Sunday, 18 September 2011

Christmas is coming - already?

I was horrified to see a pub down the road had put out an advert, 'Office Christmas parties, book now!'.

It's September.

It's still reasonably sunny.

Children have only just gone back to school. I so don't want to be thinking about Christmas yet.

It also made me have a 'miserable git' moment about office Christmas parties in restaurants or pubs. There seems to be a new 'tradition' that every office in the land is expected to book a Christmas dinner in a local haunt. These venues try to induce panic in us all that if we don't book the venue in September, we might be the only employees not to be able to celebrated Christmas.

In my experience, there is very little 'celebratory' in these dos. A restaurant that usually comfortably seats 50, squeezes in 100. One example of this in our local town meant that every time someone wanted to go to use the facilities, half those assembled had to rise to allow them to get past. Repeating the movement again on their return. What with all the drinking going on, this made the event start to feel more like musical bumps than a pleasant meal. The restaurants also seem to have trouble catering for several large parties at the same time, in spite of choosing what you want three months previously (which you would think would enable them to get organised). This ends up manifesting itself as one end of the table finishing their dessert, while the other end is still awaiting the starter. Any hope of conversation is quashed by the loudspeakers treating everyone to a medley (what an awful word, what an awful concept) of festive songs, usually including 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'.

All this is then capped by trying to divide the bill 50 ways, with those that drank tap water subsidising those that drank their way through the wine cellar. And let us also not forget that all this 'fun' has to be experienced while wearing a paper hat that will, inevitably, drop into your gravy at some point.

Let's have a ban on parties that are no fun. Let's have a ban of any mention of Christmas before 1st December!