Tuesday, December 14, 2010

day 88_company Christmas party

As the case would have it, I am fortunate to work with a very international firm. We have a wide array of projects, and a wide variety of employees - including an American or two - which seems to be enough justification for a company Christmas party! If you can't tell from recent blog posts, I've been celebrating Christmas all month (still going on!) so I had been looking forward to the party for awhile now. Finally, last night (on a Monday... random, I know) we had the company Christmas party at the local American Club [this is sort of like a country club that is especially popular with foreigners] and I had a blast! I think the party was on a Monday because the American Club books up with so many holiday parties so early. Either way, the day of the week makes no difference to me - I had plenty of holiday cheer to go around.

Christmas is not a traditional holiday here - I think it is more just adopted for fun (Chinese New Year is the big event, in February) So... typically, the Taiwanese may celebrate Christmas (many do), but it is rarely emphasized at their place of business (ie - no days off work, company Christmas party, etc.). At my firm, I get to enjoy both so I am especially grateful. Even still, we are in Taiwan, and the local culture was definitely an integral part of the festivities - so the whole thing was "a first" for me.

For starters, I have never been to a costume Christmas party that I can remember. Our party was optional costume, and also had a volunteer talent show for entertainment. Honestly... I took part in neither. I know, I admit it. I was basically a wimp and I wanted to test the waters with this first big party... but I have now come to the conclusion "Go big or go home!" So I'm thinking maybe next year I will really get into it. The majority of the staff did not dress up, but the ones who did were fabulous! Here is a photo of the costume contest winner (big cash prize), the Queen of Hearts... and I thought she was amazing!!!

Photo taken by our company's professional photographer.
The costumes weren't my only Christmas party first, there was also a whole entourage of clowns to entertain us. I actually cannot remember the last time I saw a clown? (Does anyone remember for me...?) Surprisingly enough, they were great! The clowns greeted everyone as we entered, made people laugh, took Polaroid photos, entertained the kids, and put on a few performances throughout the evening. I thought they were pretty great.

Clowns entertaining the children.
Photo by our company's professional photographer.
Clearly, the entire event was very family friendly, and many people brought their spouses or children or both. Not to fret, my table was filled with mixed company - some people with dates, some people flying solo like me - and I think we all enjoyed the evening. In addition to the entertainment, there was a huge buffet of both Chinese and Western foods. I know you won't believe it, but somehow I think I had forgotten about steak. I know, I know - surely not forgotten! - but let's just say, when I finished my dessert last night, I thought about going back for another piece of steak as a second dessert! Yum.... Anyways... Right - back to the family friendly part... All children in attendance were also given a gift, piled under the tree, and personally handed to them by the boss man himself.

The kids waiting in line for their Christmas presents!
At the end of the evening, the final "first" for me... a lucky draw. Supposedly, these are somewhat common at Chinese New Year parties, but our company hosts the lucky draw at Christmas instead. There are two large boxes on the stage along with a chart of prizes. Each person draws a lottery-type-ball with a number on it. The number relates to the chart of prizes to tell you what you've won. Then the person draws the someone else's name out of the second box, and that person goes next, and so on. One by one, the entire company had the opportunity to draw for the prizes... and wow! Considering that I was unaware of this tradition, you can imagine how excited I was to get my Christmas lucky draw! :) There were many toasts, and many many "Merry Christmas" wishes. I think a good time was had by all. The food, the fun, and the holiday spending money definitely made my night.

1 comment:

  1. This is too much fun! I like the bingo idea, perhaps I will use something like that in the future!