|Without having more information, it would not be fair to bash management because of a year-end bash. When a company is in a financial mess, there can still be good reasons for throwing a party as well as for throwing out the whole idea of one.|
If your company is in a dire financial mess with the vision of even darker clouds on the horizon, it does not make sense to spend time or money on an elaborate party. Such resources are far better focused on the company's financial situation. If management still wants to do a year-end party, it should be consistent with the way the company has been operating during the year. This can mean a very basic gathering, such as an onsite pot-luck.
However, if management believes that the financial corner has been turned and the coming year is going to put the company back on track, a more elaborate party can serve as a way to thank the employees, build morale, share some fun times, and set some positive expectations for the future.
Depending upon what else is going on in the company, throwing a year-end party can be a great idea or an idea that grates.