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Thanksgiving Dinner at the Office: Should you?

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/28/2007 | Food & Drink
Holidays are a great time to slow down, reflect, and spend quality time with friends and family. They are also a time when we take on entirely too much work and end up spending the season in a blur of activity that leaves us without those precious memories that are supposed to keep us fuzzily glowing year after year. While holidays are a time for activity, it is possible to schedule too many activities and experience holiday burn out. So where do you draw the line?

Most companies observe major holidays during the work hours or by scheduling an event outside of the office. These are great times to get to know your coworkers better in their non-professional capacity rather than their professional one. If they are not hosted by the company dinners and parties can take a great deal of planning and effort.

In the past, most holiday Thanksgiving dinners were funded and prepared by the company, but today it seems like these company-hosted dinners are for the most part a thing of the past. Today carry-in dinners, catered dinners, or dinners prepared by a few employees seem to take up the bulk of office Thanksgiving celebrations. So it is up to you, the employees, to decide whether having a Thanksgiving dinner is worth the effort or if you just can't let the season slip by without having one.

To decide whether to have or not to have a Thanksgiving dinner at work, you should take into account the feelings of the majority. No doubt there will be people on both sides of the fence and a few riding the fence, but look to see where the majority lies and follow their lead.

If you do decide to have a company Thanksgiving dinner, try to make it as free from burden as you possibly can. A carry-in dinner is a great idea, but someone still has to supply and cook the meat for the dinner. This can get quite expensive and time consuming. Don't let one person take on the majority of the work or take on most of the expense. If this always seems to happen, perhaps a carry-in dinner is not such a good idea.

Another great idea is to have a Thanksgiving dinner catered in. You don't have to spend a lot of money here. Most supermarkets offer complete Thanksgiving dinners from their deli department. If each employee would put in 5 or so and you could get an extended lunch break approved by your supervisor, this could be a great option for employees who don't have a lot of time to spend cooking for a carry-in dinner.

Inevitably some companies will have an employee or two who loves to cook and begs for the chance of supplying a company Thanksgiving dinner. If this is the case in your company, consider yourself blessed but not off the hook. Be sure to offer to help with the expense of buying the ingredients for the meal.