Have never worked anywhere that threw BIG holiday parties, but do remember a few.
Worked at a small business college in Philly several years ago. Not a "city" person but those 5 years were fun. Co-worker started a "fund" for a FABULOUS luncheon. Every pay day, starting in September, we'd give him $5. By mid-December, we had reservations at Le Bec Fin for a wonderful 3 course lunch. Pretty theatrical... a wait-person ready to reveal food under a silver dome. Fabulous escargot in a champagne/butter/garlic sauce in the cutest ittle silver sauce pan, as an appetizer... with nice bread to sop. Remember a crab "cake" where I wondered WHAT held it together... ALL meat. ALso remember filet of wild boar... VERY good! When dessert came, it was a 3-4 tiered cart... you could have a piece of ANYTHING or EVERYTHING you'd like.
On other end of food spectrum, remember "soul food" luncheon at an alternative school. District I first started teaching in YEARS earlier. Way back then, there was an "old" lady (I'm probably at least that age now) who would come in and take orders for lunch maybe 2 times a month. For not much money, you'd get a BIG mess of fried chicken or fish, collards, and maybe sweet potatoes... all cooked in her kitchen. When I returned there for a few years, we had a luncheon. People said what they were gonna bring or put up money for. I said I'd make potato salad... had recently seen Patti Labelle on Emeril. When time came for eating, I was the ONLY one in the building with HOT SAUCE in her desk! I took it as a MAJOR compliment when I heard people saying... potato salad was GREAT... since I was one of very few white teachers... and that's NOT a bad/good thing!!