For the past few years, as another holiday season passes, I have observed that each holiday felt less and less like I remember. This year, the source of my waning holiday spirit finally dawned on me: I'm an adult now.
I was determined to restore the festive spirit. On November 31st, I stayed at work until 8pm adorning my space with ornaments, lights and shiny silver garlands. I sprinted headfirst into December with a dazzling display of wintery cheer. Within a week or so, string lights, trees, and ornaments began popping up all around the entire office. Some areas of the office definitely had far more lights than others (I'm looking at you, Microsoft Consulting Team). I like to think my over-the-top display contributed to the fury with which we decorated.
(Yes, my Halloween cat does get a new costume for each and every holiday.)
By the time December 11th rolled around, our office was ready. For what, you ask? The DMC Holiday Cheer Extravaganza, of course.
Come holiday season every year, each of DMC's offices across the country sees off another successful year (and rings in the next one) with a ritzy holiday party in January. DMC's Chicago office kicks the already-abundant festive spirit up a notch with not one, but two holiday parties. The Extravaganza is a family-friendly evening of festive activities and mingling, held right here in our own office decked with lights, tinsel, and snowflakes. We like to think of it as a great practice round for the upcoming holidays.
Like a typical day in the DMC office, employees congregate in the kitchen around our foosball and ping pong tables. With a great buffet spread this year ranging from mashed potatoes and fried chicken to ham and mac n' cheese, it's amazing we had the room to consume as much eggnog as we did.
Employees are encouraged to bring their entire family to the office for the evening of fun. From gingerbread man cookie decorating with Santa Claus to a competitive candy cane hunt, there are plenty of activities for the kids to do. DMC also purchases a wide variety of gifts, wraps them up in ribbons and bows, and piles them high on a table next to Santa for the children to take home.
Adults also participate in a White Elephant exchange. If you're not familiar with the game, everyone brings in a wrapped gift, then draws numbers from a hat, taking turns selecting presents. Players can choose to unwrap a surprise present from the table, or to steal an opened gift from another player. Highly sought items this year included a 2-foot tall statue of Boba Fett, a laser tag set, a bonsai kit, and a tower of chocolate treats.
The well of eggnog now run dry, Santa gone, and a gargantuan mess left in the kitchen from cookie decorating, employees and their guests trickled out of the Extravaganza by 9pm. Between another party, a new year, and months of finding the more elusive survivors of the candy cane hunt, we've got a lot to look forward to.
And of course, in true holiday fashion, we will be leaving our lights up until March.
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