Christmas Party Amongst Your Colleagues

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms. I, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 3, 2011

    It's getting to be that time of the year again! The holiday work party. Do you usually go? Where will your work's party be held this year?

    I have a new job in my district. The SLPs, SLPAs, & speech aides are having a luncheon at 11:30 on a weekday at a Mexican restaurant. We were also told to bring a $10 wrapped gift if we want to participate in the gift exchange.

    I'll go w/ a wrapped $10 gift card. I went to the SLPs' end of the yr luncheon last school yr too. Everyone always gives Starbucks, but what other store is good?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Ours is at a local catering hall. Full dinner,cocktail hour, DJ for 4 hours.

    It's the night of the 19th-- our kids start exams the next day, so there are no games, activities, nothing at all.

    Spouses are invited, but I have to check and see whether Peter's party is the same night.
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    We have a small faculty--about 10 of us. We have a potluck at someone's house. It is actually tomorrow evening. I'm headed soon to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients I need to make dessert!

    ETA: Ours is for families, as well. But it's a little different than other situations because everyone knows each other--small school, small town, so the little kids go to day care together, etc.
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I usually go. It's either at the principal's home or a local restaurant. I prefer the restaurant so she doesn't get stuck prepping and cleaning up after the party.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Ours is at a local hall that always donates it to us for free, next Saturday. We have a week of school after that, but almost all of us aren't originally from around here, and most people travel to wherever "home" is for the holidays, so they wanted to make it when everyone could come. The PTA donates all of the food and we bring the drinks. This year, they're suggesting we do a "brown bag wine tasting" where everyone brings a bottle of wine and then we vote on which tastes the best without seeing what it is- and then the person who brought the winning wine gets a prize. I'm not really a wine drinker (I just don't like it) so I'm not sure whether I'll participate in that or not. Then again, maybe I'll find something I like! There's also a raffle going all night with things like a spa day, 2 nights at a resort, ski passes, etc. also run by the PTA. Last year we did a white elephant gift exchange, but they decided with money being tight this year not to do that. Spouses are welcome, but it's made clear that it is an adult only party and children are not allowed to attend.

    Ms. I., what about a local bakery, icrecream or yogurt shop? I'm just trying to think of something where you could actually get a lot out of 10 dollars...at a resteraunt that wouldn't really pay for your meal so that doesn't seem like a good choice. I can see why everyone would go with starbucks!
     
  7. MATgrad

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    Dec 3, 2011

    I'm at a larger school and we haven't actually had an official one ever. There will be some small gatherings I'm certain but nothing that's for the entire staff.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We had ours last night. It was at a golf resort just outside of town. In years past it's been at one of the big casinos in town and at a hookah lounge.

    At this year's party we had a DJ, appetizers, and a dessert bar. They also gave out dozens of prizes/presents, sort of raffle-style. (I won a box of fancy candy canes, which I appreciated but don't like, so I left them at the table when we left.)

    My husband and I had a good time.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The past couple of years, we've held our party at a local harness racing track. Fabulous dinner, great company, some small wagers for those who want to--it was a great time. Unfortunately it isn't happening again this year and we're still waiting to see if we are going to have a get-together at someone's home.
     
  10. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    This year, ours is at a local restaurant. We all order off the menu,and the place is told months ahead of time that we will have a large party. I will go this year, since it is right after school. I'll grab an appetizer and cocktail, but then head home. Too much too do around the house in prep for holiday!
    Besides, the school environment has not been great this year-tons of stress-so I like to get home right away to avoid the negativity.
     
  11. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Ours is at a local restaurant with a buffet and DJ. I went last year and it was fun but I haven't decided if I'll go this year yet....
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Everyone assumes everyone is a coffee drinker. I'm not. I know they have a few other items but I don't go out of my way to Starbucks for those few items.

    Ms. I, I'm surprised as savvy as a shopper you are and as much as you enjoy it that you don't find an actual gift instead of a card. (There is nothing at all wrong with getting a card. I'm just commenting based on your love for shopping. Off the cuff comment. I used to heart heart heart shopping for hours and the. A few years ago suddenly I stopped enjoying it. I still don't know why the rather sudden change. Wow, rather random post even for me.)

