London so it was more impractical.

    But inevitably this would have happened anyway as no-one is prepared to have a ‘public’ do in case it gets in the press and they are accused of wasting money.

    December 15, 2010
  2. Scott #

    We have two parties. The all-office party was at the House of Blues here in Chicago, and the partners will be having a formal dinner this Friday at the Chicago Club. People here still seem to have them, but they’ve been scaled back for now.

    On a Charlton-related Chicago note, the Fire just picked up ex-injured-Addick Cory Gibbs. Now I can justify wearing Charlton gear to the Fire matches!

    December 15, 2010
    • Scott, isn’t that Gibbs’ 3rd MLS team in 3 seasons?

      December 16, 2010
      • Scott #

        Almost. Gibbs was with Colorado 2008-09 and New England last season.

        December 16, 2010
  3. Charlton Lane Dave #

    CA – Oh for the good old days of the indulgent company Christmas party. I have some great personal memories, one in particular that will live with me forever! Long since gone at our place. Instead they will stump up £20 per person towards something you organise yourselves but wash their hands of it on the premises and there’s always the annual warning about not getting pissed and disgracing the company name etc. I’m taking my team out tomorrow night and we’ll fund it ourselves. Twenty quid indeed.

    December 16, 2010
    • So Dave, do you have take your team out for Diwali too?

      December 16, 2010
  4. Pat #

    Some of us work in the public sector CA!! A mince pie and a glass of wine is as far as it goes, and certainly not an afternoon off in the pub. Actually, there are some incredibly generous bosses – and it comes out of their own pocket so I’m not complaining.

    December 16, 2010
  5. Pembury Addick #

    Blimey – we get £30 a head. After reading some of those comments above I feel like Royalty!

    December 16, 2010
  6. su #

    Oh, I remember The Brewery…I went there a couple of times for my husband’s company parties. Now they have a tent in Battersea Park! They used to host brilliant parties for the children of employees too.
    Done the public sector bit too…we used to take ourselves out for lunch….making sure the public were catered for with willing cover! 😉

    December 16, 2010

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