It’s meant to be the highlight of your work calendar, but the office Christmas party doesn’t always bring the festive joy it promises. From accidental promotion slips to an ill-advised flirt under the mistletoe, most of us have had the occasional cringe-worthy moment. That said, it doesn’t have to be a disastrous or embarrassing evening. If you want to be the cool kid at this year’s do, check out our Christmas party survival guide.
Pace yourself with the booze
The biggest disasters usually happen after one too many Christmas tipples, so it’s a good idea to pace yourself. While the party might have kicked off at 3pm, it’s not mandatory to guzzle beers for the rest of the night. Make the most of the buffet, drink slowly and alternate your alcoholic beverages with a glass of water. You’re less likely to embarrass yourself or wind up with a terrible hangover. It’s win/win.
Don’t be shy
It’s easy to stick with what you know at the Christmas party and spend the entire night with the same group of friends. So make sure you chat to as many people as possible throughout the evening, and spend time with different colleagues. As well as showing that you’re a real team player, you’ll have a fun night getting to know everyone. And if Marvyn from pay roll tries to lecture you on financial history for too long, you can always disappear to the toilet.
Check who’ll be attending
The party is a chance to put on your glad rags and let your hair down, but it’s also a chance to get to know some of the senior staff in your organisation. If you feel like there’s a lot of corporate executives attending or it’s going to be held at a high-end venue, it might be a good opportunity to network. You’ll have a drink and a great time, but you’ll also get the chance to meet new people and get noticed.
Don’t tell your boss you hate him/her
If you’ve got beef with your boss, the Christmas party isn’t the time to bring it up. Assuming you don’t want to start the new year being handed your P45, any grievances need to go through the proper channels- not be discussed over a chocolate fountain and a beer. Likewise it’s a good idea to avoid flirty behaviour with management- it could make for one very awkward 2018.
Avoid showing off
Nobody likes a party pooper, but nobody like a drama queen either. Unless you fancy being the person who sang 14 renditions of ‘My Heart Will Go On’, it’s best to keep the showing off to a minimum at the office Christmas party. Join in with karaoke or dance-offs, but don’t forget to let your colleagues take centre stage too.
It’s easy to be dragged into office dramas when you’ve had a few drinks. But no matter how much fun you’re having, you’re still at work and the usual politics apply. Save the bickering and moaning for your family festivities and keep things light with colleagues. Even if Ashley the sales manager was flirting with Annie from accounts, they won’t thank you for blabbing about it to everyone else.
Pre-book a cab or set an alarm for your train
Getting home after the party can be challenging- especially if you’re strapped for cash. Pre-plan your journey in advance by booking a cab or setting an alarm on your phone for the last train. When the alarm buzzes, make sure you leave in plenty of time to pick up your coat and get to the station. After all, you don’t want to end up like Darren the Operations Manager, asleep in a flower bed.