As a way to get us through the delightful month that is January, I thought we would take a look back at our Christmas party (it’s also an excuse to look at the pictures, which there are a lot of, but you will see why soon).
For Christmas 2018, there were four full-timers on the TEN6 team. One was away for her Christmas break, so three of us went for a lovely dinner and few drinks in London to celebrate what a great year we had had as a company, fun but not overly creative. Fast forward 12 months, we have doubled in size and dinner and drinks just weren’t going to cut it! The task was given to me to plan and prep this year’s excursion, and as a huge fan of organised fun (who in the events industry isn’t), I went all in to make sure this would be a Christmas party none of us would forget!
We started the day with a team breakfast of Bucks Fizz, pastries and dishing out the secret Santa presents, all to Christmas music and the Netflix fire burning video. Then the real fun began. We split into two teams and had around 150 different challenges to complete and locations to visit around London - all of course with a Christmas twist. From visiting Beth(lehem)nal Green (see what I did there?) to selfies with the top five Christmas trees/lights/windows in the city, this was an excuse to well and truly get into the festive spirit and with the added bit of competitiveness.
Before we could start the scavenger hunt, however, we had a few in-office challenges which had to be completed before heading out. Each team member took a skill: speed, memory, luck and accuracy, and couldn’t start the hunt until their task was finished.
- Speed – Emptying a tissue box one tissue at a time
- Memory – 16 cards face down and matching the pairs
- Luck – Rolling a hard 10 followed by a hard 6 (So on brand!)
- Accuracy – Throwing a ping pong ball into a cup the other end of the table
The team of Max, Leigh, Emma and myself took an early lead and headed off only to quickly realise that the time was 12:55, and as stated in the rules, we had to enjoy a beverage on the hour, every hour. Smugly sipping our drinks, happy that we were obviously ahead of the others, our faces quickly turned to surprise and then panic as in ran team 2 made up of Matt, Will, and Amanda, who quickly necked their drinks and headed out to continue ticking off their list. The race was well and truly on!
As the first hour or so came and went, photos flew back and forth of carol singing, Christmas sandwich eating, sleigh riding and recreating famous film moments (yes, we did jump across a zebra crossing Buddy-the-Elf style). It was impossible to know who was in the lead.
On buses, tubes, cabs and even tuk tuks, both teams raced around the city with team 2 hitting quite a few of the Christmas-themed destinations such as Noel Street and Star Street. We still felt like we weren’t too far behind and then, nightmare - a selfie with a celeb comes in from on the group chat. Team 2 had spotted Coronation Street’s Suranne Jones and in turn, probably taken the victory. Heading towards the final stretch, we felt all hope was lost, but then we took some ‘creative licence’ with regards to our own celeb selfie to keep us in the game.
With time running out, it was time to head to our final destination, Smiths of Smithfield, where we were meeting for dinner at 4:00pm. To get the win, we felt we needed to get selfies with two “Christmas-y” tube stations - Kings Cross and Angel. But this meant splitting up. I took the responsibility of heading to Angel, knowing that every minute I was late to the restaurant would be a point deduction. With the station being worth 5 points I thought I could do it, weaving through commuters, jumping onto closing tubes and snagging that precious selfie with the station sign before starting the one-mile journey to meet up with the others, who were already beer-in-hand waiting for me…
I charged towards the finish line confident my school cross country abilities would carry me through. The lights of Smiths appear around the corner and I see both teams there waiting for me, then cheers - but they weren’t from my team. The clock read 4:06pm - I got 5 points for the station, all to get -6 points for the time deduction. My sprint ended up costing the team a point and nearly giving myself an aneurism.
After a good few minutes of catching my breath, we went on to enjoy a beautiful dinner and some well-earned drinks while I totted up the final scores…
Team 1 – 117 points
Team 2 – 101
It turned out that those bonus points for visiting the best window displays had saved us and we took home the title. I do however have a small confession to make in that, yes, Team 1 did visit the Ivy as instructed but it wasn’t the Ivy Chelsea as the clue dictated, so the bonus points we got for completing this challenge shouldn’t have stood and Team 2 are technically the real winners.
Irrelevant of winners and losers, it was a great day out and definitely got us in the Christmas spirit. After more drinks, we headed to a Christmas themed music quiz, because we weren’t Christmas’ed out yet. There, we were joined by some of our wonderful extended team where we sang and danced the night and some, the early hours of the morning away.
Now for whoever takes on the job of planning next years… no pressure ;)