We hold our staff holiday party at a community centre in Calgary as opposed to back at the club, just to make it easier for everybody to attend from a transportation point of view.
I like to get together with everybody for four or five hours and say thanks for the effort they put in this year. We have hors d’oeuvres and we give everyone taxi chits, so everyone gets home safely.
We usually only go to about 10 p.m. with our get-together, so if they want to go out afterwards, we at least have the comfort of knowing they will get home safely with the taxi chits.
For four or five years, I used to have it at my house, but nowadays, we’re talking about 60 people with spouses or significant others, so it’s a little much for a house party now. It was a full day getting ready for it then and it would take me two days to clean up.
We’ve also added a charitable component to it, collecting for the food bank and getting involved with Adopt A Family.
I try to give everyone a good chunk of the holidays off, so our permanent staff will be done as of the 17th, with our party on the 18th, and they’ll be gone after that until the New Year.
I work over the holidays because it’s quiet and we can year-end done with the office manager, but if it’s snowing, I won’t bring people in to plough just so I can get in and out of here. These days, it’s not difficult to work from home.
With the underage kids, what we do is take them out for pizza. They get an invitation to the Christmas party, but usually they don’t come. It’s really not what they want to do at that age, but they appreciate the offer and a few will stop by just to say hello and then leave.
Our owner, Lyle Edwards, and his wife Patti always come and Lyle usually says a few words. We try to be like a family working together so that’s one reason that I like the party.
Chef Tiff usually gets going and I made a mean beef on a bun last year, but I won’t wear the Santa hat. I did that earlier this year at a get-together and that only happens once a year!