There are fewer Christmas get-togethers on the Wageningen campus this year, compared with last year, according to figures provided by campus caterer Albron. The most popular drink at these gatherings is still 'glühwein' (hot mulled wine).
While a few departments have already raised the glass last week, the majority of Christmas celebrations in Wageningen UR take place this week. But this year sees a big drop in their numbers, concludes Debbie Kielstra, manager with campus caterer Albron. About a quarter fewer Christmas receptions are being held on the campus. Even the general Christmas reception on 22 December for the smaller departments will have nothing to rave about. While about 150 employees got together last year, almost less than half this number have signed up so far.
Yet, one can't just conclude that the crisis has taken its toll in Wageningen, comments Kielstra. 'It's possible that the departments have less to spend, but the many internal house-movings have played a role. As such, some departments have done away with the reception for a year. Or they may want to hold it somewhere outside the campus, or decide to hold a new year's reception instead.'
A typical Christmas reception in a Wageningen department is a modest and simple affair, says Kielstra. 'Usually, it takes place in the last three hours of a working day, but most of these don't even last that long.' The drink most consumed is glühwein, she says, followed by warm chocolate milk. Served with trayfuls of delicious tit-bits, of course. Kielstra describes the get-togethers as festive but 'no lavish affairs'.