Agency holiday parties appear to be slimming down this season. Indeed, one of the primo parties, the one thrown by Attorney General Eric Holder, has been canceled, we were told, in order to save money in tough budget times.

For many years, the Justice Department party drew hundreds of officials, including top agency heads, some Supreme Court justices and other usually reclusive folks, who sampled fine hors d’oeuvres — we’re not talking munchies here -- excellent drinks and chatter.

Other agencies that hosted large parties apparently are slimming down. Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, we’re told, “very cognizant of the economic circumstances” — not to mention huge cuts coming down the road — is going smaller this year, leading one wag there to say: “I’ll be bringing my own spring rolls.”

But grumpy reporters need not worry. There’s always the Justice Department Inspector General’s party on Dec. 15. This is a low-budget, lunchtime affair with employees chipping in to defray costs. Still, they might have some of those famous — if nonexistent — $16 muffins to pass around. (You must RSVP by Nov. 23.)

Meanwhile, for those who want to party early and often, you can begin Monday morning with the Concho Water Snake Farewell Party to celebrate the serpent’s removal from the Endangered Species List.

You’ll have to go down to San Angelo, Tex., home of the Concho River in the midwest part of the state. The party, at the San Angelo Chamber Visitor Center, is hosted by Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.) and former Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-Tex.) to thank everyone who worked on the 20-year effort.