I am a teacher, so I have never been to the awkwardly awesome company holiday parties that dominate this time of year, where imminent drunken hookups, drunken comments, and drunken interns reign supreme. I have only heard stories from my friends at 1:30 in the morning after one of the aforementioned hookups or the next day or a few months later, once the shame and embarrassment subside. All of the holidays parties I have been to as a professional have been tame, family-oriented dinners held right before the beginning of our holiday break.
Here are a few ideas that would improve a conventional school holiday party:
*Change the venue: no one wants to be at a party hosted in the cafeteria, the same place where faculty patrol students and their poor eating/cleaning habits. Rent out a space in the city.
*Keep the open bar: keep the drinks flowing. I definitely appreciate having many different drink options for a few hours. Many people do not take full advantage of the open bar because many of them have to drive to school, and in no way should we encourage or condone drinking and driving. This suggestion closely connects to the first one; with a different venue, people could take a taxi or some other form of public transportation home after getting tipsy or wasted.
*Do not schedule other school activities that same night: this year, I missed the majority of the holiday party and its attendees because when I finished coaching my basketball game (we won if you were interested in the outcome) the cafeteria resembled a ever disappearing ghost town.
*Hire interns: All the wild stories I have heard involve interns. Thus, we need them to become permanent residents at the free bar, to dance to the top 40 heavily-influenced-house music that they would undoubtedly know more readily than the majority of the older faculty, and to do all the questionable decisions that excessive drinking, lowered inhibitions, and
grinding dancing leads to. Can we only hire them for the party? Probably not, but thought I would suggest it anyway.
Save for the lack of memorable moments, I enjoy the food and free drinks; I enjoy spending time with my colleagues in a semi-outside-of-school event; I enjoy meeting their children, whether they are babies or young adults or adults and for all that I am grateful. But part of me would like to experience a more rowdy and seemingly legendary holiday party a la law firms, public relation agencies, and record companies.