Friday night was the – usually dreaded – company holiday party. Everyone loves these! You get to spend a few more hours with people that you spend at LEAST 40 hours a week with in the first place being more dressed up than you usually are around each other, eating food, having drinks, and engaging in sometimes awkward conversation. Oh, and don’t forget the significant others that are thrown into the mix.
There was some resistance from just about all of us at one point or another leading up to the party (really, after working 40 hours a week who wants to spend their Friday night out with coworkers? I personally love putting on my comfy’s and sitting on the couch.), but Friday rolled around and our RSVP’s were great. Being engaged to a doctoral-seeking artist means going to a lot of things by myself, so my company holiday party was no exception. Luckily for us, we had the best company holiday party ever – especially for those that dread the holiday party.
Our party was at Shadowbox Live, a dinner theater that is a sort of cabaret-style sketch comedy that puts SNL to shame. This was their 20th “Hoilday Hoopla” show and it was hilarious. What’s cool about Shadowbox is that all of the stage crew, musicians, and actors are also the staff members. So before the first act they’re serving you drinks and food, during intermission they come back and refill your drinks, take more food orders, and then hop back up on stage for the second act. So why was Shadowbox Live the best company holiday party ever?
1) The doors opened at 6:15 and the show started at 7:30. That means, depending on what time you got there, it was only an hour and 15 minutes of making small talk. Plus, it’s more restaurant-style dining rather than a private room and that takes away that awkward trapped-in-a-room feeling.
2) It was casual. Most of us dressed up our jeans with boots, a nice top, some jewelry and the most of the guys wore khakis or dress pants and a sweater or simple button down. It was snowing here Friday night so it was great to not have to freeze in a dress or wear impractical shoes.
3) There was a show… a hilarious one at that. No need to plan some sort of activity, no awkward speeches about how great every did that year, no awkward dancing OR empty dance floor, etc.
4) The show was only 2 hours, so it was over by 9:30. Once the show was over they start to clean up for the 10:30pm show, so it cut out the big question of “How long should I stay?” Yet, it was still early enough for anyone that wanted to hang out at their Bistro and have another drink or go out to one of the many bars in the Brewery District to do so.
5) The food gave us options. We had a buffet set up so rather than being stuck with “Chicken or Beef?” you could load up your plate with anything from cheese, veggies, salad, sausage, potatoes, or stuffed pasta shells. We each had two drink tickets for free drinks (though our company Pres was nice enough to open a tab) so there were choices of beer, wine, or liquor. AND there was dessert.
We still had time to mingle before the show and during intermission, and – like I said – it was early enough when it ended for those of us that wanted to continue the party to do so! I really like my coworkers and look forward to hanging out with them, but for those who feel differently or just generally dread the holiday party, this is an awesome option. You may even get lucky like we did and have one of your coworkers pulled up on stage.
How was your company holiday party this year? The good, the bad, the funny – please share in the comments!