So, you dread going to the office Christmas party? You're not alone. Only about 25 percent of those polled say they look forward to the annual event. It seems everybody has a horror story -- such as the friend in accounting who had a little too much wassail and took over the microphone to sing each and every song she had ever written about why bosses are scum.
Or the mild-mannered consultant who annually did a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde transformation after a sip of eggnog and one year (his last) began chasing the CEO's wife around the buffet.
"Christmas parties can be a well-earned chance to let off some steam," writes Alan Tovey in the British newspaper the Telegraph, "but the risk of them turning into alcohol-fueled obstacle courses full of career-threatening moments means a fifth of workers detest the annual events."
A dislike of such Christmas festivities brings on the bah-humbugs in film star Kirk Cameron's new movie Saving Christmas. Kirk shows his Scrooge-like brother-in-law the joy of the season -- and demonstrates that Christ is where He has always been: at the center of our Christmas celebrations and traditions.
But in the movie, Kirk helps his brother-in-law escape a Christmas party -- the fantasy of thousands. After all, who looks forward to having to pretend to like the boss for an entire hour? In a survey of 700 employees, a surprising number admitted to “hating” the shindigs, writes Tovey, "rather than seeing them as the chance to spread some seasonal cheer.
"A quarter of those questioned said they looked forward to and enjoyed the parties. Four out of 10 were ambivalent about the events, while one in eight said they went only because they felt they had to," according to research by LondonOffices.com.
"Top reasons for dreading the events included poor restaurant choices, feeling pressured to get drunk and having to spend even more time with co-workers they already disliked," reported Tovey.
However, not showing up is dangerous, according to the survey.
"Do you want to get ahead/get promoted within this company?" asks one respondent on Yahoo Answers. "The last big company I worked at, I opted out of the Christmas party because it was close to 200 miles from my house and I couldn't afford a hotel, and really didn't want to go."
However, four months later, she regretted the choice. "They had layoffs and four of us that chose not to attend the party were all let go. Coincidence? Hardly. My former boss told me that the final decision to choose us 4 was the 'lack of team spirit' we exhibited by not showing up. So, moral to the story, you better go."
Another respondent advised: "Just do what I have done for years... go to the party, get a glass with a soft drink in it, walk around the room and speak to everyone there so they will remember seeing you. Then QUIETLY leave. Just don't make a big issue out of it. They will remember seeing you and nobody will know when you left, so it gives you a lot of latitude if someone asks you about it later."
A third of those polled actually said they "would not trust a colleague who did not attend" the office Christmas party. Others said that failing to show up to a festive party was a sign that a person was not a team player. As a result, six out of 10 workers said they always attended office Christmas parties. Only one in 20 said they refuse to go at all.
Perhaps their attitudes demonstrate why Cameron is intent on saving Christmas. If it resumes being a Christ-centered celebration of God's love for mankind, perhaps Yuletide events wouldn't be dreaded quite so much.