This is time of the year when holiday parties are all the buzz. For many people, getting together in larger numbers (albeit family, co-workers, or just friends) makes the holiday season feel, well, more holiday-ish. And though it is presumptuous that everyone is happy to oblige in accepting (or not) holiday party invitations, people still feel it is the appropriate gesture to invite even casual friends and co-workers on the fringe of obscurity. It is done so with the best intentions, but the less one knows about those they invite, the less responsibility they feel for whatever sadness it invokes. In other words, the holiday season is not the happiest time of the year for some, unfortunately. And they may become the inadvertent (and often unwilling) party-poopers. They may show up to the party, then bring the vibe down because suddenly they realize why they hate Christmas parties and drag others down with them.
Co-workers are often the most guilty of this practice. A co-worker holiday party only really gets rocking when the liquor starts to kick in. But too often the pseudo-uppidy kind prefer wine or some other cream puff drink and it doesn’t really buzz them, so they start to talk about work. It becomes like, “Mayday! Mayday! Get me away from this person! Not work stuff! Ahhh!” But many of us go to these work holiday parties and it always happens: the complaints about certain people, new policies, rumors flying around, bad-mouthing of others (even some that actually came to the party), and the ever annoying hornball that thinks he’s taking the sexy secretary home (unbeknownst to her boyfriend). What often begins light-hearted eventually becomes neck deep in the ills (or thrills) of work in the back of everyone’s head. And too many times, the brown-nosers, kiss-ups and goody two-shoes (who everyone hoped would not come to the party) make their rounds and bring everybody back down to earth.
One can suppose these are simply stereotypes and one should’t assume the worst at holiday parties. But there is something all holiday parties have in common: people. And anytime there are many people in the same room or grouped together at a venue, anything can and does happen. That’s reason enough to drink an extra shot, toast an extra toast, and promise to hang out more during the year (which no one ever really does). Co-worker holiday parties are the ultimate put-on in the shadow of a once religiously Holy day. Now, it has been reduced as an end of the year intoxicated reflection and blurry-eyed promise for a better upcoming new year. Oh, and let’s not forget the $25 or less cheesy gift exchange. What a riot!
It may be that the best holiday parties are those spent with loved ones and friends. Those are the ones good, lasting memories, quality memories are made. They don’t always come up when we reflect on our lives in critical moments, when we get sick and we think we are near death, the Christmas party of 2009 doesn’t really pop up, but we know in our collection of memories these times are there. We know the opportunities were around. Whether or not we choose to join others at such events really says a lot about ourselves as individuals. Not everyone is comfortable in such social setting. That doesn’t mean they suck. It just means it sucks they are not social enough to be part of what will become a faint, distant, and often irrelevant memory. As I write this, I am trying to remember Christmas parties of my life and only a few come to mind (and they involved a lot of tequila, but then it goes blank after that). Some were epic, I know that much. The ones that were special were always with family (even when there were fights). But in the grand scheme of the America world, holiday parties are often just another excuse to drink. Think about this when you prepare yourself for your own holiday parties this season and make them something more special this time around.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! 🙂