Tonight marks the first of our outings to holiday parties. Last week, I was in the dentist chair for a cleaning and the hygienist was telling me about their upcoming work party. She sounded like she was really looking forward to it. I felt envious. And I started thinking about this phenomenon of “work related holiday parties”. And to be honest, I was not having lovely, warm, Christmas-y thoughts. The small department I work in is full of people I really like as individuals. But they are not people who I am eager to socialize with outside of work. The larger University Department is SO large that I don’t many people. My husband, on the other hand, works in several locations and knows a LOT of people.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Christmas person – I love the holiday season! I love the decorating, present buying and wrapping, eggnog and cookie making. Love it. But I realized that I DO NOT love going to parties and being forced to make chit-chat. I mean who came up with the idea that we should celebrate with our work colleagues and why do we have to do it at the busiest time of year? Tonight we have my husband’s work party. I know some of these people, but most I don’t know at all, or just barely. Now that he is in a leadership position, he feels it is important for BOTH of us to go (actually, it is sweet, he WANTS me to go and he still thinks I look hot all dressed up…so I really shouldn’t be complaining). But I go to these things and try to find topics to chat about and also make sure that my filter is ON! I tend to be a blunt, tell it like it is kind of person, and holiday parties are just the place I may tell the wrong story to wrong person!

We have at least 3 of these events each season, which take up 3 weekend nights. When you add this to being on call, kids school concerts, and violin performances, there is no time to connect with our ACTUAL friends. Yes, the people I love and would love drink eggnog with while the kids play – no time for that. Gotta go and make small talk with the odd guy in my department I talk to once a year. Why is this? Why do we do this to ourselves? It is so false. Why can’t we just go out for a drink after work one day, raise our glasses, and call it a holiday toast?

Guess I am feeling a big “Scrooge-like” when it comes to merry-making with people I don’t really know…

Bah Humbug.

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