Well our bash has been cancelled (again) this year, and I've got to say that I, for one, am rather glad, as I've found that they have become increasingly stressful events on the rare occasions they have occurred in recent years. You see, you feel obliged to go (to show you are a good team player and all that), but you daren't let your hair down. You daren't have too many drinks. You daren't lose control (like you could in the old days).
No, gone are the boozy evenings at shareholders expense where, if you were lucky, you'd score with one of the PAs and end up in a cozy broom cupboard together. Gone are the smutty remarks you used to be able to get away with without fear of offending or upsetting anyone.
You wouldn't dream these days of having one (or two) too many and waking up the next day with a sore head. No, you'd be too worried about being walked in to see the HR police, and then straight out again accompanied by security, with a letter in your hand telling you you've been fired for gross misconduct for smiling at one of the bar staff in the wrong way. In fact, you can't even wish your work colleagues 'a Happy Christmas' these days for fear of upsetting the politically correct brigade ('Happy Holidays' is far safer).
In truth, corporate Christmas bashes have become a chore, where you sit and nurse one drink all night, and keep looking at your watch wondering if you'd dare go home after barely an hour. Quite frankly, I'd rather stay at home and watch paint dry.
Far better, though, to take off your bank pass (and anything else which identifies you with your work), and go out with your work colleagues and enjoy a night out privately, making sure that you are far away from where you actually work (in fact, better to do it where staff from some of your rivals are known to drink, so that they get the blame in the unlikely event that things get a bit carried away!).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that bankers should go out and cause a riot, but there's surely nothing wrong in getting a bit merry (as in 'Merry Christmas') during the festive season. But it's not advisable to try that at work these days - it will only end in tears (and they will probably be yours!).