Getting ready to put on the feedbag and hire a designated driver, because it's time to overindulge on the boss' dime at the annual company Christmas party?

Ho ho hold on a second.

More than half of the companies surveyed by the staffing firm Office Team say they aren't planning holiday parties this year. The reason? (Do you have to ask?) Cost.

The report also indicates that about 75% of employees actually enjoy going to company holiday shindigs, so the news comes as a disappointment to many.

Office Team suggests a few less expensive alternatives to the traditional fancy-dancy holiday parties.

  • Hold a breakfast or lunch holiday get-together, rather than a more-expensive dinnertime gathering.
  • Have a potluck. (I'm not eating what Jeremy brings.)
  • Gather at a casual-dining restaurant, instead of one that's more formal. (Nothing says "Christmas" like a Flint-style coney and fries!)
  • Hold a holiday donation drive, or gather a team of volunteers to help a charitable organization.
  • Have a party in January, when venues may be willing to charge less.

Has your employer scaled back on the ol' holiday party? Do you actually look forward to getting together with coworkers outside the workplace?

- George McIntyre
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