If you see bleary eyes around the office it is doubtless from attending too many Christmas parties, this year surely beats all records for the amount of quaffing and carousing that’s been going on. Can you have too many Christmas parties? It’s hard to say, and churlish to carp. Once upon a time there was only one Christmas party to do with work, and you either loved it or dreaded it. Nowadays, three or four Christmas parties is the minimum, but how come it’s not a problem to get the time off work? Well, the story goes that officially it’s networking, so it counts as business. Do those that have to stay behind at the office feel left out? Probably not, as they’re either working so flat out that they don’t even notice, or they welcome the peace and quiet.
For us the Christmas party season began with the Finance & Leasing Association’s Christmas Drinks reception held at the Butchers Hall by St Paul’s in London. Over a hundred of UK leasing’s great and good gathered for an event that has been a favourite in the ancient Gregorian leasing calendar across centuries, literally. It’s a very correct and proper affair, only starting at 6.3opm, after the working day has drawn to a close. The Director General makes a short speech, the stats are showing that business levels are creeping up, so everyone’s in a good mood, especially as generous supplies of sausages, mince pies and mini Christmas puddings make the rounds. Your reporter begins to feel a bit restless, so starts taking photos of people’s ties, for an impromptu “best tie of the evening” award, the winner came from Shire Leasing. The event winds down at 9pm and everyone’s home by eleven. There is an entrance fee, around a hundred, plus VAT.