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Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto, License: N/A, Created: 2018:09:05 17:51:59

by Phil Yacuboski

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, many businesses are busy planning year-end parties, which means a busy time for party planners and caterers such as KL’s Catering Service in West Wyoming.

“We do a lot of catering throughout the year and we also cater holiday parties,” said Leah Getz, co-owner.

The business has been operating since 2007.

Getz said people do splurge around the holiday time.

“A lot depends on the corporate budget,” she said. “This year, we’ve seen an increase. People are spending more than they did last year.”

Their off-premise catering menu features a number of different homemade items including chicken scampi, chicken francaise and piggies.

“It’s not something that (people) normally wouldn’t eat at home,” she said, adding that many of the foods people select are items they’ve either had before or came recommended.

And while you have the food taken care of, what’s a party without entertainment?

“We do lots of holiday face painting and holiday characters like Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch and Rudolph,” said Ilona Lucefina, owner of Lollipop Party Services of Scranton. “We bring holiday music, dance with the kids and take pictures. That’s very popular when Santa comes to a corporate event, especially when there are adults.”

Prices range from $125-$165 per hour. They have a 150 mile radius within the Scranton area.

The company also offers cotton candy stations and balloon twisting.

“Every year, our businesses has grown and we just don’t do holidays at Christmas,” she said. “We do Valentine’s Day tea parties and Easter parties.”

A 2017 survey from Office Team showed only 36 percent view office parties as “fun,” adding that one-third view them as “no fun at all.”

Dr. John Mellon, a business professor at Misericordia University, who also goes by Dr. John Etiquette, said don’t sweat a corporate event.

For example, he said if the party is held at your co-worker’s home, notice what types of decorations are at the house, as well as the types of decorations that are at the neighbor’s house, who will most likely be invited.

“You can say, ‘oh, I like this or I like that,’” he said. “It’s an instant conversation starter. It increases the comfort level and you make the person feel special. The main goal when you’re at any social gathering is to not concentrate on yourself.”

Dr. Mellon said when it comes to bringing gifts try to find out what the host enjoys.

“Maybe they like everything in gold or silver,” he said. “Don’t buy something that you like because it might not be what they like.”

He said a good bottle of wine, liquor or flowers are always appropriate.

Are there topics that are off-limits? There are some simple guidelines to follow, he said.

“You don’t want to be the one who starts a conversation about work,” he said. “Stand there quietly and don’t say anything. As people have more alcohol, they might say things they shouldn’t be saying.”

He said that could come back to haunt you later.

Dr. Mellon said despite what you might think, religion and politics are okay.

“It’s 2018,” he said. “One of the ways I handle that is I listen to their level of detail and their knowledge of current events. An informed political conversation, you can participate.”