Three small words that might be more appropriate for a Halloween horror story than a festive holiday event: the work Christmas party.
But don’t start shrieking in terror just yet; there are plenty of ways you can make the dreaded event be bearable, and perhaps even actually enjoyable. We may not be able to replace Katy from marketing that keeps insisting on showing you pictures of her puppy, but we can offer you our very best tips for having a good time at your work Christmas party.
But before that, one quick tip: If you still haven’t ordered your coworkers annual holiday tee, check out our catalogue for ideas.
1 – Flirt with the intern
Especially if you’re significantly older. Leave the interns alone! Well, not entirely alone, but don’t be a creep. You are not Roger Sterling; you’re probably more like his weird old boss who refuses to wear shoes in the office and collects strange things.
Actually, in general you should probably limit any flirting in office-related situations, no matter how much you love Jim and Pam’s relationship in the American version of The Office, it was fiction for a reason. And let’s remind any of you who are still thinking about flirting with the young interns that they had a totally age-appropriate relationship.
2 – Complain about your annoying coworker (or worse, boss)
“Are you seeing what John is doing to that intern?”
…is an example of something you definitely should not be saying at your work Christmas party. Gossip goes around quickly at the workplace, so you need to be extra-conscious of what you say. Even if it is in a more relaxed environment, you can’t let your hair down entirely (figuratively, of course).
3 – Get too drunk
While writing this, I asked my sister for input, and she brought up a story that has become the stuff of family lore about a very drunk boss at one of our parents’ work holiday parties. Years later, we still giggle about what he did whenever the topic of mulled wine comes up.
So just remember, drink too much at your office party and you could become the stuff of other people’s family holiday jokes! That’s much more embarrassing than any hangover.
Let’s also remind you at this point of that classic Bridget Jones scene. No karaoke at work!
4 – Forget to bring your Secret Santa gift!
The shame, the shame…being the person who forgets to bring their Secret Santa gift makes you a definite holiday Grinch, and people will definitely remember this.
And while we’re on the topic, don’t bring anything weird. Err on the side of caution, and if that means something dull and forgettable, that’s fine. It’s better for people not to remember your Secret Santa gift at all than to remember it for all the wrong reasons.
Need some more help with Secret Santa? Here’s your complete guide to surviving an office Secret Santa.
5 – Forget your festive outfit, either!
Wear something holiday-related, though make sure it’s an appropriate fit for your office environment. Some bosses might love your sparkly deely-boppers and ugly Christmas jumper, while others might send you directly home with your tinsel trailing sadly behind you.
Definitely leave anything that could be called “scandalous” at home. In general. There might be mulled wine flowing, but this is still a work event.
1 – Go!
Even if you don’t love your job, you’ve sort of got to go to a work holiday event. While it is true that nobody is making you, it looks bad if you don’t show up unless you have a very good reason. At the very least there should be some nice things to drink and eat, and – if it puts you at ease – you don’t have to stay till the bitter end.
Just show up, practise your small talk, and enjoy the nibbles until a few people have made graceful exits. Then you can go home — or directly to meet your friends at a bar to complain about how ridiculously small that Christmas bonus was.
And if you do love your job, then lucky you! It might actually even be fun.
2 – Chat to people you don’t normally talk to
“Mingling” is not only a fun word to say, but also a must-do at work events and Christmas parties. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to people you don’t interact with in your day to day tasks — whether that’s schmoozing with the CEO or just chatting to Greg the new designer who just started and doesn’t know that many people yet.
3 – Talk about things other than work
Don’t be one of those. Isn’t enough time spend on work stuff already? Don’t waste your party time talking about it too, even if it is an office party.
4 – Relax, but still be on your best behaviour
Remember, this is a work event, no matter how much free booze is on offer. Think about it, do you want to become the butt of every joke on the office Slack channel for months to come? I didn’t think so.
5- Be sure about who is and isn’t invited
There are few things more awkward than that one person who can’t seem to go anywhere without their significant other…and having them be the only person from outside the office.
Some work parties let you bring guests, others don’t. But you should definitely be clear about what sort of holiday party yours is before you invite your girlfriend or boyfriend, or your cousin or your mum or your dog. Actually, the dog can come. Not your cousin though.
And with that, all that’s left to do on our end is wish you a very merry Christmas and happy holidays! Thank you for being part of the community, and as we move into 2017 we hope to see you around in the new year, too. Wishing you the very best from all of us here at Printsome!
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