Despite the economic downturn and bleak employment picture, many companies are still celebrating with year-end holiday bashes.
By Elizabeth Strott, MSN Money (external - login to view) Party on, colleagues.
Though the economic downturn has caused many companies to scrap their annual holiday parties this year, there are plenty that will pop some corks and a few that hope to make this year's bashes better than ever.
"Everyone always wants to have the best," said Erica Maurer, an event planner at EMRG Media in New York City. "If you can pay for it, you're going to try to get it.
Still rockin' around the Christmas tree
Some people may cringe at the idea of celebrating in this economic environment, but one expert suggests it's a good idea to get co-workers together, recession or no recession.
"These year-end celebrations are an effective way of boosting employee morale, especially in tough economic times," said John Challenger, the president of outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Yahoo's (YHOO (external - login to view), news (external - login to view), msgs (external - login to view)) Sunnyvale, Calif., employees will celebrate despite recent announcements that the company will slash 1,500 jobs and that founder Jerry Yang will step down as chief executive officer.
"To ensure the best possible rates, the venue was booked and paid for months ago, so the savings would be minimal if we were to cancel at this date," Yahoo spokeswoman Kim Rubey told CNN. "We also feel it is very important to show appreciation to our employees, who have worked extremely hard and who have made incredible progress during a challenging year."
It might be hard to come up with toasts. Yahoo's market capitalization has shrunk to about $13 billion from about $38.4 billion over the past six months, and the stock has fallen 64% over the past year.
Tough times have put a damper on the holiday spirit in the financial sector, but there are plenty of companies going ahead with their parties, including Knight Capital Group (NITE (external - login to view), news (external - login to view), msgs (external - login to view)) and a number of hedge funds. Knight's party will be for employees only at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York.
We crashed a holiday party that made all hints of a recession quickly fade away. The information technology company for the financial services industry wasn't any cutting corners: It had samba dancers, a celebrity DJ and, despite the bear market, a mechanical bull.
Hmmm. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to buy presents