    As for work parties. I always enjoy ours. I go to all of them. At the end of the year we go to a restaurant. For Christmas we go to different people's houses.
     
  13. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Dec 3, 2011

    Ours is at the home of one of our APs. They get propane heaters for the back yard and bring in a taco cart; the rest of the refreshments are from Costco. We have a few raffle drawings, but it's pretty low-key.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    A taco cart is an interesting idea.
     
  15. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    We get together at a co-worker's home, a sign up sheet is posted at school so we can sign up for dish/dishes we'll provide. Staff only,casual dress. We enjoy the fellowship & singing Christmas carols around the piano. In years past we have drawn names to exchange gifts, done the secret pal thing, white elephant, etc. This year no gift exchange.
    At another school years ago we met at the principal's home, covered dish, and did a cookie exchange.
     
  16. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    We have one some years and other years, nothing. This year I am inviting several of my colleagues to my house for drinks - but nothing big.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I never go, but they are either at a local restaurant or administrator's home.
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    One of the teacher's hosts a cookie exchange. I usually go, but I don't participate in the cookie exchange. . .allergies.

    I don't know if we are having a school wide party of not. We did last year.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    We have an after the holidays party in January. More relaxed as December weekends get SOOO busy.
     
  20. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    As an entire staff, we have a Christmas breakfast, usually 2-3 days before break begins. Everyone brings their favorite breakfast dish to share. We all wait eagerly for the danish the secretary brings...YUMMY! Oh, and the Crispie Creme doughnuts someone usually brings :)

    We also have an evening Christmas party for the entire staff. This years is being held at a private dining room at a neighboring club on the 14th. We've played games for gift card prizes as well as having an ornament exchange. Not sure what we're doing yet this year. Spouses (or another guest) are welcome, young children are not. Principal pays for employees meal, employee pays for guest(s).

    My grade level team (6 of us, usually) also has a lunch party. We used to buy a small gift for each member (back when everyone liked each other :p ) but no lunch. Then we did the lunch with a gift exchange so we only bought one gift. Now it has evolved into lunch & a gift card exchange. Last year the cards were: Walmart, Bath & Body Works, and mine was for Kroger (a grocery store). Other good ones might be a gas card, Subway, oil change/auto parts (unusual but useful).
     
  21. TeachingHistory

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    My friend's school does a Christmas party every year. Every year a different teacher plans it. There is also a grab bag gift exchange. The person who plans the party brings a fruitcake as their gift. Whoever gets the fruitcake in the grab bag gift has to plan the party next year and how the gift exchange will work.

    From what I hear, it's highly entertaining.
     
  22. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Love that!! :wub:
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Ours varies in location, but it's usually at a local buffet restaurant. Dinner is free for employees, but guests can come too, but pay for their own. You can bring a gift for a gift exchange, but it's not required.

    I've worked at the same school for 19 years, and I've never been to a Christmas party. I did sign up to go one year, but I ended up not going because it started sleeting that afternoon, and the roads were too slick.

    Sometimes they do a Secret Santa type thing at school, but I never do that kind of thing either.

    We have a "holiday room" from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and people bring in goodies to share whenever they feel like it. I'll usually cook a few times.
     
  24. Proud2BATeacher

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    Ours is at a duelling piano bar this year. It is $15 and $10 will be covered by our social fund. You can bring someone but I believe they pay for cover charge and food. I decided not to go this year. I would rather it be at a place that encourages mingling.

    We are doing Secret Santa at school and a teacher is having a party at her house for teachers, admin. and educational assistants.
     
  25. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    This is easy for us - we don't have one. In fact, I just realized that we usually have a happy hour around Thanksgiving and we didn't even have that this year.

    At my last building, we had a school party in a restaurant after work, not to mention constant treats, maybe a breakfast here and there. We also had a department party at someone's house with a gift exchange. And another co-worker also had a women's gift exchange party and that was mostly people from work although she had some friends and family there as well.

    So, pretty big change.
     
  26. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    This year we are having a potluck lunch the last week before Christmas break.
     
