The most memorable staff holiday party was when I wrote funny limericks for and about each employee, some 50 people.
Poor as a mouse, I was paying for graduate school while earning $12,000/year as a YMCA program director. Couldn't afford gifts.
Driving between the University of Washington and the Auburn YMCA, I had 45 minutes to think up limericks. I could compose and hold in my mind two limericks at a time. Arriving at work, I immediately wrote them down.
At the staff holiday party, I gave each person a Christmas card with their silly limerick inside. Laughing, they took turns reading the limericks aloud.
It was a fun and heart-warming experience.
I worked for a big accounting firm and every year they organized a gathering in the best hotel in the city and it was a formal affair.
One year I met a woman (black) in the Mountaineers and we became friends. I invited her as my date to the office party. When I showed up at her apt. she asked me to help her with her strapless gown and put my hand down her breasts? She said the strapless bra wouldn't stay down and she needed me to hold it in place (did I mention she was very assertive).
As per usual a partner sat at each table and at my table was a partner who was a strong Catholic (5 kids) and his wife. When he saw my date with her low cut gown and sparkles his eye almost popped out of his head. It was embarrassing watching him. The next day he asked all kinds of questions but when I mentioned her ear rings he said he didn't see them because he didn't see her face (he was too busy looking elsewhere).
Years later after I married my late partner we went to the party. Someone talked her into sampling a spoon of crabcake (she hated shellfish). She put the spoon in her mouth and started to gag (I had to tell her to take the spoon out of her mouth and return it. She then looked around and saw the large holiday tree and ran behind it and spit out the offending object. As we walked around the tree there was the photographer and took our picture. For years that picture reminded me of the funny incident.
I organise Secret Santas, Christmas 'does' and prizes etc. To be honest I hate going. I never drink and don't really enjoy watching a bunch of university lecturers get drunk. Now when I worked in practice, that was different. They were my tribe, nurses who had been through hell and back. We never got Christmas does because we always worked them. Parties came sometime in feb when we could all get a night off. We'd drink gin and remincise about times gone by, the people we'd loved and lost and different eras of overly starched uniforms and discipline. It wasn't a good night unless there had been a falling out, tears and someone throwing up in the loo! Aww we are British nurses, a tough breed. I miss that.
The best gifts are the ones we create. It shows we’re thinking about the recipient as more than a checkbox on a list. Your gifts speak to your recognition of the people around you.
My favorite parts: 1) meeting coworkers’ SO’s 2) dancing.
Oh, and I totally forgot about this til I read your post: Ine year I wrote my own lyrics to the tune of The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting...). I worked about 25 coworkers into the song. I sang it at the company holiday party. HUGE hit!