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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cookie Exchange and Holiday Lunch

Well, I survived the party planning hell that I've been in for the past few days. I slept for 9 hours last night and while I still have the remnants of a headache, I'm feeling much less stressed out.

I was officially in charge of the office holiday lunch/party and then also assisted my co-worker with the cookie exchange that she organizes every year. By some awful scheduling, these two events wound up on back-to-back days. In hindsight, this was a horrible idea. Never, ever again. It's the same core group of worker bees/organizers that make sure both events get off the ground so to say that we were exhausted by yesterday afternoon is the most gigantic understatement ever.

But, we did have a great guy who went around and took pics of everything so I have a few to share with ya'll. yay me!

Cookie Exchange:
We had around 35 participants this year, more than we usually have. The room smelled like sugar and butter and all things fatty and yummy, which was awesome!

We had a lot of cookies. The little nametags were made by yours truly.

Highlights included Gingerbread Girls, Holiday in the Tropics balls (rice crispie balls w/ pineapple and coconut oil, rolled in shredded coconut), Jam Thumbprints and Chocadamia Coconut cookies.

Office Holiday Party:
Let's start off with the stuff that completely pissed me off and then we'll move onto happier things from there.

1. If you don't volunteer to help with the party, you don't get to complain about the decisions that are made. So, if you'd like to only do a White Elephant exchange at the lunch, then you need to make sure you're on the planning committee. If not, then shut it.

2. Even if you are the head of the program, please do not come up to me and tell me about how great other program's holiday parties are. And then proceed to tell me, in detail, how it was run, what they did and how you wish ours was like that. If you want a kickass party like that, then give me the green light to plan it. And then do not bitch and moan when I use work hours to accomplish this task. 'Cuz see, as much as I like where I work, I'm not spending hours and hours of my free time to plan the annual holiday event. Ugh. I could go on and on about this, but I'm trying to build a bridge and get over it. Obviously, that is not working out too well, eh.

Aside from those little (um, big) annoyances, the party went off really well!! I heard from several staff members that it was the best office party they've been to and can't wait for next year. After all the time and effort my team and I put into it, I'm so glad folks had a good time.

We only had 45 minutes to transform a basic conference room into a holiday lunch space, but my team of 8 superstars took care of it all in fine form.

Covering the cabinets; Hanging up decorations

Table centerpiece; Gift Table w/ Secret Santa gifts, agendas and ice breaker games

Overview of the entire room

We had a local Italian deli cater the event and there was more food than we knew what to do with! A lot of people had seconds yesterday and we still had enough leftovers for at least 25 or so people to eat on today at lunch. And the food was good -- always a plus.

Green Salad w/ Italian dressing; Italian rolls

Pasta w/ marinara and cheese; Lasagne

Sausage and peppers; Meatballs

Dessert came from good 'ol Costco. My co-worker and I hadn't had lunch before we went to purchase the goodies so I think we might have gone a little over-board. Oops!

Chocolate cups; Apple-crumb bread, Pound Cake and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Side View: Apple and Pumpkin Pies (2 of each), Chocolate Mint Fudge Cookies; Top view
Not pictured - Tub of vanilla ice cream

For entertainment, we had several ice-breaker games that were played while everyone was filing in and getting settled. We usually do a White Elephant exchange, but in order to shake things up, this year we did a Secret Santa exchange. This annoyed at least one person (see above), but I think most people appreciated the change. I participated and I scored an awesome gift -- stemless wine glasses! :D

Gift table; Posing with my uber-cool present

All in all I'd say it was a great afternoon for everyone. I'm slightly afraid that I may be tasked with planning this again next year. Right now, I'm feeling like I never want to do this ever again, but who knows how I'll feel next year. For now, I'm just happy that it's done and it was a success!


  1. congrats on a successful party and for scoring a good gift!

  2. You're awesome for planning your company's party! I personally really appreciate those that put forth the effort to do these things. Sorry for your bitchy co-irkers.

  3. That looks like it was a MASSIVE SUCCESS!!

  4. nice job on both events. eff those bitchy whiners.

  5. WOW! That all looks really great! You did a kickass job!

  6. OK, I know what kind of parameters you were given to make this event happen and can I just say-Bravo! *standing up and clapping* :)

    You guys did great and that/those complainers are stupid.

  7. Congrats on the successful party! Now gimme the names of those whiners so I can put them on Santa's black list.

  8. DAMN 0_0!!!

    lots of coookie =)

    looks like you did a great job though planning for work and i agree with you totally