  27. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    My school has a voluntary party. It will be at a local pub on the last day before break starts. We pay for our own meal and drinks, which is OK by me since I don't drink if I have to drive home. We also have a "white elephant" gift exchange, which is hysterically funny. There are a few gifts that are regifted every year. I am already looking around my house for that "perfect" item that I don't want any more but can't seem to justify throwing away.
     
  28. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Ms. I - What about an Amazon card?

    Sometimes we have a more formal dinner out with everyone, sometimes just our social groups get together for dinner and drinks.
     
  29. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Ours is always at a local restaurant because we are a small staff (32 total, including all support staff). Our principal buys us each a silly little gift that has something to do with our personalities. I always get some cute panda something or the other. :) It's fun, but because we're so small, we socialize a lot during the year. Every month we have some sort of luncheon or happy hour. For the most part, all 32 of us really, really get along well.
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    We had a "Holiday" party every year. It was pretty nice. The only problem is that it was directly after work and guests were not invited. I am starting at a new school this week so I have no idea if they will have anything. I guess it would be a good chance to meet people if they have a party!
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    We're the same way. Most of us spend a lot of time outside of school together. We do have some "friendship groups" (I wouldn't call them "cliques") of different people, but it's definitely not like we only hang out with those people- it's just people in similar situations or with similar interests. We young single people tend to go out a lot on weekend nights, while obviously that's not really something the "new mom" group can do. We all get along really well together as a group too. We often do happy hour as a whole staff. I was telling my best friend (works in our home state) about our holiday party and she was telling me that at her school that would never work because people would just stay in their cliques/not mingle at all and it would just be awkard. I'm really looking forward to ours!

    I love the fruitcake idea mentioned above...that's cute!
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Arent the SLPs considered a part of the whole staff? Do you do larger social events with the whole school faculty?
     
  33. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Our SLPs aren't part of the staff. They float around the entire district as needed. I wish they *were* a more permanent fixture, but alas, budget cuts... :(
     
  34. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Ours float too (between 5 departments/schools) but they still have rooms in our building and we invite them to all functions. They usually come!
     
  35. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    This sounds like our faculty (minus the personality gift) ... we are 30ish in total and get together once a month. And, for the most, we all like each other. :)
     
  36. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    waterfall & ku alum, thanks for the ideas. My mom told me she was at Bed, Bath & Beyond the other day & saw a variety of things for $10, so I thinkI'll swing by & take a look.

    cutNglue, oh I don't drink coffee either. The only drinks I get from Starbucks is the Green Tea Frappuccino, which I guess some people might consider a type of coffee & a hot chocolate on occasion. But, I sure don't ever drink the regular hot or iced coffee.
    And when it comes to work people, it doesn't matter to me as much. Other than this gift exchange thing at this party, I'm not giving anyone at work anything. I recently gave a few fellow SLPs a GC for a 1 lb box of See's Candies & that's it. I'm trying to save up for other things & my mom told me what her mother told her: Don't start something that you're not going to continue. I only work at each school 2x/wk, so I hardly see anyone anyway.

    czacza, yes, we're considered part of the staff & each school has their own holiday party as well. I don't think I'll be going to those this yr...well, I might, but probably not.
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that, if possible, you should go.

    Those relationships at work are so important!!! We spend so much of our time at work. It's important to work on the relationships, to nurture them and care for them. Those are the people we have to rely on when we're sick, when we're having an issue with a kid, when we need advice on how to deal with an issue. It's so much easier when there's a relationship between you and your coworkers. But those relationships can be hard to build during the school day. A few hours at a Christmas party can really go a long way.
     
  38. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'll see...even if I won't know most of the people there & they will know they've seen me around campus before, but they won't really know who I am.
     
  39. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    We usually have a family Christmas party where teachers all bring their kids/grandkids, and Santa makes an appearance. That's a lot of fun, and even though I don't have any kids, I always go to help out.

    We also usually have a staff party, but this year we've decided to move it to January instead of December, as December is insanely busy... the staff was also invited to my wedding on the 30th, so that will be a bit of a party too.

    We'll also be having a baking exchange, and a little mini-party will take place for that.

    And finally, we'll be having a turkey dinner on the second last day before Christmas... we tend to enjoy social gatherings at our school!
     

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