Holiday parties enjoy a modest comeback

Nov. 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. workers might expect their company's holiday party to remain a low-keyed affair this year, a national survey found.

Head offices giving the green light to having a party at all is on the rise, as 68 percent of respondents to a Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. business survey indicated a holiday party was planned this year, up from 62 percent a year ago.

But 76 percent of respondents indicated the budget for this year's party was about the same as last year's seltzer, celery sticks and chips affair.

Of 100 respondents, 18 percent indicated their companies were throwing a party but not spending as much as they did a year ago. That is fewer than the 29 percent who indicated a year ago the party budget was shrinking.

"We are at a precarious stage in the recovery where some companies are feeling it more than others," Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said.

"This year, it will be in-house; a catered lunch with no alcohol. In the past, we had an off-site event with food and full bar," a human resources officer in New York said.

"It's hard to justify the expense of a party when we are fighting to keep people's jobs."

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