Thursday, 6 December 2012

Do something different for this year's office party

It's the one time in the year where everybody puts their guard down, where enemies agree to a ceasefire and colleagues at peace strengthen their ties.  After a long, hard slog, there is little to beat the year end office party as a stress relieving, winding down exercise that paves the path to a well earned December vacation.

At this time of year, people feel entitled to a bit of a splurge on expensive food and abundant alcohol.  While office parties are a good way to process and dissipate the stress that has built up over the past 12 months, too often they are a variation on the same theme every December.

May I be so bold as to propose a slight shake up.  Instead of the usual dinner and drinks or booze cruise aboard a yacht, how about going for lunch and some light drinks?  Eating out for lunch doesn't last as long as dinner does so less is consumed.  Do this lunch at a moderately expensive restaurant instead of an exclusive one, then take the money that was saved and give it to an orphanage, old age home or animal shelter.

Our money goes a much longer way for the less fortunate than it does for us.  It doesn't cost as much as a $40 gourmet dinner to feed a hungry person.  In fact, $40 can keep them going for a week.  For the cost of a pair of Guess jeans you can easily buy ten kids an outfit each from a thrift store.

Have your fun: don't not have a year end function, but create a relatively frugal budget for it this time.  That one bottle of wine can buy a few blankets that will keep some homeless people warm for years; a steak dinner that fills your stomach for a few hours can translate into three books that will captivate and educate countless orphans for years.  A slight sacrifice on each person's part during this period can create a positive effect on others that lasts much longer than one night.

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