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Old 12-06-2012, 09:02 AM   #46
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The companies that I worked for ranged from a small company with a party at the owners home, to large company with a catered lunch for the employees. At the small party, everyone was asked to bring an appetizer to share, but we've never had to pay to attend.

At my husband's companies, the old company used to do a huge, lavish, dress-up kind of party. No "admission" charged but they asked for donations to a toy-collection program and most people gave really nice donations. His current company does departmental outtings/parties (his department is going to lunch and then bowling for the afternoon). He does not have to pay.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:11 AM   #47
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We pay for ours. $30 per person if you are an Employee's Club member (costs $10 a year to join) or $60 per person if you are not. There is a lottery held to see if you can even get a ticket to the party because they can only host 1,000 people and we have 4,000 at our company. It's held in a convention hotel and cost $30 to park. Cash bar, formal (so you need a nice dress/suit or tux) and if you want to stay at the hotel for the night we have a negotiated rate of $140.

You get two free drink tickets, appetizers during cocktail hour, a full sit down dinner, they have a DJ, some sort of entertainment and they do give out nice door prizes such as Tiffany jewelry, spa days, Ipads and someone wins a year's free stays at a hotel chain. You also get one free photo. I went last year because my boss paid for our department's tickets but this year we had to pay for our own (got a new boss).

Right now I figure we have close to $1000 into our party already because my boyfriend had to go buy a new suit, I bought a new dress, and we got the room so we don't have to drive home after drinking (it's an hour drive). Crazy!!!! I'd better win a good door prize!!!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:11 AM   #48
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I am employed by a large co. and we have to pay for our Christmas party. It's organized by the employees(committee). The cost is supplemented by the soda/candy machine fund. This year it costs $25 and includes 2 hrs of open bar and buffet dinner. It's very nice and is at a country club.

Some years I go since it's a great way to catch up with people you don't ordinarily see or worked with ages ago, but I just don't feel like it this year. So DH & I will spend that $50 on a night out for us.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #49
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We are having ours this weekend. And it's open and free to all employees and one guest. They are really going all big time this year. They are giving away flat screen tv's, i-pads, blue ray players, $100 gift cards, cash, mini vacation plus other items. They bumped up the menu this year. And they moved it from a lunch party to an evening party.

The factory that DH use to work at, theirs was free - sort of. You had to sign up that you and a guest, if you were bringing one, would be attending. Then at the party you had to sign in. If you signed up to attend, but was a no show, they charged you back for the cost of the meals. I always thought it was a really smart idea. Kept those with the mind frame of "lets stick it to the company" at a minimum. They didn't do it just for the christmas party, but they also did it for the family fun days that they hosted. They had a couple of exceptions to the chargeback rule, the standard death in the family and illness with a dr's note, were about the only two that got you out of paying the cost.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:19 AM   #50
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My company's Christmas party is $15/person. You are allowed to invite 1 guest. You get 2 drink tickets each, parking pass (parking is $12), plus a taxi ride home if needed. Plus a big fancy dinner. There are close to 3000 employees that work at my company in this city. So they use a pretty big convention centre for the party. The reason they charge is because if they didn't then they would have people sign up and not show up. If you have to pay, it is more of an incentive to go. They don't want to pay for empty seats. I don't mind this at all.

I work in oil and gas and it is quite common here for these companies to charge a small fee for their Christmas parties. Mostly for the reasons I listed above. They can afford to not charge and probably wouldn't mind not charging, but I'm sure they don't want hundreds of no shows. Lots of wasted money and food.

Last edited by clarkshel; 12-06-2012 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:30 AM   #51
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Wow, I'm shocked to hear people pay. Our party is usually in January and is pretty much mandatory. If you do not attend you have to send a note to your director boss explaining why you will not be attending. Spouses are invited and strongly encouraged to attend. My DH usually does not as we have had issues getting a sitter.

For our out of town employees, the company pays to fly everyone and their spouse in and pays for the hotel.

