Re: Call me cynical but
Hah, we have these. In our US office, they have a party on the first Friday of every month, everyone knocks off at 3pm, there is some booze and nibbles and often a theme or gimmick, karaoke one month, hot dog stand the next month etc etc.
In the London office, we started doing the same. After 9 months, it changed from monthly to quarterly. The budget got reduced to the point we couldn't even afford proper food, just crisps. Our last "quarterly" party was over 8 months ago because they defined the end of financial year company drinks as one, and the Christmas party as another.
Our HR manager in London was one of those delightful old dinosaurs who believed that fun was something that can be ordained. If you chose not to partake in the festivities, you couldn't go home early, even to work from home. Nope, you had to sit there, 20m from the party, unable to work because of the noise. She would be on the door making sure you didn't leave early...