Written on the 30 October 2006 by Altitude Communications
After twelve long, grueling months of work many people see the work Christmas party as a great chance to kick up their heels, take advantage of the office bar tab and hit the karaoke stage for a few slurred renditions of favourite Christmas carols.Though it is indeed the season to be merry, let it be known that the work Christmas party is wrought with danger, and overindulgence can often spell your downfall, and possibly the end of your employment.Here are a few tips to help you survive the work Christmas bash, have a good time and ensure you still have a job in the new year.
What to wear?
Always check the dress-code at the venue and ask around the office if there is some sort of theme.If you're unsure, smart casual is always the safest option.If you feel compelled to wear Christmas decorations, keep them to a minimum, maybe a pair of earrings or a simple Santa Claus hat - you don't want to look like a fully decorated Christmas tree.Try to avoid wearing clothes that will get you plenty of attention for all the wrong reasons (plunging necklines, short skirts, visible underwear).Despite the attention this generates at the party, inappropriate dress rarely get you the promotion you're after in the new year.
Footwear should also be considered before you attend.Although you may plan to watch your drinks, its often impossible to gauge how persuasive someone can be with a tray full of cocktails.For this reason, wear shoes that you'll be comfortable in all night.
Don't drink to get drunk
Its been a long year, and by all means, you're entitled to a few celebratory beverages but keep in mind -alcohol is by far the biggest danger at the work Christmas party.Its important to always watch your drink, don't mix alcohol and don't indulge in sculling competitions with your workmates.Even if the office culture generally embraces alcoholism, you don't want to be at the centre of a drunken office brawl or get carried to a taxi by your workmates.Just remember, people can have very long memories, and quite often, all is not forgotten by the new year.It often helps to map out your drinking schedule before you arrive, and stick to it.If you're going to drink beer - stick with beer, if you're going to drink wine - stick with wine.Avoid drinking spirits all night.Its also helpful to have a glass of water between drinks, this will keep you hydrated (if anyone gives you a hard time, say its a gin and tonic).
So the boss has put his credit card behind the bar, and you've interpreted this as open slather. Don't abuse this privilege by shouting the entire bar a round of cocktails.More often then not, people in the higher echelons of the office often stay relatively sober at these events and keep tabs on who's been naughty and nice.
Kissing under the mistletoe
Office relationships are a delicate issue in some work places - and those fortified at the work Christmas party have an automatic dubious stigma attached to them.For this reason, its best to avoid getting too friendly with your workmates at the Chrissy Party.Often a few glasses of champagne and a sprig of mistletoe can fog your good judgment, but ask yourself: "would I usually pash Larry from accounts?"If the answer is no, go to the bathroom, splash some cold water on your face, and try to mingle with others to defuse the situation.
Avoid office gossip and politics
Often the last thing people want to do at the work Christmas party is talk about work.This can often become extremely boring for those listening and put a dampener on the night.Let your workmates know that you have other interests and hobbies.Keep the conversation upbeat and interesting.Having said that - don't get too relaxed, avoid offensive or sexist jokes, racist comments and heated debates over religion or politics.Also avoid gossiping about other workmates, you don't know where people's loyalties lie, the work Christmas party is not a suitable time to indulge in office gossip.
Above all, make sure you thank your employer, both for the opportunities throughout the year, and for the Christmas celebrations.Regardless of whether your boss puts on a keg at the local pub or pulls out all the stops and takes you for lunch at an expensive restaurant, appreciation is essential.
Above all - have fun!Its probably been a long year, and its the season to be jolly.