questionswould you rather have a big holiday party, or a…

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We used to get both. We'd have a big company party (employees only) at the local country club with awesome food, bowling, and then we'd all go to the bar afterwards and everything was paid 100% by the company. On top of that we'd get either a 1 or 2 weeks pay bonus (depending on your position).

Now we get a party here at the office (food & drink still paid by the company) and no bonus. I miss the bonus more than anything, I used to be able to use it to do all my Christmas shopping and wouldn't have to touch any of my money in my checkbook. Those were the days.

vote-for41vote-against

Bonus. And instead of a fancy pants party, how about a potluck at work during the lunch hour? That way, you get the best of both worlds. Sadly, "bonus" is not a word that has ever been spoken at my workplace...

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Bonus, definitely. And at most of the big places I've worked in the past, not having to go to the big holiday party would be an extra bonus! I always hated those, and it was considered extremely bad form not to go.

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I don't get either with my company, but a Christmas bonus would be nice.

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Bonus, of course. I hang out with the people from work, at work, from 7am-4pm M-F. That is enough time for them to have my presence grace them.

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Bonus. I can always use money. Party is a one time thing that I would have to behave at.

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Bonus, but I think the company doesn't just see it as a gift to the employees, it has other benefits to the company as well. I work in government, so big company parties and bonuses are things in movies, not real life.

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One can have a very nice party for less than $40-$50 per person. I know, since I've planned them myself. Heck, let's make it $100/person and use that as a guide.

So, if the question is '$100 bonus or $100 Party', the answer is 100% PARTY. A hundred bucks is never going to buy you the same amount of fun as a nice party will.

If the question is $400 bonus or $100 party, the answer is 100% bonus.

If the question is $300 bonus + party or $400 bonus, the answer is $300 + Party. Celebration is always > $100.

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get the bonus then party...wooot wooot

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$400 per person? What kind of party is this!? My wedding only cost around (probably way under) $100/person and I considered that to be the best party I've ever thrown. Open bar, 4 kegs (2 full barrels) of beer, and non-stop partying til 3am, if your company is spending more than what a wedding costs for their Christmas party, they're doing it wrong.

vote-for7vote-against

Definitely a bonus.
I'm not much of a party person and don't really socialize a lot with the people I work with (doesn't help that we're a bunch of introverted engineers).

Where I work our "party" is a group lunch paid for by the company but on your own time. We normally go to the Brazilian steakhouse but more and more of us have been opting out of that due to the time required (2+ hours including travel), the scaled down menu and the atmosphere (the place only does holiday party lunches during December and it often feels like they're rushing you out of there so they can get the next group in). Our "bonus" is a calendar mailed to our homes. It does have pictures of pretty airplanes, but I usually end up giving mine to my Dad. My cubemate hangs his up in the cube, so I get to look at it all year.

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Of course people would want the bonus. But if you look from the company perspective, the return on investment is MUCH higher for a party/event. You get team-building, plus happy employees, plus maybe some cross-division business or idea development due to the employees being in a more relaxed environment. On the other hand, with a bonus all you get is happy employees.

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No brainer here - BONUS without a doubt!
My office has done both in the past. Although the last five years we've only had a modest Christmas luncheon.

vote-for5vote-against

Years ago, we used to have parties...some got out of hand.
Now we'll be having a catered lunch from the local BBQ place on Friday. That'll be good.
We might get a bonus or might not. We won't know until pay day.
This year has been the best in our company's history, though. You'd think some of that would trickle down, right?

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I've helped plan a few office parties over the years, and the amount that is spent could put at least $100 in the pockets of every employee. They basically amount to a fancy wedding reception that nobody really wants to go to.

I think I'd rather just get a gift card for a ham or something.

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@eraten: Answer: a very expensive one. The venue (I won't say where it was) was very, very expensive. Top shelf mixed drinks (no Popov vodka here), catered dinner, and live entertainment.

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@wilfbrim and @eraten: you also mentioned a hotel stay.
You don't normally include that in the wedding budget -- at least we didn't -- people generally pay for those themselves.
Still, sounds crazy expensive.

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At a few hundred bucks, I'd prefer a fancy pants party, assuming I like my co-workers. When I worked in restaurants, some of these parties were pretty epic and still fill my story mill. Nowadays, I work in a bit more staid environment, but I'd still like to see some of co-workers a bit sauced.

vote-for7vote-against

A bonus for sure. The holidays are hard on people. Bills don't stop just because it's December. It's hard to get gifts when I'm usually late paying my electric! My company is actually having a "party" today at 3, and I will napping on my desk instead.

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Bonus - strictly because I do not socialize well and I do not drink.

vote-for5vote-against

Personally I would prefer a bonus, even if it is $100. I enjoy spending time with my co-workers but not all of my co-workers.

Does anyone know if there are tax considerations for the business though? Could a party be considered an expense and be tax-deductible? Or are bonuses also a tax deductible expense for the business?

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@nws2002: Bonuses are tax deductible just like all other employee payroll.

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@nws2002: The party is deductible and if I remember correctly 100% because it's for employees vs 50% if you were taking someone out to lunch. A bonus would be taxed just as if you had paid the employee his regular wage - and that means Fed/State/SSI & UT.

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Current job the bonus is to still have a job. Party is getting to work extra. Past years, employees have brought a dish or snack to share the last couple days before Christmas. It was kind of a hassle organizing and cleaning up after. I work in customer service and some customers bring cookies or chocolate. That gets nibbled this time of year.

I did have a job that had a fancy dress Christmas party. It was held at a local ski resort and had a catered dinner, drinks and music. The hotel room after was also paid so nobody drove home after drinking. It was quite the affair with a what happens at the party stays at the party atmosphere. I am not much of a drinker but I do like people watching ;)

Cash is always good. I get to hang out with my co-workers plenty while working. There are a few that I like socializing with everyonce in a while but I am a homebody. I do not get out much.

vote-for4vote-against

Would have to go for the bonus. No matter how safe you think you are at a party, there is always someone that is watching and taking notes that could hurt you in the long run. Better to have some extra spending cash and act like a fool on your own time.

vote-for3vote-against

Prefer? Money.

What will I take? Whatever they give. We had a blast at our party this year. Great food, booze, iPad mini givewaways, an awesome comedian, etc.

I'm not an employee that is on a bonus program so I don't expect one. They pay me my salary to make them money. What they choose to do with it is pretty much at their discretion.

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Another vote for a bonus here. I spend enough time with co-workers as is.

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At my old job, we had both. I appreciated the bonus and could do without the party, but our president was very big into parties and socializing. He would throw very fancy parties for work and personally. Our bonuses were handed out at the company party, often held at a very expensive restaurant, complete with open bar and hired Santa and Mrs. Claus handing out gifts and bonus checks at the end. You had to show up to get your bonus.

My current company doesn't do a holiday party. I don't miss the extravagance, but I do miss having an opportunity to just socialize with the entire company since I don't do it much the other 11 months; one forced session a year would be ok with me.

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BONUS. No question. I would see a holiday party as a "how long do I have to show face before I can leave" situation.

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We get both, here, for which I am incredibly grateful.

But our party doesn't include an overnight stay. The party is viewed as a way of getting everyone together and includes retired employees. We're a small company, though, and we join a "small business holiday party" at a local country club. It's quite nice, with amazing food and an open bar. Plus the joy of watching your boss dance with his wife while no one else dances. We get to bring spouses/dates, though - my friend's work does something similar, but no dates/spouses allowed.