The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

The office Christmas Party is coming up, so the day was spent with food preparation. It is a luxurious overnight party at a resort, hosted by Attila’s generous employers. The dinner and the breakfast will not be suitable for me. I had to push to be allowed to bring my own dinner, originally the restaurant had said no, that I wasn’t allowed to bring in my own food. I just could not face spending an overnight trip watching everyone else eat and have a good time, as I sat and drank water, and later hiding away in our room to eat by myself. I called the manager and we sorted it out, I am bringing my own food, thanks to my persuasive skills. Nothing is simple. Today was lets-get-ready-for-this-party day. Parties, for me, are a lot of work, which is why you will never see me become a “party animal”.

My cold plate dinner will consist of cheese, macaroni salad, gherkins, fresh pepper strips, and cheese bread. I haven’t thought about a dessert yet, I suppose I should. My breakfast will consist of a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, cheese bread, a clementine, and whatever beverage I can get at the restaurant, water if need be. Today I cooked the macaroni, prepared the pepper strips, and baked the cheese bread. Still quite a bit to do, but at least I’ve started.

Clothing has to be sorted out as well. I will be wearing my 30+ year old skirt that I have just mended, a turtleneck, and a jacket. Nothing fancy for me, and at least I didn’t have to purchase anything. At breakfast I will wear jeans and a shirt.

The company rarely hosts overnight Christmas parties, so next year it might be just an evening at a restaurant, not nearly so much work.

Attila will have a good time, which he richly deserves.

I am using all my will to keep my curmudgeonly, sardonic oh-joy-its-a-party feelings to myself! I am determined, I will succeed!

Maybe I will watch “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” tonight, to really get into the spirit of giving up curmudgeonliness.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EST Friday 5 December 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.7°C
Dewpoint: -3.6°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: SE 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -4


“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.”
Al Franken


  1. WendyNC

    Maggie, I suspect the word anaphylaxis helped a good bit in the conversation, at least if the manager had any sense. I’m sorry that this is your world, and agree that people with your degree of allergy should have the same protections as folks with other kinds of disabilities.

  2. Wendy, when I received the “no food for you” news, I went to the resort website to see what I was dealing with. Their site emphasized that they accommodated people with disabilities. Since this was a part of their PR, I figured I had a shot at reasoning with them. I was correct, the manager I talked to was very pleasant, and easily convinced, particularly when I assured him that I certainly did not want my food in their kitchen, at any point during my visit. Their concern that I would need the kitchen to deal with the food I brought in is a valid one, they just aren’t equipped for that level of vigilance. Even if they thought they could handle it, I wouldn’t trust them! When he realized we were on the same page about the kitchen, everything fell together.

  3. NORA


    I’m glad your persuasive skills were able to allow for your dinner to be taken care of by you. I would feel as you do about the kitchen. I am not a big fan of eating out to begin with. I am okay with take out pizza (we cook it) because it cooks at 425*!
    I think our persuasive skills get batter with age.

    The overnight sounds relaxing. No worries about driving at night. Just to be able to be free of that and have a good time which I hope you do. I have never been to a company party that provided an overnight. I really think that is terrific!

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  4. Thanks Nora! I usually enjoy myself once I am actually in the situation, so I am optimistic. An overnight party is not unusual where we live, because it is so far from everything. Employers worry about employees needing to travel long distances after a party, and of course the drinking and driving issue is at the back of their minds as well. In one place I worked there was an overnight Christmas Party, and Attila and I had to sign a paper promising to stay overnight in order to attend the party.

    The resort is beautiful, so I am sure we will be comfortable.

  5. Bex

    It’s true – you do learn something every day. I never knew about this overnight party thing before you wrote about it. And what a hassle with the food allergies etc. Is this really the first time EVER anyone has asked to bring their own food at this place? It seems that more and more people are allergic to more and more things. I would have thought that accommodating these patrons would be routine by this point in history… at least you persevered long enough to have it resolved to your satisfaction.

    Still no JournalScape working! I thought I’d get up today and it would be all fixed, but no… so will just have to wait longer.

  6. Bex, I think the resistance from restaurants arise from the confusion between a plain old miserable allergy, and anaphylaxis. The plain old miserable allergy will make people feel sick, but they will recover. Allergies are common, and so restaurants are accustomed to things like “egg free”, “milk-free” and are often prepared to deal with that. A mistake, after all, will only make the customer sick.

