Let’s get this party started!


Bah humbug! New research shows 70 per cent of UK workers believe their work parties will be cut back this Christmas because of tougher trading conditions and economic uncertainty. One in 20 expect their festivities to be cancelled altogether.


The research, conducted by London-based independent research company FLY Research, surveyed responses from 1000 employees.


Not everyone is so devoid of Christmas cheer, however.


All across the UK Christmas fayres and markets are attracting thousands of visitors. Hyde Park in London is hosting its annual event with the UK’s biggest open-air ice rink and one of the world’s most thrilling rollercoasters, the Munich Looping.


At Leeds Castle in Kent the market takes place on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the 12th-century fortification, with gift stalls and specialist food and drink.


In Albert Square in Manchester there is a huge range of artisan stalls with festive gifts on offer, including exotic chocolates.


Cardiff’s market in the middle of the city’s shopping district, meanwhile, specialises in handmade gifts and is hugely popular with locals and visitors.


But if all of this is not enough to persuade you the spirit of Christmas is alive and well for 2019, there are plenty of party examples to inspire joy.


So ditch all notions of warm Prosecco, damp-squib crackers and cold turkey dinner and find inspiration for this year’s work do from some of the most OTT Christmas parties ever thrown by companies.


In the true spirit of rock ’n’ roll, when Apple Records hosted a Christmas party at its Savile Row HQ in London in 1968, as well as a gargantuan 43lb roast turkey, Father Christmas was played by none other than John Lennon.


His fellow Beatle George Harrison, meanwhile, decided it was perfectly logical to invite an entire chapter of Hells Angels bikers over from California.


His helpful memo to arriving party guests read: “They may look as though they are going to do you in but are very straight and do good things, so don’t fear them or up-tight them.”


It wasn’t party guests who were ‘done in’ when a certain US financial firm held its London Christmas party at Madame Tussauds in 2006.


During the clear-up on the morning after, it was discovered two of the waxwork models had lost their heads, literally, while poor Jennifer Aniston was missing one of her fingers.

It isn’t only accountants who like to take a walk on the wild side: IT pros and financial software gurus like to let their hair down too.


This may be why Bloomberg reportedly spent £1 million on an infamous Christmas party in London that was themed on the seven deadly sins.


The event was held in 2000 – when the tech boom had just ignited – and is alleged to have included no fewer than 10 different bars. One, representing the sin of gluttony, served only truffles and sweets while others featured sushi, drag queens, live bands and a full-sized casino.


If you don’t have a casino but want to be an odds-on winner with your staff, what do you serve them when money’s no object? Fish and chips, of course! It’s said that’s what Chairman of BSkyB Rupert Murdoch chose as the main dish in 2001 when he threw a shindig for employees.


The fish suppers were washed down with 20,000 cocktails – allegedly served by breakdancing chambermaids.


But such fun and frivolity is nothing compared to the five-day bash that took place in 2006, when Google hosted a party with a Greek gods theme. Cunningly named Googlympus and hosted at Pier 48 in San Francisco, there were different tents each named after a certain god. It’s said that among the more daring party games was one that involved a wine-cork shooting range.


Staying with the internet but moving from search engines to web domains we find the party of parties thrown by Go Daddy.


With a budget of millions of dollars, the company rented Chase Field stadium – normally home to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Major League Baseball games – and hired Texan rockers ZZ Top and Alaskan singer-songwriter Jewel to serenade more than 5000 guests before the climax: a massive fireworks display.


There were rockets, too, when Australian Insurance Company HIH hired the SuperDome in Sydney and transformed it into a “spaceship” – just two years before the company went into provisional liquidation in 2001.


Almost 800 employees, families and guests were treated to intriguing entertainment that included an army of actors dressed as robots.


This unintentional last hurrah for the company is estimated to have cost in the region of A$1 million.


If you’d like to party with the very best companies across the UK, there are vacancies in a huge range of sectors online now.


Why not find out if Christmas will come early for you this year with a brand new career gift-wrapped?


Posted on December 4, 2019