Par-ty! Par-ty! Office Holiday Parties Are Back

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It's been a tough slog in Cubeville the past few years as companies not only cut back on staffing but also morale-boosting events like the office holiday party. But don't cry in that beer you had to buy with your own money just yet – the office holiday party is making a comeback!

The number of companies holding office holiday parties has fallen steadily in the past few years until it hit the bottom of the punch bowl at 74 percent last year but it bounced back this year to 91 percent, according to a survey by global executive-search firm Battalia Winston.

That's a pre-recession level of partying! (The last time the partying gauge was this high was 2006, when it hit 95 percent.)

He Did WHAT? Outrageous Holiday Party Behavior
Photo: Don Bayley | Getty Images

"Despite the challenging economic environment, it seems that companies are moving back to a state of normality," said Dale Winston, CEO and Chairwoman of Battalia Winston.

But what about the "fiscal cliff!" you say. What about higher taxes and government spending cuts? Who can drink at a time like this,you say?

We can!

Sure companies are still worried but the No. 1 reason cited for having a party this year was to boost employee morale (42 percent). A third said they were having a party to celebrate 2012 as a good year and 7 percent said they were having a party because of optimism about next year.

More than half of the companies plan to have the party off-site at a restaurant, hotel or other venue, while 29 percent said the party will be at the office. Most companies said they plan to serve alcohol at the office holiday party (79 percent) but let the drinker beware: 21 percent said theirs will be alcohol-free. The parties aren't expected to be more lavish this year (we're not THERE yet) but a majority (66 percent) of companies surveyed said they planned to grow and hire in 2013 – that's up from 48 percent last year.

Well, fa la la la la!

Now hang on a sec, there, Grinch -- If you're rolling your eyes about the mere suggestion that the company holiday party will "boost your morale" – "Show me the money!" you say – then grab another couple of pigs in a blanket and settle down for just one second. A MAJORITY of the companies (69 percent) said they're taking other steps to boost morale, including flexible work schedules, performance incentives, team building/training and, yes – pay increases. That's up from just 48 percent last year who said they planned similar incentives.

So, yes, the boss knows you have HAD IT UP TO HERE with being overworked and underpaid.

No, that doesn't mean you can get drunk at the office party,dance on the bar, fall off and demand a raise from the pile of rubble you fell into.

Go to the party, have a couple of drinks and act like your morale has been boosted.

We're gonna party like it's 2006!

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