Christmas decorations, Christmas market, Christmas presents, Christmas spirit…CHRISTMAS PARTY SEASON!
The hard work, long nights, lack of holidays, countless employee recognition awards can be forgotten about overnight due to one ill-informed tweet, one drink to many, crudely photocopied body parts and the famous festive fisticuffs-not forgetting the highly passionate declarations of office romance! So, before you star in your own version of the “Nightmare Before Christmas”, check out these hints and tips to make sure you survive the office Christmas party unharmed…ish!
Get yourself a Christmas party buddy, aka wingman or wing-woman. A party buddy will watch out for you while you watch out for them. You can keep an eye on each other and tell one another if it’s time to bundle yourself into a cab. With all the potential pitfalls of the Christmas party, your buddy needs to be wise, trustworthy and battle ready-choose very carefully.
KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL, BE GRACIOUS, AND NO OFFICE POLITICS.
Remember your office etiquette always. There are certain things we probably do with our friends in the pub that are not appropriate with our colleagues or boss. You may use colourful language with your friends and naturally fall into that mode when in the pub. Other etiquette faux-pas include vomiting, crying, passing out, being argumentative, sexist jokes, etc.
The Christmas party is also a chance to have a good oul moan. People complain about the food, the wine, the entertainment etc. Don’t be this person. Someone has organised and paid for it, so have some manners and say thank you.
Lastly, don’t talk about work, talk behind peoples backs and tell the boss all the problems with his business. The keyword here is “party”.
DRESS TO IMPRESS.
Try to avoid the categories of revealing or eccentric – unless it is part of a theme night. Unless you are VERY trusting, it is worth triple checking that you are not the centre of a very elaborate office prank. Check out the venue and vibe of the night and dress accordingly. We suggest smart casual, with your own touch of class.
AVOID BEING THE CHRISTMAS CUPID.
Probably the most famous of all the Christmas party faux pas is the Christmas party romance. Whether it’s a cheeky snog or the start of a long-term relationship, we advise that you don’t exhibit centre stage in front of you work colleagues, unless you want to be at the centre of the office gossip.
Despite this event being the pinnacle of an 11-month crush, don’t use your Dutch courage and the Christmas party stage as your opportunity to pounce on the office hunk or princess. You risk regret, humiliation, your marriage or even a sexual harassment case. (Some famous work romances include Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, Jim Halpert and Pam Beasley from “The Office” and the current president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama who met in a Chicago law firm).
If you are a boss…you should be at home already.
The success and failure of your office Christmas party can often come down to food. Too much and you could end up bloated and falling asleep, too little and you could end up appearing wasted on a glass of bucks fizz. Equally, it is well known that too many sprouts can lead to adverse and very pungent consequences.
Know your dancing capabilities. If you aren’t Fred Astaire or John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, be happy with just owning your dance square and shuffling your feet. Yes, confidence is key and you don’t want to look uncomfortable, however you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself. Also, keep it appropriate-you aren’t on the set of “Dirty dancing”.
On a more serious note, look after yourself this Christmas party. Share lifts/taxis with colleagues where you can and try to book and organise transport in advance of the night. There are a lot of people out in the pubs and clubs at Christmas and unfortunately there are also a lot of festive fisticuffs, including the famous black ‘eye’ Friday. When we mentioned earlier about choosing your party buddy carefully, this would be a good area to keep in mind.