Work Holiday Celebrations

We had the finance department holiday party at The Carriage House in Galloway.  It's a pretty popular wedding venue in our area and we were all very impressed that we were moving over there from the less fancy shmancy Renault Winery.  I was a little bummed at first because I found out that we were going to have to pay more money then usual for our guests, normally $20 now $40.  And there was no longer complimentary beer and wine.  But I decided to stay positive and see how things went.  We had a lovely time at cocktail hour.  I've somehow become the department photographer so no one else brings their cameras anymore, lol.
I even got to see my friend's from other departments.  Meaghan's husband is the AVP of finance so they were there and I was excited to see her!  Beth works for finance like me but is in another building most of the time so it was nice to catch up.
After a little while we were ushered into the main ballroom for dinner.  Each year the R&R committee does a great job of raising money so that the employees can attend the party free of charge and there's usually a little left over so that we are all given gifts as well.  In past years there have been a few big gifts drawn at random and a lot of gift cards.  This year they changed things up and everyone selected a wrapped package.  I'm hoping they go back to gift cards next year as the gifts weren't very exciting.  I received a cake stand with a dome, it's a nice item, but I already have the same exact one.  Something tells me it might turn up at our unwanted gift exchange next month...
After a mediocre dinner of chicken marsala, baked salmon, steak fries and sauteed squash the dancing begun.  I am really disappointed in the food.  I've heard such great things about this place and after that meal I don't have much desire to go back.
Our crowd doesn't contain a lot of dancers so we took some group pictures, enjoyed a few cocktails and mostly goofed around for the camera.

After a couple of hours Joe & I decided to call it a night.  We weren't ready to go home yet though so we drove around town looking at xmas lights for a while.  We tossed around the idea of going out somewhere since we were dressed up but in the end nothing really sounded appealing so we just went home.

The Monday after our finance party we had a luncheon in our building.  Everyone made something to share and we ended up with a lot of food!  I made buffalo chicken dip and it was big hit.
Early in the month we all voted on what type of gift giving we should do and we decided on a secret santa with a $15 limit and a white elephant ornament exchange with a $5 limit.  Once everyone had finished eating I explained the rules of the exchange and everyone really enjoyed checking out the ornaments and "stealing" them from one another.

Once the ornaments had all been chosen we moved on to secret santa.  It was fun to see everyone find out who had them and check to see how creative people were with the $15 limit.  I received a DVD of the movie Friends With Benefits and some popcorn & candy to enjoy while watching it.

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