    Enter anaphylaxis, which is uncommon. It is an extreme form of an allergy. So when the restaurant hears the word allergy, they think they might be able to serve the person from their kitchen, within certain easily definable restrictions. Mistakes are often made, but no one dies. Then the word anaphylaxis comes into the conversation, and suddenly the restaurant is aware that they might kill someone. They are patently unwilling to risk a customers life on the veracity of their precautions. They assume that the person with anaphylaxis will want food from their kitchen, as other people with allergies often do. I find that once I carefully explain that under no circumstances would I want food from their kitchen, or the food that I bring to go into their kitchen, even to heat it, they are relieved and happy to have me bring my own food.

    No JournalScape! I have been watching for posts. I do hope that it is all fixed and better, sooner rather than later.

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Such a hassle, just to be safe, but that’s unfortunately your world right now due to the way we process foods. When I was strictly low carbing it was a hassle as there were almost no foods I could eat when going out. I could eat the meat and salad or veggies but nothing with a sauce, or bread, or pasta, or any kind of grains or dessert. Those were really rough times for going out and I’d often feel sorry for myself – so I can definitely see why you might be feeling Grinchy. There are even days when I can feel Grinchy just being rousted out of my house!

    We went to DH’s company party last night. We had a full Christmas dinner plus a plethora of desserts. Afterwards, the played a Family Feud-type game to give away door prizes. It was so funny due to the fact that the entire game fell flat on it’s face and the CEO’s who were MCing it were running around trying to figure out how to award prizes when no one could answer the questions. (Really, how many people are going to know the name of the CEO’s dog?)

    But your party, including an overnight, sounds wonderful! So nice of the company to do that! DH’s company pays for your taxi home after the party, so at least they do that to keep there people safe.

    I still have some 30+ year old skirts in my closet that I’m fine with wearing for something special, though last night I wore a black velvet dress that I’d gotten about 5 years ago for $17. Waiting for extreme sales prices can sometimes work out, even with online shopping.

    Have a wonderful time at the party, Maggie and Attila!

  8. I hope you enjoyed your party Teri! That sounds funny, a competition where no one knows the answers! Attila’s boss had prepared a game, which was a lot of fun, with one person winning the prize. It was fun, although we did not win.

    The company Attila works for is great, it is a family owned business. Not only were the beautiful rooms provided, but each person attending the party received a beautiful gift, and a complimentary breakfast.

    I was rather drab for the party I am afraid, my jacket is more a business suit thing, than a party thing. I am going to watch the sales and see if I can’t find something a little more festive for the holiday season next year. Living in the bush this would not be possible, there are no sales out here. But since I will be spending some time at the little house in the city, there will be a possibility of finding something nice on sale.

    We had a great time at the party! I am so glad I worked through my curmudgeonliness before we got there, leaving the slate clean for the real experience.

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    The Boxing Week sales would be a great time to look for a nice dress for next Christmas.

    I was just about to close this window and looked up at the header. Had to smile at the Grinch title. DH and I got back from helping SS30 move to a new apartment this afternoon. DH wanted to watch a Christmas movie so we ordered a pizza and then settled down to watch the Grinch Who Stole Christmas movie. It’s cute in it’s own way, though not as good as the original cartoon version from my childhood. 😉

  10. It all sounds very festive. Maggie, Attila’s company sure went to great extravagance! And it all does sound quite wonderful. I’m so glad you had a good time – and a getaway is sometimes the perfect gift of relaxation and re-enforced group morale and cohesiveness. I tiptoe into another realm… that in these challenging economic times, if employees would’ve preferred a handsome bonus check instead? Perhaps they get that too? Sorry if I’m being a buzz-kill. :)))

  11. I share your preference for the earlier cartoon version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas Teri. I love watching the films from childhood. Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooge with Alistair Sim, Peter Pan with Mary Martin, the list goes on.

    What a great evening, tucking in with a pizza and movie!

  12. Irene, Attila’s employer is Gold Star all the way, every employee received a generous Christmas bonus, and paid time off work at Christmas, beyond the obligatory statutory holidays. They go out of their way for their people. It is a small staff. When we left the party everyone was hugging the boss a big thank you, before leaving. If human decency in business practices was an award that businesses competed for, Attila’s employer would be right up there, nominated by all the employees.

  13. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    We have Miracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas, Rudolph ;), Scrooge with Alistair Simm (DH’s favorite Scrooge), and Scrooge the musical version (Albert Finney) which is my favorite. We’re going through them one at a time right now, getting ready for Christmas.

