Planning the Holiday Parties for Your Company or Yourself


If you haven’t booked your holiday party already, you’re not too late this year, thanks to a slower economy and less corporate money going toward these special events. Shown in the photo are employees of one company hosting its party on board a cruise yacht in the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. It is one of the few Christmas boat parades that allows you to ride in the parade, look at other lighted boats up close, and see the lit mansions, as well.

In my past life as a professional photographer, I never felt too alone at Christmas, thanks to the corporate budgets and people who always called me up to photograph their annual holiday events. Usually held at hotels, country clubs or sometimes on yachts, the party planners had two options for commemorative pictures. Either their employees were elegantly dressed and wanted mementos of that rare occasion, or they hired a Santa and they all wanted to pose like big kids next to the jollly bearded man in red.

For those who are charged with planning a party this year, the options are endless and there’s lots of deals to be had. Hornblower Cruises & Events located along the coast from San Diego to San Francisco is offering many attractive discounts and packages for holiday parties. The trend has gone from formal to more casual in the past decade, and the holiday parties provide a chance for you to let your hair down and relax with friends, family or associates while being comfortable.

Golf courses, city community facilities under their parks & recreation departments, hotels, yachts and a variety of great California locations provide excellent backdrops for parties. Of course the city-operated meeting spaces and venues tend to be the least expensive and from there you can work your way up to luxury resort facilities if you have the money. With smaller groups, you don’t have to rent out an entire room, but can simply offer elegant dinners.

One of my favorite corporate party places is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you get lucky and are invited to a party or wedding there at night, you get to wander and look around minus the crowds. Now that’s a WoW!

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