Whether the office holiday party is a chance to unwind with colleagues or an evening of forced fun with people you're already sick of seeing all day, it's an institution of corporate America. The food is abundant, the liquor flows, and for a few hours, your colleagues are human beings. Then the next morning, you return to work with a hangover and with the same beefs you had before the party.
There's only one thing worse than having to go to the holiday party, and that's to learn that yours has been canceled. When corporate penny-pinching axes the event, that sends an unequivocal message about the company's financial strength and puts everyone on edge.