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New Times ditches the traditional holiday office party with 12 days of festive activities 

Every year, New Times treats its employees to a holiday party before the craziness of early deadlines kicks in and we all head home to celebrate the festivities with our families. But instead of a traditional Christmas party where we all get together for one night, the company decided to treat us to an extended celebration—12 Days of Christmas.

click to enlarge WARM FEELINGS Those fuzzy feelings of joy don't just have to be from the holiday season; they can also be from looking at this hot cocoa dude in the break room. - PHOTO BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photo By Karen Garcia
  • WARM FEELINGS Those fuzzy feelings of joy don't just have to be from the holiday season; they can also be from looking at this hot cocoa dude in the break room.

Now, I know what you're thinking. One day of festivities is enough to handle. But listen here, you grinch, it's actually a lot of fun to take a good 30-minute break during work and get to know your coworkers over some ornament decorating or cookie making.

For instance, I learned that—and I should have seen this coming—one of our stellar graphic designers, Ellen Fukumoto, really loves the character Totoro. If my memory serves me right she even dressed in her Totoro gear for Halloween. So she obviously had to decorate her ornament with Totoro—and if you're still wondering who or what that is, do yourself a favor and Google My Neighbor Totoro.

click to enlarge CREATIVE JUICES One of our graphic designers, Ellen Fukumoto, loves Totoro. So she put it on her ornament! - PHOTO BY RACHELLE RAMIREZ
  • Photo By Rachelle Ramirez
  • CREATIVE JUICES One of our graphic designers, Ellen Fukumoto, loves Totoro. So she put it on her ornament!

By the time you read this story we'll be on our 11th day of cheer, so before I continue telling you how much fun I've been having, let me recap what the office has done so far. Day one was filled with bacon and vegetarian breakfast burritos from Big Sky Café. Day two involved a lot of sugary goodness, as we were able to decorate cookies that matched our colorful personalities. Day three we had a hot cocoa bar in the break room complete with your choice of marshmallow, peppermint sticks, or chocolate chips to top off your warm drink. Day four was ornament decorating, where my colleagues and I showed off our artsy side with plenty of glitter, tinsel, and holly. On day five some of us got together at the San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre to see its production of A Christmas Story. The best part about the production was that advertising rep extraordinaire Katy Gray's son, Jason, played Schwartz in the show. Day six we wore our ugly sweaters or pajamas and watched Elf while eating delicious sandwiches from House of Bread—I'll just go out on a limb and say the tuna salad sandwich was amazingly fresh and tasty. Day seven was lunch at Woodstock's, filled with plenty of pizza slices and barbeque wings galore. Day eight was a hot apple cider bar with the trimmings; nine was snowflake decorating.

click to enlarge GETTING OUT One of New Times' 12 days of holiday festivities was enjoying SLO Rep's production of A Christmas Story. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DORA MOUNTAIN
  • Photo Courtesy Of Dora Mountain
  • GETTING OUT One of New Times' 12 days of holiday festivities was enjoying SLO Rep's production of A Christmas Story.

While these past days have been fun, it's the last couple of days I have been looking forward to. Day 10 was the Christmas potluck where we all get to share family recipes or last-minute goodies as well as find out who our Secret Santa is. Day 11 will be s'mores in the parking lot with our co-publisher, Bob Rucker, and the final day will be cocktails at the end of the business day.

click to enlarge ELFING AROUND The Christmas season calls for holiday classics. So we just had to watch Elf—arguably one of Will Ferrell's best performances. - PHOTO BY RACHELLE RAMIREZ
  • Photo By Rachelle Ramirez
  • ELFING AROUND The Christmas season calls for holiday classics. So we just had to watch Elf—arguably one of Will Ferrell's best performances.

The New Times crew has been working hard all year round on our computers, making calls, and out in town to put together this publication. So a dozen days filled with treats and all-around fun has been awesome. The next time your company's party planning committee gets together (The Office anybody?), don't go for the traditional office party. Have 12 days of getting to know each other instead. Δ

Staff writer Karen Garcia is drinking hot cocoa at a kgarcia@newtimesslo.com.

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