The Dysfunctional Company Christmas Party


Last night I went to a fancy hotel as a guest at a company Christmas party. The company seemed to have gone to considerable expense providing food, wine, and beer for the 400 employees and their guests. The ladies were all dressed beautifully with boyfriends, husbands, and significant others in tow, but everywhere I turned employees were grousing. #TisTheSeasonToComplain One employee wondered aloud, “We had shrimp last year, and this year we get Swedish meatballs?” To which his manager replied, “If you had sold more, we would have had a nicer buffet.” The two locked eyes, exchanged scowls, and walked off in opposite directions. TheDysfunctional Company Christmas Party had begun.


The open bar was apparently a hit with the company’s CEO, who stood up in the middle of the crowd with a microphone three hours into the party to thank all of his employees. With so many employees, he admitted he had not learned everyone’s names, but he assured them he knew all of their departments. I counted more than a dozen verbal gaffs in his impromptu slurred speech, from calling sales “the easiest job in the company” to calling everyone in the finance department “bean counters.” He referred to the IT department as “those guys in the basement” and then said he wanted to thank the account managers but he didn’t know exactly what they did. #FootInMouth


At first there was nervous laughter and then gasps as he continued to roll through his remarks until, finally, a couple dozen people simply walked out of the ballroom. A hush fell over the room, and a half-hearted toast “Happy holidays!” brought the official festivities to a close. Half the crowd then walked into the lounge and started drinking and dancing, putting the funk in dysfunctional.


All of this made me especially thankful for my team at Madison+Main. Prior to M+M, I worked at some very large companies and have seen dysfunctional company Christmas parties before. Next week, we will gather our entire team and their significant others and head to Morton’s Steakhouse where I will thank them, hug them, and tell them how much I appreciate them every day. Learning from experience, I will make my toast at the beginning of the evening, before I’ve had a drop to drink. #Cheers


Monday, December 3 – Secret Santa Stuffed Sock Swap Spectacular


We had our VP of Brand Strategy Kara Forbis in town for two days to help out with some huge client pitches (which went extremely well, of course) and also to keep a close eye on the Madison+Main-iacs. And by close eye I mean to guard everyone’s discreet name drawing for our Secret Santa Sock Swap Spectacular. And on second thought, with my busy schedule, I may just have to steal Communications Manager Kent Brockwell’s genius idea to regift my actual socks and slip some cash inside for my super secret Main-iac to purchase a new pair.


Tuesday, December 4 – A Hot Announcement



Huge shout out to the creative team for Southern Goodman’s new website rollout! All of their hard work truly paid off and the site looks amazing—Virginia’s most trustworthy HVAC company had to agree for themselves. And at Madison+Main, when our clients are happy…we’re happy. Go ahead, check out their site for yourself! I know you want too.


Wednesday, December 5 – Sweet Day for the Home Teams


On Wednesday we teamed up with our good friends atBES Studios to create an awesome new commercial for Lucy Corr at Sweet Shop Donuts Cafe. I won’t say whether or not we got sidetracked by the sweet-smelling scent of blueberry donut holes and their cinnamon bun inspired creations but I will say we chose the perfect location to shoot that morning. Be on the lookout for the finished product soon!



I spent Wednesday night cheering on my beloved VCU Rams from the comfort ofHome Team Grill, considering I couldn’t get a last-minute flight to Austin, Texas. My prayers were answered that night as the Rams pulled off a last minute victory against the Longhorns – winning by one point and bumping their record to 7-2. #SorryShaka


Thursday, December 6 – A Neat Trip to Fredericksburg


Account Manager Leanne Ferry, Creative Director Art Webb, and Communications Manager Kent Brockwell were lucky enough to spend the morning with the fine folks at A. Smith Bowman Distillery up in Fredericksburg. It was a fun-filled day with marketing plan presentations, website mockups, and talks of 2019 goals. If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting Virginia’s Pioneer Spirit, I highly suggest you do so. Immediately if possible.



Friday, December 7 – And the Award Goes to… 


It was an early morning for Business Development Manager Brandy Seay and Office Manager Katie Rossberg. They headed over to The Westin at 7 a.m. to enjoy some fresh coffee and a delicious breakfast buffet at the Retail Merchants Association’s Distinguished Retailer of the Year Award Ceremony. We even got to see our friend Dennis Bickmeier (pictured), president of Richmond Raceway. They had a front row seat to watch Rick Hood, owner of local grocery store Ellwood Thompson’s, accept the award and to hear the VCU Rams a cappella group, The Ramifications. Nothing wakes you up in the morning like some holiday tunes sung by the best a cappella group in RVA. #Facts




A Few of Our Favorite Events


Holiday Workshop

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Fredericksburg, VA

Thursday, Dec. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Our pals at A. Smith Bowman Distillery are hosting a new event to get you in the holiday spirit. The Holiday Workshop offers a hands-on experience showing you how to create four perfect-for-the-holidays cocktails featuring their very tasty award-winning spirits.

Tickets are $35 per person and include all supplies and equipment for the evening as well as small bites to nibble while sipping on your creations. To purchase your ticket, please call the distillery at 540-373-4555.


A Night In Paris (St. Jude Benefit)

CrossKeys Vineyards | Mt. Crawford, VA

Saturday, Dec. 29 from 6-11 p.m.


Join our friends at CrossKeys Vineyards for a memorable “Night In Paris” benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The night entails a six-course plated dinner and a bottle of your favorite CrossKeys wine per couple. Live entertainment by the Bootsie Daniels band will begin at 8 p.m. I hope to see you in the Shenandoah Valley!


Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!



“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.”

— Phyllis Diller