As in every year the theme is usually not very holiday focused. This year was a Victorian Gothic Horror Frankenstein theme. Dean is always going on about how we need to optimize the workforce so he 'built' a machine to combine the best traits of two engineers into one. The the ID dept go involved :) It's mostly a means to drive the roast and provide joke fodder. One of the best was done after the head laywer made fun of something the ID dept did earlier in the year. Dean announced that it is never prudent to piss off those who buy ink by the barrel. It ended up as 'ID eye for the lawyer guy' They made him over into a drag queen (photoshop and flash) all the while playing RuPaul's "Supermodel" I had to 'explain' how I came to have so much drag queen music in my collection ;)
Another was a new energy source made up of a solar array of all of the bald employees mounted on the engineer with the biggest head in the company. The tag line was 'No one should have that much head...BTW this was not ok'ed by the HR dept'
Every year we made Dean a Christmas present...with his own money...and he's Jewish ;) In the past we have made him a mobius coin press (world's first one sided coin with Dean's face embossed on it), A pinball game (game play mimic'ed engineering process) from scratch, 1/3 scale Wright flyer, a orrery of the DEKA universe, etc. This year we made him a real Turk Machine. A robotic body/arm will play you chess, all of the pieces are RFID detected though antennae mounted under the squares. The board itself is on a steel globe split in half with shiny brass continents. The rest of the board is all made out of Mahogany and embossed leather with a matching stool. Like always there are bugs so a software update is scheduled in a couple of weeks :)