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overview: This year, the holidays simply aren’t the same. We won’t be visiting our families, seeing our friends or even heading out to shops to do our holiday shopping, as we shelter in place to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

But there’s a silver lining as we hunker down at home this winter, one that’s like its own present: We won’t have to go to a work holiday party this year. One alternative that has emerged is the Zoom holiday party, which sounds like the only thing that could be worse than an in-person one. (PayPal is leaning hard into this with a marathon 29-hour Zoom party for its global workforce. Exhausting.)


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As you can imagine, I have never liked work holiday parties. In fact, I hate them — and I’m an extrovert! If I don’t like them, then who does? I like people and I like parties, but work holiday parties are tedious and awkward, like going to a wedding where you only know one person.

Maybe I’m projecting because I hate them, but I also can’t believe that anyone else wants to be there. Not you, not your spouse, and definitely not your coworkers and probably not even your boss. In fact, 90% of workers would rather skip it, according to Randstad USA.

about the author

Fiona Lee

fiona lee is the deputy managing editor at sfgate. prior to joining the sfgate team, she was the interim editor in chief at the bold italic and managing editor for the data wire at hoodline.