Well I had my company Christmas party last night. This followed a dramatic day at work where I personally witnessed my boss pass out as I gave him a presentation of a project I have been working on. When he passed out on the opposite side of the table from me he hit his head on a cabinet, suffered a concussion and now will be out of work until after Christmas. I like to think that the reason he passed out was that my presentation was just so good and he became overwhelmed, but we cant just be too sure!
So without my boss we had our Christmas party. This was quite a more intimate event then I would expect from an American corporation. We started out with a torch walk. Yes, we walked through the hills in a neighboring town with our way lit by torches. It was about a 45 minute walk, stopping only in the thick forest to take a shot of schnapps. The schnapps proved to be a delightful wild cherry flavor and helped keep me warm in the negative temperatures that graced the air.
From there we went to a traditional Franken (the region I live in) hotel and had a dinner of Goose legs, meadow and forest soup, and keeping with tradition, beer. Our dinner concluded with an older co-worker playing Christmas carols on his accordion, in which time I lead the group in a traditional American tune, “Rudolf the red nose Reindeer.” Basically this consisted of the whole group singing the course as everyone listened to me singing the rest of the song in my beautiful voice.
Then St. Nick and Knecht Rupprecht came out and gave away gifts. Knecht Rupprecht is a man that in German tradition is basicly Santa’s evil half. He comes to give a bunch-of-sticks to the kids that were naughty. I was confused of the presence of this long white bearded man in a black hooded cap (he looked like a confused Klu-Klux-Klans man) at first, but it was soon explained to me his role. After the gifts were given out a few more beers were had before retiring for the night.
The strangest thing I found from this event were that none of the partners of the employees were present. It is not custom for wives, husbands and girl and boy friends to be invited to these events, and they are not held on the weekends as so to not interfere with employees free time.
Hope all of your Christmas parties out there have been just as memorable as mine!