Unfortunately, it also means that (awful) game of "White Elephant," where you get handed off stuff that's been lying around in someones closet for several years. Can you tell that's not my cup'o'tea??? Suffice to say, regardless of the budget, there are great venues where an employer, family or any other group can hold an awesome event:
- Restaurants - Not the most inventive idea, but most restaurants can set-up a great spread and keep the food and drinks coming.
- The Zoo - In Arizona, they hold a lot of specialty events at their zoo. The lights are fantastic and you can have it catered by whomever you so chose. While this idea doesn't work for the colder climates, unless you want to be covered in snow, it's a delightful idea for those areas of the country where it's feasible to hold an event at the zoo.
- Rooftop Decks - Many hotels and restaurants have large rooftop decks that can accommodate groups for dinners and special events. Regardless if it's cold or not, there are tents and heating equipment that can be utilized to keep the guest warm and cozy while they party away.
- Street Parties - This may not work for an office/employer event, but it definitely could be something that a neighborhood could kick-off in order to get everyone involved. Street parties are great, because they aren't held at any specific house, so you are able to drift about and get to know the people in your neighborhood. It could be a themed event where each house prepares a different dish, and you go from house to house trying out the different foods. Plus, I like the fact that there is minimal clean up!
- Convention Centers - While most companies would likely not hold an event at a convention center, if you have a large enough company, say, like a Microsoft, it's highly probable they could fill a convention center and really turn it into a fantastic affair with wonderful decorations, exotic food, games and more! This wouldn't be a low-key event, and would definitely be a pricey endeavor, but hey, aren't you (as an employee) worth it?
- Destination Party - What employee wouldn't want to get a package delivered to their desk saying they are invited to an all-expense paid trip to: Las Vegas, Hawaii, New York, New Orleans, etc, in order to celebrate the companies holiday party - on the boss! Destination parties may not be common practice, but there are some (smaller) organizations that can absorb the costs and feel it's a way to bond with their employees, as well as a little respite away from the day-to-day grind.