The End of the Office Holiday Party

In hard times, and with the drunken-orgy dynamic looking increasingly dated, fewer companies are hosting bashes

Royal families aren't necessarily known for their sensitivity to the economic plight of their subjects. Yet Queen Elizabeth II announced last month that she was canceling Buckingham Palace's biannual Christmas party. It would have seemed insensitive, given the deep cuts in social services now raining down on Britain, to spend $80,000 on a soiree in which 600 commoners are allowed to get wasted alongside royalty. When the Queen is calling off her Christmas party, it's a bad sign for everyone else.

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