Okay, so fast forward a few years. I started working at a decent company. This place had people I actually got along with and didn't mind spending the day in their company.
The office Christmas party was a joint event to raise money for a local homeless shelter, which is an event I can get behind. Number one: It's a party. Number two: It's absolutely for a good cause and there is NO overhead costs being covered by the party. I mean, the owners of the company never meant to re-coup dollars to pay for the party. Every cent raised went to the cause.
Plus, it was a great work environment. I loved my bosses and their families and all my other co-workers and their families. It was just a fun, fun evening.
Sadly, shortly after I left, the company was sold to three employees (who I know and love), but they did not carry on the tradition of the debauchery of the standard office party.
But it was fun while it lasted. They had an open bar (woohoo), and had the event catered, so there was good food. And, they offered to pay cab fare for anyone - ANYONE - at the party who felt it was unwise to drive at the end of the evening.
It just goes to show you - companies who value their employees and provide a great work atmosphere have better parties after hours and will probably have more attendance.
Another good office party is one where the employer has a luncheon for the employees. The Evil Twin's office does this. Everyone brings a dish and the whole affair is done around lunch time. This means, no one has to have it eat into their free time - they're already at the office during the day anyway.
This year, the "theme" was international foods or something like that, so I sent a recipe I got from my mom, Mild Mexican Appetizer (which I will list below, then I'll add it to the Glamorous Recipes page).
Mild Mexican Appetizer
2 lg (8 oz) bricks of cream cheese
Small jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce
jar of Picante Hot sauce
(Optional - small package of cooked shrimp)
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped - include green tops (I used enough to make about a cup of onions)
1 pkg each (the 2 cup bags) of shredded monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese.
Layer in a 9 x 11 baking dish. Let cream cheese soften before. Mix equal parts of Ragu and picante sauce (or to taste - I used about a cup of each) and layer ingredients in order listed. Serve with Tortilla chips, corn chips or snack crackers (I like the Tostitos).
I make mine w/o the shrimp simply because some people don't eat shellfish for religious reasons, have allergies or high cholesterol. It is good WITH the shrimp, but I find it's easier (and less expensive to make) without them and still good.