As offices have become second homes for many business oriented people,the office party has begun to slowly evolve from a standard storebought birthday cake to something more. Now everything from upcomingbaby births to anniversaries are being celebrated at office buildings,and birthday cakes and streamers are being replaced by gourmetcupcakes, gift exchanges and even designer baby gift baskets for office baby showers. While different companies will have different policies on what can andcannot be offered at office parties (some will even allow wine… partydown), there are some things to remember when trying to plan the bestoffice party for a fellow employee. Whether it’s a surprise party orsomething that they will have the final say on, office parties are bestdone as a temporary celebration, and distraction, that can be quick,fun, and ultimately allow people to get to work quickly before anyonegets in too much trouble. Because these parties must be done withinoffice guidelines, be sure to run each step by a manager, or someone incharge. Make sure your get-together follows the guidelines put forth inyour employee handbooks to a t so that no one gets in trouble for it(that would be bad). Probably the main reason people will attend an office party will be forfood. Let’s not kid ourselves, while they like the person you’rethrowing the party for, the idea of free food during the work day isusually the main attraction. Since the current economy might limit theamount of food that a company is willing to buy for a said party, thebest way to get everyone well fed might be a potluck. While the word“potluck” has gotten a bad rap, work potlucks usually have some prettygood food. If everyone is not up for a potluck then maybe you can haveeveryone chip in a few bucks for catering. Once the food is out of the way, you can now focus on the otherimportant part of any office party: gifts. Usually the two biggestoffice celebrations are birthdays and baby showers. While gifts forbirthdays are usually a personal preference, for baby showersco-workers usually like to combine their funds for a “big” gift. Thiscan be anything from gift baskets to strollers to cribs. Make sure youcollect the money first and that you get a gift that the mother to bedoesn’t already have. This way the party can be a success and thefabled tradition of office parties will have another great entry.