Set out the canapes. Pour the Champagne. Holiday parties continue as a tradition at many companies despite the hard times, though they're often smaller and more subdued.
Many Wichita companies canceled parties in 2009 to cut costs and signal that managers weren't spending frivolously amid layoffs.
Some locals say the number of parties is actually up this year from last, and others say they're down. But a couple of things are clear: The number of people at the parties remains way down from 2008, and the parties this year promise to be less expensive. They may be held in a home rather than at a restaurant; potluck instead of catered; beer instead of liquor.
Nationally, a recent Society of Human Resource Management survey showed that 61 percent of employers were planning on a holiday party this year, the same as in 2009.
Some companies are saying a party this year is even more important than in earlier years. Everybody is stressed out, employers say, and this is a way for companies to express appreciation to those who remain.
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