Office holiday parties are fun, and a good way for colleagues to enjoy themselves and each other without the pressure of work for a few hours. As long as everyone behaves well, and expectations are laid out before hand, there is no reason not to have a holiday party for employees.
As long as it's not a requirement to attend the party then I feel it's fine and a good thing for American offices to hold holiday parties, I think it's a great way to enjoy the holidays and relax with your fellow co-workers in a more relaxed and laid back environment.
Everyone enjoys a party. Not only is the office holiday party a tradition, it is a great addition to the workplace. Being able to take some time away from your work to talk with co workers and just relax is rejuvenating. Employees feel better about the company and enjoy spending time at work more. This isn't to say it can't be overdone. Having a party every week would lower productivity and prove distracting, thus, seasonal parties became the standard.
I am in favor of the American workplace tradition that is the office holiday party. I think that such a tradition is a great way to build a community amoung the people at a company and workplace. I do not see anything wrong with it as long as nothing illegal is going ont.
Holiday parties in the workplace are remarkable in the fact that it allows coworkers and their bosses can interact in a none formal environment. People can meet one another families or significant others allowing the cohesion of the workplace to be strengthened through human interaction. To finish it shows that we are not robots that there's more to us than what we present on an everyday basis.
I have only been subjected to one business affiliated holiday party and I have to say I didn't enjoy it. I would have much rather have received the monies spent on me for that celebration as an additional bonus, given that the dinner for me and my guest, plus our drinks was well over $200. I honestly didn't enjoy spending time with my co-workers and boss and I wouldn't do it again if my life depended on it.