Christmas Dos and Christmas Don’ts

Christmas parties are a chance to unwind with colleagues you’d normally never socialise with. Let your hair down. Get your boogie on. But make sure you’ve got a job to go back to on Monday.

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Office Christmas Party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Free food, free booze, mistletoe, and generic kk gifts are all a great way to unwind with colleagues for one day a year. In theory. But that can be a fairly toxic mix if you’re not careful. Here’s a few ways to celebrate the season without raising the ire of the bossman (or bosswoman) or your fellow merry-making co-workers:

Christmas Do: ATTEND THE PARTY

For a lot of your colleagues, this is THE social event of the year. Even if you’re not particularly close to your staff, go to the darn party. Your absence will be noticed and who knows? You may get to see a side of that mousey-looking guy who’s always stealing staplers that changes your opinion of him. ‘Tis the season and all that.

Christmas Don’t: Make Excuses for Missing the Party

No one believes you. This is worse than just not showing up on the day. Cut to two weeks of awkward side-eyes prompted by your story about needing to put your cat down that night. Your business is having this party as a thank you to the staff. If you really can’t bring yourself to go to the event, there better be a darn good, real reason for it.

Christmas Do: Network with the Top Guns

The Christmas party is a chance to mingle with people higher up on the corporate ladder, or at least in other departments. Take advantage of it! Bond with gals and guys that you normally wouldn’t chat to.

Christmas Don’t: Introduce Yourself While Stumbling Into a Taxi

I get it, you’re nervous about meeting the CEO for the first time. But 5 cocktails in is just not the time to gather up your courage and pull out a pie chart for how to optimize toner usage on the fourth floor. This is your boss’ party, too. Business talk is going to be expected, but don’t pitch new ideas for the sake of getting noticed and don’t talk company policy while under the influence. (This goes for mates, too. Friends don’t let friends pitch drunk.)

Christmas Do: Theme it Up

If your company is going with a theme, play along! Creativity matters more than execution. This is a chance to be remembered and bring a little personality to the party.

Christmas Don’t: Dress as Sexy St. Nick

Nope. A tailored suit or a standout evening gown? Wonderful. Tacky fishnet stockings or a banana-hammock? Not the impression you want to leave. Funny is great, but there’s a big line. You know where it is. I’m not even going to elaborate.

Christmas Do: Let Loose

Be a person, not just an employee. Crack jokes, dance, have a drink (if you like), compliment people, and be the charming human being we know you are. This is a party, so have fun.

Christmas Don’t: Let Too Loose

The bottom line is to stay in control. Stumbling, puking, and making bold statements you won’t remember tomorrow, are all huge faux-pas for the Christmas function. The party doesn’t exist in a bubble. These are still people you’re going to see and work with on Monday.

Christmas Might Have to Do: Mistakes May Have Been Made

If you do find yourself in the position of having said the wrong thing or having had one too many drinks, apologize. Quickly and in-person if possible. Wait until sober, obviously, but chances are high that the mistake isn’t going to just stay brushed under the rug. Being the one to bring it up to the appropriate people in a professional and genuine tone could be your saving grace.

Christmas Definitely Do: Have an Amazing Holiday

This is a celebration. Wear something incredible, enjoy the conversation and the music, try the food, and express your gratitude for the awesome people you work with. You’ve all worked hard this year, be sure to take a moment to step back and appreciate it. Happy Holidays.

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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.