    Maggie, that’s lovely that your DH has such a wonderful employer! So glad to hear that Attila will be getting some paid time off for the holidays. He truly deserves it. Over here, my DH has a paid week off between Christmas and New Years, though he’ll be taking a few extra vacation days and so will have almost two full weeks off.

  14. NORA

    Tops, I have no idea but I don’t think so.

    Maggie, I hope Terra goes with you. It’s always nice to have some one come along. More fun. I go shopping with my sister a lot when she is down. She is a shop-a-holic! But she shops and knows how to get the best deals with her coupons and this, that and the other thing. She saves oodles of mula.

    Hubby hasn’t mentioned anything about a holiday party at work yet. The year before last wives were allowed to accompany. The party was awful though because it was in a room too small and the music was way tooooo loud. You could not even carry on a conversation. It was at a posh country club. I walked around outside of the room a lot. Glad to go.

    The following year wives were not permitted. The company was cutting back on expenses. This year it is a new company so I am wondering what will happen. I felt really out of place at the last company party I went.

  15. Teri, your list is familiar, what memories. We watched Peter Pan starring Mary Martin last night, it really was the filming of the musical stage production, rather than a movie. We thought it was magical when we were kids.

    Two consecuritve weeks off, heaven! Attila gets a few extra days off, but can’t take vacation days during the the Christmas holidays, none of the staff can. The business needs, truly needs, all the staff there during that time, to run the business properly. It is in every employees best interest to keep the business they work for viable, so when they are truly needed, they work. This type of situation is normal for economies that rely on tourism.

  16. Nora, shopping with Terra is always a hoot. She puts lots of stuff in her cart, then she walks around the store and puts most of it back before checking out! She says it gives her time to think, her “sober second thought” I think. She isn’t as “frugal” as I am, but there aren’t many who are, lol.

    That last Christmas party with spouses, that you attended, sounds unpleasant. I would have done the same, spent a lot of time walking around outside. The outdoors was probably very pretty at a posh country club. I knew exactly what you meant by glad to go! I hope the new company provides a more enjoyable get together this year!

  17. Reenie, the employer so good compared to others, that Attila does not want to leave his job, but stay until retirement, “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is his motto. Which means the total move the little house in the city will have to wait for 13 or more years… the up side of that is that he will get an increasing number of paid holidays as time goes on, so we can visit the little house, or he can visit me when I am staying at the little house.

  18. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, funny you should mention not taking vacation during the holidays. DH just informed me last night that his employer is now saying that with the company getting larger they’re not going to be letting as many people take time off at Christmas, anymore. 🙁 I’m hoping that with DH’s having 16 years with the company and his being the senior on his team that he’ll be able to get the time, as by this time of year he desperately needs it. But I also know that time off is on a first come/first served basis, so we run the risk of his not being able to.

    Nora, 2 years ago DH’s Christmas party was like the one you attended, and we left as soon as the music started as it was so loud you couldn’t even talk to the person next to you. It was like that for a couple of years and then I guess someone listened to the complaints and made sure the sound was turned down, so these last 2 years have been fine.

  19. NORA

    Yikes, I thought Maggie has been snowed in and lost WiFi….I kept checking here and today I see I was wrong. I’m tardy!

    I’m possibly like Terra with shopping. I too will put more in my cart and think about it before checking out. I am very frugal! I get the best possible buys I can. I used to enjoy shopping but I really don’t like getting out and about to do that anymore. I am enjoying online shopping a lot more these days!

    Yes, the music made me crazy. Plus it was music I never ever listen to but hear frequently when sitting at a stop light waiting for it to change. In fact the whole town could hear that type of music. Talk about something getting under your craw.

    Glad that the parties have simmered down Tops. Hope if there is one this year for us it is enjoyable.

  20. I am here Nora, just away from the computer for a few days. I have been working on my next entry, but it is a slow go, I keep getting distracted, lol. So you select, think, deselect while shopping as well. I find it interesting to see what Terra will put into her cart, and even more interesting to see what she takes out again, lol.

  21. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Heh. Maggie, DH’s company isn’t downsizing, it’s growing by leaps and bounds. It’s bought out something like 7 companies in the last 2 years. They add in new companies to add in new products, and the strategy seems to be working for them. I believe they’re now one of the largest software companies in Canada.

    I’m not at all like Terra. Most things get dismissed simply while I’m looking at them. Maybe 5% will get touched/handled or tried on. Very little actually ever makes it into my cart. 😉

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