Ah, The Office Parties.

I was sitting in front of the fireplace last night, the flames crackling and flickering, its heat toasting my toes, when I thought of the days of long ago, when The Age of Aquarius promised to appear just over the horizon, and peace and harmony would prevail across the globe.

Now, the Age of Mars seemed to have taken hold.  But I digress—

It was a time of seasonal parties not so many years ago during The Age of Aquarius, when the office gatherings, joy and goodwill, and great food prevailed.  Those were good times, I thought as I threw another log on the fire.

Most of all, I was musing last night about office parties and the delicacies offered, where Mavis’s cheese ball was de rigueur, and Harold from Accounting tippled a bit too much from the plastic punchbowl.

These daytime office parties began the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Every day one could find some office – there were offices on all three floors of our three-winged building – that at least offered Saltine® crackers topped with Cheese Whiz® or that questionable American cheese slices.

As the Holiday season progressed, the food became fancier, more thought-out, and more decadent.  Those early-Season crackers and cheese eventually became Ritz® crackers topped with wine-infused cheddar cheese spread.

Ah – but there was more!

Lunchmeat platters, spiked punch with floating scoops of sherbet, homemade cookies, homemade sweet potato pies, dips, appetizers, and more.

As the years progressed, and the HR Department hired more and more people from overseas, the Holiday foods became more interesting.  There was hummus, stuffed Medjool dates, Asian foods more complex than the familiar sweet and sour chicken, Burmese spring rolls, falafel, tabouleh, baba ghanouj, and sweet, sweet baklava.  And that’s just to give you a rough idea of the new foods we discovered.

But what is most interesting and makes me happy, is that these “new” office party foods were homemade, not mass-produced in some factory and warmed up in the microwave.

No, these were honest-to-goodness homemade delights.

Unfortunately, the powers-that-be put the kibosh on spiked punch and sparkling wine at our office parties, including mandating the banishment of such Holiday greetings as “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hannukah.”  In their place, all we could say was “Happy Holidays” and please pass the 7-Up.

But we all wished everyone, right out in the open, a “Merry Christmas” and whatever holiday a co-worker observed.

Political correctness be damned.

Then we’d go out for a little drinkie-poo at a local lounge after work.

May your days be merry and bright!

©2022 excerpt from “A Turkey for Thanksgiving”

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