Image courtesy of S Baker

We had our company holiday party last night and I must say it was a lot of fun. It was nice to get together and see people from other offices in other areas of the state. I'm pretty happy that our company is still financially sound and still held our annual holiday party. Given the current state of the economy, most companies have had to cut back or cancel their holiday parties all together.
While we were still lucky enough to have a holiday party, they did cut out some of the perks.
  • Instead of an open bar, we were given drink tickets. Each person was given 2 drink tickets while equalled 2 free drinks. You could drink more but you had to pay full price after your 2 free drinks. Luckily, I am pretty good friends with the ticket holder so I was able to score a few extra tickets.
  • Our party was held in a large hotel in downtown Atlanta. In past years, the company would pay for rooms for employees that live more than 50 miles from the hotel. For those who lived closer but were not able to drive, you could get a reduced price room. This year, everyone had to pay for their own room (full price).
  • Instead of a buffet style dinner, the food was mostly appetizers. In years past, they usually went all out with the food selection.
Did your company have a holiday party this year? Was it a limited budget version?


  1. Saver Queen // December 14, 2008 at 1:16 PM  

    I work in the nonprofit sector so our holiday parties our laughable. This years is actually considered a big "step-up" - lunch at a hotel with a cash bar. Haha!

  2. debtmaven // December 14, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

    Our company was torn between none and something inexpensive. We're not a big corporation, so it's never been that lavish, but in past years had it at a local business (last year at a burlesque performance, the previous at bowling alley/bar) with 2 drink tickets per person (most people I work with are hard drinkers - think blue collar artists).

    This year we had a potluck at one of our two locations. Wine was provided via Trader Joes (3 buck chuck). I opted to work some OT on an unexpected job so couldn't attend, and I found out I'll be getting a bottle of wine since I couldn't go (there was some leftovers).

  3. Stephen // December 14, 2008 at 8:13 PM  

    I always found it strange that companies would actually cut back on parties - a bank, I believe Lloyds, is stopping its staff from even celebrating in its name to avoid the press photos of Government bailed out banks drinking and making merry.

    I thought that the idea of cancelling a party for financial reasons is one of the least cost effective ways of saving a bit of money. It might be a very expensive sunk cost but your staff will like it and you won't look like a dead company to your members and outsiders. If my employers said "due to the current climate" I might spend that evening instead looking at getting ready to take a redundancy payment.

    Maybe lay off the caivar this year but keep the party.

  4. J. Money // December 15, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

    ours has been nixed this year i'm afraid, but it's all good really cuz every year i go pretty crazy and my body hates me for it ;)

    we usually get a limmo, hit up fancy dinners, bars, and down bottles of Crystal (no joke), but this round it'll be crackers and wine in-house.

    but hey, at least i have a job!

  5. Paul // December 17, 2008 at 2:51 PM  

    Our company cut out the party, but my division decided to have their own blowout. A few people organized it, we each had to pay $20, but it was open bar for 5 hours, buffet style with some appetizers (think wedding reception with no bride and groom) and it was the best party we've had in years. No executives went, and no worries about company associated problems. Even though our company parties were typically free, I'd rather pay to have another one next year.

  6. everanderson // December 19, 2008 at 10:56 PM  

    I feel very fortunate. My company is expanding - in fact, we're not able to keep up with the demand, so we were able to continue with our Christmas party this year.

    Location, food, entertainment was the same as always - we were even able to keep the open bar and door prizes.