The Work Christmas Party – A Survival Guide

How about this for an ingenious social experiment… Take a group of randomly aged people from completely different social circles and backgrounds, fuel them with alcohol, place them in a room playing cheesy Christmas songs and sit and wait for the outcome? What am I talking about? Of course its the infamous Christmas Work “Do” and around this time of year they are rife. A chance for employers and their employees to embrace the spirit of Christmas and give thanks for another wonderful working year.

As a teacher my Christmas party was usually in some extortionately priced restaurant which consisted of a set menu, watered down drinks and a cringe DJ to end the night. Common Christmas parties include; drinks after the last day, office parties and team building activities e.g. Go – karting. However, no matter what the situation, you need to approach this ticking time bomb with severe caution. Keep your guard up at all times and never forget Monday morning will still be there no matter what the outcome of this treacherous evening. Here is my Christmas Work Party Survival Guide!

Dress Code

Looking back to my first Christmas party as a teacher, makes me cringe for many reasons, but my outfit is up there at the top. At the vibrant age of 21, with the London party scene at my feet, I lived for my nights out and the Christmas “work do” was merely a warm up for the rest of my evening. Therefore I turned up, dressed as only a 21-year-old with a night out in the West End planned would have dressed, with all my wonderfully perky assets on full display (clearly before childbirth.) I then spent the entire work party tugging at my dress to try to regain some modesty. Points to bear in mind with reference to dress code:

  • Don’t show anymore flesh than you would do at work.
  • Do make an effort. You don’t want to be feeling under dressed for the occasion.
  • Refrain from comments such as “Wow you scrub up well!” You are basically insinuating they look dog-rough, during a normal working day.

Talking Shop

One of main topics of conversation to avoid, is talking about work issues. Nobody wants to be talking about work on a night out no matter how much you love your job. Some of the key conversations to avoid like the plague are as follows:

  • Pay rise/promotions
  • Work feuds with other colleagues
  • Christmas bonuses
  • New members of staff
  • Your boss

Alcohol

Before my teaching days I worked as a waitress and behind many bars. Christmas was always a fun time of year especially when work parties arrived. A time of year when you see those who probably only have an odd glass of prosecco at a wedding, decide to overcome their angst at this ghastly social nightmare and take advantage of the free bar.

Alcohol is probably the contributing factor to the majority of work party disasters. Loosening all inhibitions, tongues and moral standards. Therefore here are some points to bear in mind whatever your tipple:

  • Line your stomach – The main downfall of my 20s, proudly chanting my “eating is cheating” theory (#cringe). That’s all well and good until you are face down in the toilets with your manager holding your hair back.
  • Keep your guard up – Even in your “happy place” remember these are work colleagues. You and Wendy may have reconciled all differences and be dancing the Macerena like BFFs (Best Friends Forever) Alas chances are there’s a reason she has been named “Witchy Wendy” in your contacts for the last 3 years. Therefore the following morning, once the vodka has evaporated, she is bound to be back to that cauldron ready to make your work life hell once more.
  • Loose tongues – Whenever I have had more than 1 and half drinks I feel that the world needs to know my life story. Huge mistake! If after a few cocktails your are inclined to bear your soul, refrain from drinking. Your colleagues may revel and delight in the extravagant tales of your social/love life outside work but you will likely feel your ears burning poker – hot the next morning.

Dancing

It doesn’t matter if at home you can twerk it like Miley after a few Baileys, with only your cat looking on approvingly. The likely hood is at the point you decide to broaden your audience at the office party somebody will be there with their smart phone and your moves will be seized into the clutches of the “cloud” for all of eternity!

Romance

Unfortunately this is not Love Actually. You are not Martine Mccutcheon and your startlingly handsome co-worker is not Hugh Grant. Whether you have been harbouring undying love for one of your colleagues for all eternity or the “Gin Goggles” are making Tom from photocopying look like Colin Farrell, this is not the time or place. My cousin told me an amazingly cringe worthy story about a coworker filming herself, inebriated, at the work Christmas party declaring undying love for her manager’s son and forwarding it on. Keep your composure as this may end up being a case of Last Christmas by Wham than All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.

And finally….

  • Photocopying your backside is never going to turn out well.
  • Never invite colleagues back for an after party.
  • Once the hangover subsides you will be back at work on Monday morning….hopefully.

I wish all you workers a wonderful Christmas work party. I would love to hear your embarrassing and funny stories and any other tips you can offer about anything work party related!

P.S. I have been nominated for a UK Blog Award! If you would like to vote for me I shall love you forever and grant you three wishes… Here is the link….. No signing up or entering emails or anything just a simple click and then click the heart! https://blogawardsuk.co.uk/blog_award_category/lifestyle/page/43/

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24 Comments

  1. I think these are really good tips. You definitely want to have fun but make sure you stay reserved as well. I have a friend that Is attending holiday party for her job . I’m going to share this with her. I’m sure she will appreciate this .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is hilarious. Can I safely say there was a Wendy you once worked with?
    I’ve worked as a bar manager for 15 years, so the office party is always hilarious to watch. People never learn and each year they do the same mistakes. It’s funny to be on the other side watching. Mind you some of the worst I’ve seen are the xmas parties of bars, so we never learn either.
    Thanks for sharing, this gave me a laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this blog post! I’m going to my very first Christmas work-do this December and although we’ve been on multiple meals out/nights out together, it’s always great to know how to be around Christmas. I remember one day where we all completely let loose and it can literally never be spoken about ever again… I definitely need to keep my wall up this round haha! It does help a little that I don’t really like many of my colleagues now so I can be civilised with the people that I do still like and keep drinking and wild partying to a minimum!

    I think for me because I see my work colleagues more than my family, I have pretty much labelled these as my second family and I need to remember that they will turn their back on me if need be and that a lot of them can’t really be trusted! x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In Japan, we have bounenkai (end of the year parties) coming up and I am kind of dreaded it. I like good food (as it is usually held at a restaurant) but it is with coworkers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are necessary and good tips. I have my works Christmas get together soon and I’m never sure what to do, say or how to act because it’s outside of work and a different environment. These will certainly be helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I avoid Christmas parties (or really any extracurricular work function) like the plague. I feel so awkward in these kind of settings. Great tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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