'The staff have all voted to have the Staff Christmas Party at our home again this year' ... so declares Mr K, all proud like.
He takes this as a sign that our staff love us and want to come to our house as they think that's neat. He sees this as just one big Friday night after work drinks - on steroids. With lots of food and a pool.
I see this as a big pile of hard work. Which is fine, I am happy to show our staff how much we really do appreciate them, to say thank you for all their hard work, to spoil them for a bit. But, guess who gets to do all the work that Mr K just can't see? All the 'little things' that only women know about?
It's like that old joke that does the email rounds, the one about the husband who tells his wife she can have the night off and he will do the BBQ for their guests. He stands turning snags whilst drinking a beer - she shops for all the ingredients, cleans the house, makes salads, sets the table, gets platters ready for the meat, makes sweets, clears the table, washes the dishes ... and he asks her afterwards how she enjoyed her night off cooking?
This will be our fourth year we have had the end of year party at our home.
The first year I had caterers in. Lovely food, useless service. It cost a small fortune, more than if we had taken everyone out to dinner. We had leftovers which would be great anytime except for right before Christmas when I need my fridge empty.
The second year we had the waitress of our local cafe, who was a cooking student, come and do it. I worked harder than ever and my kitchen looked like my kids bedroom after they had searched for the missing Lego piece.
Third year, I said ENOUGH and we went out to a restaurant. I will admit that the party was flat, we sat at a table and had to behave ourselves. We were in public. (I really didn't care this year, it was right before I had a hysterectomy, I was in no laughing mood!)
The fourth year, feeling SO much better I threw caution to the wind, having learnt from past experiences about caterers and cooking students; that I can do it better, quicker, cheaper and cleaner than anyone. I made one little mistake - I got all elaborate and made lots and lots of canapes from scratch, far too many choices.
Fifth year, this year, I am older (boy am I ever) wiser (I think!) and under the misapprehension that I have it all sussed. I have simplified the menu, bought things that are fiddly to make, like four dozen mince pies, frozen spring rolls, and cheezels. There will be huge slabs of roast meat, fluffy bread rolls and gravy - the majority of our staff are young lads - give them meat, bread and beer. A few salads to keep the waif girlfriends happy.
I have written a huge TO DO list for Mr K. He has his jobs allocated. Lets see if he is as keen to host the party here next year <wink>