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Christmas Party Do's and Dont's

Updated on September 7, 2015

As much time as we spend at work, we really get to know our coworkers. We are thrown together for 40 or 50 hours a week with nothing in common but our job. Outside of work, our relationships with our counterparts can be tricky. At some point, somebody came up with the idea of a company Christmas party. A get together for a merry time off the clock. The results can be hilarious, disastrous, or worst of all, just plain boring.

I remember going to an office Christmas party at my boss's house in my early 20's. After some prodding (and some delicious eggnog), I did a full on Michael Jackson impression. Being young and not knowing any better, I followed this up with doing the worm down the hallway.

Monday morning came around and guess who was the talk of the office? Yep, the guy who decided to break dance at the Christmas party. So with this in mind and the Holidays coming up, I thought I would put together a helpful list to anyone planning on attending their office Christmas party.

Do’s and don’ts of office Christmas parties

Do: Be prepared to have a good time. If you are going to come, be a good sport and ready to talk to coworkers and their significant others.

Don’t: Sit in the corner and sulk. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, It’s a party, have fun.

Do: Make sure you have a safe ride home if you are drinking. Plan in advance.

Don’t: Get sloshed and do something you will regret. Remember, you work with these people. You may not want to take shots in the kitchen and decide to dance on the table.

Do: Bring your wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend if they are welcome.

Don’t: Bring a sketchy friend that may take shots in the kitchen and decide to dance on the table.

Do: Be cordial to that person that drives you crazy at the office. It’s the holidays so try to put on your happy face if just for one night.

Don’t: Decide it’s a great time to tell them what you really think. How you are sick of him/her not pulling their weight. Speaking of weight, do not mention how he/she could stand to lose a few pounds.

Do: Keep the conversation upbeat and casual

Don’t: Get into office gossip and rumors; it’s easy to fall into this trap. Work is common ground so inevitably the conversation will be work based. Try not to talk about Nancy’s boyfriend or the fact that she’s going through her third divorce. I would also leave politics out of the discussion.

Do: Dress nice, unless there's a theme, stick to the basics.

Don't: Wear a shirt with profane language. Wear clean clothes, these are still your coworkers.

Do: Talk to your boss or host. If it’s at your boss’s house, thank him or her for having you, it’s polite.

Don’t: Decide it’s a good time to talk about a raise or Christmas bonus. Maybe bonuses were cut this year, if you are deeply upset by this, maybe you should sit this one out.

Do: Leave the kids at home. Unless they are specifically invited, most of these parties are for adults.

Don't: Load up the kids, bring them over hungry and ready to be entertained. These parties can be a nightmare for young kids, no toys, no friends, and being stuck inside with boring adults talking about work.

Do: Offer to take the office picture

Don’t: Facebook the picture and tag everyone in it without their permission. Some people are very private and don’t appreciate being posted online for everyone to see.

Do: Remember this should still be considered a work function. Although you may not be at work, and you may have a drink in your hand, the same rules apply.

Don't: Tell off color jokes, or make suggestive comments to an attractive, or for that matter, unattractive coworker.

Do: Have a good time and be a gracious guest.

Don't: Be the last to leave. If your host is yawning and looking at his watch while you're eating the last of the meatballs out of a crock pot while telling yet another joke you read in Reader's Digest, take the hint and find your coat.

Company parties can be a good time. It's the holidays and people are generally festive. Some companies are really close and like family. Others are not so close and would rather not socialize after hours. You have to use common sense and act accordingly. Here's to a safe holiday party, good times, and minimal Monday morning stories.


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