The AYG Office Christmas Party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… It really is since we just had our AYG Office Christmas party. And the tune literally just started playing in my head. We’ve been listening to all sorts of Christmas carols on the radio. Time and time again. And again, and again. And again. They’re on a loop. We’ve switched radios, as well. I can now proud myself with having heard at least 3 versions of All I want for Christmas is You.
Now that’s one famous song! In fact, it’s so popular Mariah Carey reportedly gets £376,000 from copyrights. Each year. That’s almost $465K from it alone. The song was released on November 1st, 1994. So, in 12 years, that would roughly account for a total of $5.58 million.

You could buy a 30 second Super Bowl Ad on NBC and still have $1 mil to spare. Or an entire baseball minor league team, for that matter.
Or 70 thousand bottles of vodka and a bit of OJ to go with it. If you’re into that sort of thing. I’m more of a Wembley girl, myself. *wink

The rest of the carols only seem to have one version. (I’m sure that’s not entirely true, but they only air that one) So, we got to know most of them by heart. And then we plugged our own headphones in. And listened to Jazzy Christmas Songs compilations, of course. *smile

That’s how much of a Christmas oriented company we are. We get 10% cuts if we don’t listen to Christmas songs all throughout December.
On a serious note… We actually get 20% cuts. But, I mean, who’s counting, right? (I edited this part after my boss green-lighted the whole article – hi hi hi)

Besides the usual and obvious reasons for which I love Christmas – snow and receiving gifts – I have another one: the office Christmas Party. Ta-daaam.
You see? Throughout the years, I’ve been to many kinds of Christmas parties. For instance, for the first two decades of my life, I’ve participated in the Family Christmas parties. Year after Year. At first, it was great because I had no implication in the actual preparations. My only scope there was to enjoy the gifts – mu huhu. Only, I was way too young to understand any of it. So, there went nothing.

Then, I figured out the gifts thing, but I would only get clothes. Boy, was that annoying when I only wanted… something else. Back then, I used to think toys are useful. I once got a toy car. Crashed it in the first wall. Who’s useful now, huh?!

Then, when I got a bit older, my gifts came along with a list of responsibilities: clean your room; clean the other rooms; clean the windows; clean anything you can clean. When I got old enough to handle fire, they escaladed even more to shopping and cooking together with the elders of the tribe. Imagine that! (It’s pretty common, isn’t it?)

By the time I was 20, Christmas parties just weren’t what they used to be anymore. So, I moved out. Organized 2 homemade Christmas parties myself and participated in 3 such corporate events and one other related social gathering. Twice at AYG. Only the first time, I was just a guest, instead of part of the team.

Bottom line – I figured there are a couple of differences between a 300 and a 14 people office Christmas party. So, since we just had our AYG Office Christmas Party last Friday, I wanted to share my reasons to go for a smaller one at any given time and a few ideas you could use yourself for your next office gathering.

  • Secret Santa – Always & Forever!

It’s obviously difficult to manage Secret Santa within a larger group. I wonder what we will do when we’ll get there.
We were 14 people. Some of us had plus ones. Some, minus ones. But we all had a Secret Santa. Here’s how things went this year:

AYG Christmas Party - Alex
One of our co-workers upon discovering his Secret Santa gift.

Oh, the sour-sweet tears of joy; the laughter; the humbleness. Yes, we’ve got all that on film. Ready for the blackmail to come. *wink

The Tool: This year, we’ve used this DrawNames app to shuffle names. Then, most of us bought the presents last minute, obviously. But what I noticed to be quite interesting was that none of us ordered online. Being a reputable eCommerce company, you’d think we would. But no. We went old school. Plus, we needed an excuse to get out of the office. *smile

I wonder if we can find even more excuses to exchange presents. Guys, if you’re reading this, my BDay’s coming up next month. *BIG WINK.

  • Activity. Psychologists. And Poker. Or how to actively engage your team in social activities at the office Christmas party.

For me and my ex-job, last year’s office Christmas party happened in a nightclub, full of strangers. Since there had been an open bar, I drank a few cocktails till midnight and then danced without any break till 5 am. That’s the most I’ve ever danced continuously in my life. Ever.

At AYG, though, I got to play dead, draw in public (which I NEVER do), act like an institutionalized person, take my co-workers’ personalities and lose at poker (which I normally do).
Though I do think you make your own fun and I don’t really need alcohol to feel good about myself, it was a lot more fun.

Activities we’ve enjoyed during our office Christmas party:

Activity – a light, engaging and quite popular board game. Each team member needs to explain concepts from a card to the rest of the teams either by miming, explaining or drawing.

AYG Christmas Party - Andreea
Adreea was miming something inside pocket related.

Psychologist – We call it that. Wikipedia says the game’s Psychiatrist. The purpose is that through questions, a smaller group of “doctors” identify the condition the rest of the group (the “patients”) suffers from. The condition isn’t a medical one, but more of a rule we all previously agreed upon.
Having had a real doctor-to-be among us, boy was this fun. For us, we mean! He suffered intensively throughout the entire game. *smile

Poker – Well, you all know this one. Word of advice or just a key learning point: set expectations and agree on the rules BEFORE you start playing it.

I’m a strong advocate for celebrating some sort of Christmas throughout the entire year. For displaying a more thoughtful attitude. And for enjoying life more. If there’s one cool thing I’ve learned this year is that It’s Just Life! Let it be! I’ve enjoyed these past couple of months because we’ve gotten to grow on each other more. Funny thing this getting to know your peers process, isn’t it? For me, it’s like the more I get to see of who they are, the more reasons I have to appreciate, respect, and, eventually, tolerate them. Ahahah. I’m obviously joking. I love these beautiful people. And I do think it wouldn’t do us any harm to be nicer and kinder to each other, to think more about what truly matters and to be more generous. And happier. All year round.

Merry Christmas, dear readers! And friends! The entire #TeamAYG is sending season’s greetings! And if you haven’t had your office Christmas party yet, we hope you have fun! Send us pictures and do share some activities you usually do at your corporate events in the comments below.

AYG Romania - Craciun 2016

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Deliana Trasca

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