Monday, December 19, 2011

We Need Holiday Parties.

The annual holiday party is a curious rite of passage for just about any agency. It’s an obligatory ritual that’s squeezed in among the hustle-bustle of many year-end activities: financial reports, evaluations, and finishing up OPDP submissions before the holiday break.

For those given the task of organizing the holiday party, there’s tremendous pressure, whether it’s for a shop of 20 folks or an agency with 500 employees. You’re charged with ensuring the merriment of your colleagues. You’re responsible for making sure they have a good time. That is the only agenda: to have a good time.

The quality of holiday parties is as varied as the agencies that host them. Some are so monumentally epic that your grandchildren and people in foreign lands will be reading about them in their history books. (If you were there, you’d know what party I’m talking about.) Others are so awful you just want “Die Hard” to happen in real life.

Good or bad, fun or not, one thing is clear: We need our holiday parties. Because holiday parties are cathartic.

They’re not just some drunken convergence of people who go to work in the same building as you do every day. Holiday parties are important milestones in every agency’s year. It’s a time to get together with the folks with whom you spend a majority of your waking hours and reconnect as people, as friends, as trusted partners. It’s a time to stitch up the past year, pat everyone—including yourself—on the back, and look ahead to the coming year. There is always something to celebrate at the holiday party, no matter how big or small.

Extrovertic holiday parties—yes, we have more than one!—have much to live up to. It’s not like we have a choice—we’re called Extroverts for a reason. In a year of such explosive growth, it would’ve been tempting to overdo it and go all out and over the top—“go big or go home” style. 

Instead, the first of our parties, was rather…nice, charming, and a little quirky. Very Extrovertic.
Berklee College of Music students brought the jam.

A tarot card reader helped us look into the future. (Will anyone use this new app I’m designing?) We ate, we drank, we sang, we danced, and we drank some more. And then we all hopped into cabs, went home, and watched the sunrise.

Like I said, cathartic.


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