We’re going to a Christmas open house & holiday gift exchange this afternoon. My wife’s friend hosts it almost every year. Holiday music, friends, games, and fun conversation in a beautifully decorated home makes for a wonderful afternoon.
I always love holiday luncheons, even when they were just ‘scheduled festivity’ at the office. The big, secular MegaCorp Holiday Luncheon was OK, but many of the smaller teams or divisions I was in had really great Christmas events. Sometimes a brave, local agency would even invite us – the client – to one of their infamous parties.
I used to like to host my MegaCorp team for a lunch out, right before people start leaving for holiday travel. There was a nice, cozy restaurant near our corporate campus that had wonderful table next to a fieldstone fireplace. We often asked for that spot and it seemed like every year big fluffy snowflakes were piling up outside the window as people were sharing their holiday travel plans. (MegaCorp was usually too cheap to pick up the tab, so I would just pay for it with my own card).
For gifts, I always got everyone a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. For probably 20+ years without fail. Bailey’s is nice at the holidays and easy for someone to re-gift if it’s not their thing. Bailey’s was also one of our company’s liquor brands, and so it was good to support our MegaCorp cousins during their key season.
I continued handing out Bailey’s the rest of my career – even after our business was spun off by the liquor guys. At times, I would buy a couple cases of the indulgent stuff. After I retired, I’m guessing the liquor store wondered what happened to me!
Maybe I’ll bring some Bailey’s to the Christmas party this afternoon. With inflation, a bottle of the festive cordial is pushing up close to the $30 gift minimum. I can tie some candy on the bottle with a ribbon if I need to.
What holiday office traditions do / did you most enjoy? Any fun stories / memories?