It is very nice but they make it mandatory and for people who come solo we have to endure a major inquisition on why the spouse didn't come. The company line is "we pay for everything" but they don't get the no babysitter! The party has always been very nice. Food and drinks are included, open bar. Not a sit down dinner but very open to socializing. I really do enjoy it each time.

DH works for at a remote sales office for his company. His current boss really tries to do nice party but the headquarters does not "approve" it. Usually the sales reps will split the check and turn in as expenses. It is dinner and drinks.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:40 AM   #52
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My office goes out to lunch and we pay for it. Government agency, we're not allotted taxpayer money for parties for our office. If we didn't decide just to go out to lunch, we wouldn't have any celebration. My boss gives us gift cards, but she pays for them herself.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:46 AM   #53
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I work for a private company with a little over 100 employees, and we have a Christmas lunch party every year that is totally free. It's also not formal/fancy, so you don't have to spend money on an outfit. Usually we rent a venue so that it's a private party, and it's a buffet lunch with open bar. Afterwards there are fun games to win prizes (and the prizes are nice!) followed by dancing. They also present the awards for perfect attendance and long service.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #54
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My sister works for a travel company. Last year the owner told the employees that the holiday party would be held at their offices and all their clients were invited. He then said he didn't have enough money to feed everyone, so the catered food that was ordered was for clients only!!! He told the employees they couldn't eat any of it! Lol. I thought that was the funniest thing I ever heard! I told my sister, her and the other employees should do a McDonald's run and sit there with their happy meals while the clients ate the catered food. She went to the party and didn't eat. There's no way I would have attended that party. Some business owners are truly amazing.

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:27 AM   #55
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The one at the college I work for is not free. I forget how much it is ($20-$25 maybe?), because I had no intentions of going.

My wife's firm party was last weekend. It was "free", but since my wife is a partner, the bill will be partially hers to pay anyways. Budgets have been tight in recent years, so many of the holiday parties thrown lately have been, at least partially, paid for by the partners.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:57 AM   #56

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I'm a spoiled employee. NYC law firm, party held at a fancy hotel in the ballroom every year. Open bar, DJ, buffet, lots of extras (piano player, photobooth or bobblehead videos, etc.) We had the party at Windows on the World one year at the World Trade Center and another year at the observation deck of the World Trade Center. All expenses paid party plus a stipend toward transportation home.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:08 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Minnie_me View Post
Just wonderin'. I have to pay to go to mine, and I think that stinks. Morale is so low, and they want us to socialize and "be merry". I feel like that would happen a lot quicker if we didn't have to pay to go to the party....
....that and the $55 we have to shell out is why I'm not attending mine this year either...
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:16 PM   #58
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They took away our big party this year. So big, I believe it hit certain news media and websites when it was withdrawn.

We do get a company-wide "Holiday" thing for free, which boils down to heavy discounts and free things instead of our big party. I'd rather have the party.

Department-wise: We have a small potluck for our group put on by one guy in our group. We pay for it in the sense that we bring a dish and a White Elephant gift, and booze. We have a grand time. So much that now one lady in our group was instructed to go to other groups and tell them/show them/help them to have a potluck. The uppers haven't figured out it doesn't work that way; you can't MAKE people have fun. We just happen to all get along. Still pretty much anyone is invited to our party so we hope to share with others that way instead of forcing them.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #59
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I've never worked for a company that required you to pay for the party; DH neither. Heck, one company he worked for not only paid for the party, but for the sitters for the kids, hotel rooms for the parents, and the after party as well!

They have done White Elephant or Secret Santas at the parties, but those were optional.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #60
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The last one I ever went to was free, but I felt really bad for the people that organized everything. The company had a handful of us white collars, everyone else was customer service or plant workers. It seemed like about 99% of the latter were smokers.

We were in a hall that was adjacent to the bar. You could smoke in the bar but not the hall. All of the tobacco slaves spent all their time in the bar, surfacing only to eat and for the presenting of door prizes. As soon as the last prize was awarded they all retired to the bar. It was about 9PM and we had the room until 11.

There was one table of people left out of the 70+ people that showed. It was the last year they offered a Christmas party.
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