Was Your Holiday Office Party Pared Down Due to Penny Pinching?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew Krzmarzick 6 years ago.

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  • #174465

    It was an age-old tradition: GovLoop and the Washington Post teamed up to pose questions to public sector professionals like you. Then the election happened and we got knocked off course. Now that the confetti’s all cleaned up, we’re back with a new question of the week:

    It’s the holidays, and that means parties and good cheer — or so one hopes.

    Is your agency having a holiday party?

    Is the budget smaller, are the guidelines stricter to make sure there is not even an appearance of waste or ethics violations?

    Need to respond anonymously? Send me an email at [email protected]

    Like this? Check out our other “Questions of the Week.”

  • #174489

    Anonymous by email:

    Our “office” (hospital) hasn’t had a holiday party since I’ve worked here which is about 7 years. However, our unit did have a carry in to celebrate over lunch. We also did a white elephant gift exchange.

  • #174487

    Kathy Bowman

    No party with this unit. In past years we got together to prepare food at a food pantry in full food service gear. My favorite holiday observance or for that matter non holiday observance is the gift exchange idea that is floating around these days.

    Most recently the example is “Secret Sandy” – coworkers pull names, look at a list of charitable options to help out in the Superstorm Sandy restoration area, “do it” (could be send money, a blanket, write an e-mail of support to Congress – it doesn’t have to cost!) print out a decorated gift tag with what you did in honor of your coworker, and give it to them).

    This could be adapted to work for your local humane society, food bank, whatever cause you love! Can work in person or on line.

    I personally have a daily giving practice and it’s fun to come up with something to do each day – whether it is “cuts” at the post office or anonymously putting $10 on someone’s tab at the veterinary or buying the coffee or volunteering to read grant requests. Or job applications.

  • #174485

    Kathy Bowman

    Inspired by this thread, I’m proposing the charitable gift exchange at my new virtual office – not on govvie time.

  • #174483

    Julie Chase

    We don’t get fed money for party here. Everyone brings a covered dish, the supervisors, bring a ham and a turkey and we chill for about 2 hrs. in the afternoon. Of course, no alcohol. We hope for a :59 Christmas Eve., or if the Pres is in a good mood, 4 hrs Christmas Eve.

  • #174481

    Yes, we have an annual Christmas party. The “budget” consists of a voluntary ornament exchange. For some reason, we no longer have potlucks, but the management brings the food or pays one of the managers to bring the food for the party.

  • #174479

    Terrence Hill

    As in previous years, our generous manager is treating his staff to a party at a local restaurant. We all appreciate his generosity in sharing a portion of his executive bonus with us. No different than what we have come to expect from great managers everywhere!

  • #174477

    Anonymous by email:

    “The annual office holiday party is completely ethical and appropriate. Co-workers chip in a designated amount to have the lunch party at our restaurant of choice — which is selected by majority vote of staff who want to attend. No office funds are ever used and employees take their full lunch hour for the event. Pretty simple, no drama.”

  • #174475

    That’s cool, Terry. Fascinating that he takes it out of his own money vs. expensing it.

  • #174473

    Great idea!

  • #174471

    Scott Kearby

    We generally have a Christmas brunch. The last three years we have held it at a local historic building – Tudor Hall which has connections to John Wilkes Booth. It’s a nice setting & a change from having it in the office.

    Cost is paid for by the employees … you can bring some food items or contribute cash, there is no government/taxpayer money involved.

    We invite retirees to attend as well. A small volunteer crew does the prep & cooking and then we share food & fellowship for about 1-1/2 or 2 hours (11-1). Since it is during work hours and in a County facilty, we have no adult beverages.

  • #174469

    This sounds like a nice event, Scott.

  • #174467

    The plans have changed and we are now having our Christmas Potluck.

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