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Think Your Last Office Christmas Party Was Epic? Wait Until You

Many of us in America dread the annual Christmas office party. And with good reason.

Most of them are dreary, half-hearted affairs with everyone trying to act their best until they can tactfully leave. Sure we hear stories of the crazy parties of the past -- bosses having too much to drink, spouses talking way too much about home life and the interns copying their bottoms on the office copy machine.

But how many of us have actually ever been to one of these? You may be inclined to believe they don't really happen.

Well, they do. But you have to go to Denmark to experience one.

First off, they take place at small favorite restaurants, not at the work place. Reservations are made months in advance and locations are jealously guarded and remain unchanged for many years.

The menu is surprisingly unchanging, too. Most feasts are sure to include roast duck, apple and prune-stuffed goose, sausages, boiled potatoes, smoked eel and, of course, herring. Herring is probably the national food of Denmark. One Copenhagen restaurant's holiday buffet boasts no less than 15 different herring dishes.

This wonderful food is not just for show either. Every guest is expected to try every dish -- and still have dessert.

And forget quietly sneaking out after making an appearance. These are not eat-and-go events. Most "lunches" start before noon and last well after midnight, with much eating, drinking and toasting along the way. With great quantities of beer and aquavit consumed, taxis are lined up outside to ferry the participants home in the early morning.

Once their headaches go away it's back to work.

Are you kidding?

There are more parties to attend culminating in a big Christmas Eve dinner and a huge lunch on Christmas Day.

Denmark virtually shuts down on Christmas week.