This is held at a local pub or restaurant – a pub this year. It was actually the same place as last year, but I didn’t go then as I hadn’t been working at the shop for very long.
We had to decide if we wanted to go a few weeks before-hand and then had to pay and make our choice from the menu, so that the meals could be ordered. About a week before, I discovered that people dressed up for it – so nearly cancelled! I was reassured that it didn’t have to be too smart – but it seemed that jeans were probably not acceptable. I also ignored the manager saying that we all had to wear something silly – as did most other people, I discovered.
I gave another volunteer a lift down, but on getting to central car park (which I thought would be fairly empty) remembered that it was late night shopping, so it wasn’t easy to find a space. There were quite a few, but as it was dark it was hard to see them.
When we got to the pub we were shown the room where the meal was to be held and found that we had place labels, which also had on the dishes we had ordered. That was pretty clever, as there was little chance that I would have remembered! It was the work of the deputy manager who is very organised over things like that. The manager and deputy manager had also given us a cellophane packet of sweets – mostly chocolate – which was in our places.
I didn’t know everyone – we work on different days – but it was a very pleasant evening. I seem to have made good choices with the food (soup, turkey + trimmings, profiteroles) but I gather that some people’s was not of a very good standard. The conversation was kept going well and only became unsuitable for the 17 year old at one point!
Near the end, those who were taking part drew out a present from “Secret Santa” – we had put in a present (£5) earlier; no getting a name as we don’t know everyone. Mine was a chocolate Santa…..
……..which was different. Does one start eating from the head or the boots? It is like the gingerbread man or jelly-baby question! Other people had been quite imaginative in what they bought – slipper socks, a hot-water bottle (most, but not all of us, are retired) as well as the expected chocolate.
At the end I gave 3 people a lift home – and would have gone through a red traffic light if one of them hadn’t said something!
So did I enjoy it? On the whole , yes – more than I expected to really! And all the chocolate was a bonus……