'Tis the season for holiday parties again! Though many companies, especially on Wall Street, started cutting way back on their legendary holiday blow-outs in 2008, the company holiday party is slowly returning. However, it may be a few more years until they are at quite the same level as they once were as the economy is still recovering. "There used to be a lot more lavish alcohol displays -- things like martini luges where you would pour alcohol into the top of an elaborate ice carving and it would land in your glass," said Todd Fiscus, owner of Todd Events, which has produced events for clients ranging from Gatorade to Jay-Z. In a sign of the times, he says, companies today are more likely to host a Western-themed "hoedown" instead of a black-tie blowout.
According to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 68 percent of companies will hold a holiday party this year, roughly flat with last year and up six percentage points from 2009, when the economy and holiday party bookings were at a trough.