The Famous and Notorious Christmas Party

In the UK, Christmas parties are widely known as the office party of the year. It’s that one time where hierarchy doesn’t seem to matter that much and people let loose and dance and drink. It’s as much a celebration of the relationships at work as a celebration of Christmas. There are a lot of different traditions connected with Christmas parties in the different cultures around the world – in this blog post we want to write about the Danish tradition of the so called Christmas lunches.

Today, the Danish Christmas lunch is just about the same thing as a British Christmas party, although maybe with more food. It’s a yearly office party where employees meet up, eat, drink the Danish “snaps” (a bitter accompanying fish dishes) and bond. However, it started a bit different.

The tradition of the Christmas lunches began more like a celebration of Christmas at the workplace in the 1940s, where high ranking employees were asked into the executive director’s office for a drink. The workers were often just invited to see the Christmas tree. The celebration took place on Christmas Day and therefore the workers were often eager to get home to their families and Christmas dinner. Later on, the Christmas celebration evolved into a community lunch, where the employees each brought some kind of food to the table. This is what gave the event its name – Christmas lunch. People were often singing and enjoying themselves.

In the 1960s, the Christmas lunch started to look more like the party we know today where hierarchy for one night is abolished and everybody everyone is equal and bonding. Earlier it was almost unthinkable that the executive director would sit among the workers eating and drinking, as we see it today.

At Smartplan we’re having our yearly Christmas lunch on Thursday. Although we see ourselves as fairly modern people, we’re actually adopting part of the old tradition, as we’re having the lunch at actual lunch time! It’ll take place in an old-fashioned restaurant with all the lovely things a Christmas lunch entails in terms of Danish food and snaps. To all of you that haven’t yet been to a Christmas party or Christmas lunch, we wish you a very nice party!

Sources: Kristeligt Dagblad, Information, Anton Hansen, Gert Ejton

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