A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found 72 percent of employers will hold holiday parties in 2012, up from 68 percent last year and 61 percent in 2010. In addition, only 10 percent of employers said they had to cut back on holiday parties this year because of financial challenges, compared to 20 percent in 2009.

According to SHRM, more employers will host holiday parties off site and fewer are holding them onsite to save money in comparison to previous years.

"At the height of the recession when employers were operating on very lean budgets, events like holiday parties were among the first to be cut," said Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center. "An increase in this area may be a sign that more organizations are resuming their prerecession business practices."

As companies are willing to spend more on seasonal festivities, HR administrations will have to consider how alcohol consumption plays a role at these parties. SHRM found a majority of organizations plan to serve alcohol and half will regulate consumption through drink tickets, only serving certain types of alcohol or having a cash bar. 

Only one-third of organizations have a formal or informal policy that allows drinking at work-related events.

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