It’s that time of year to celebrate all things joyous about Christmas… putting the Christmas decorations up, mulled wine, Christmas music and, of course, spending a social night out with people you literally get paid to normally spend time with. So to help you through the festive period, here’s our guide to enjoying/surviving the work Christmas party!
Planning the Party
If you’re organising the party – good luck to ya – you’ll probably get a lot of people whinging at you. For the majority of us that daren’t get involved, don’t moan about where/when/what the party is to the organiser — unless y’know they’ve picked a strip club or something. Organising a party for a big group can be a royal pain in the arse. And the ruder you are, the less free booze you could get – and there’s no need to risk that. All you need to do is plan in advance how you’re going to get home and tell a few people your plans so you don’t forget and miss your last train/bus.
The dreaded Secret Santa. If you’re organising it, use an online tool such as Elfster or Sneaky Secret Santa. There’s less room for error and you don’t have to faff about cutting out paper like it’s 1999.
As for buying, if you end up with someone you actually know and like then you can high five yourself. Buy them something thoughtful you know they’d like — a recipe book, some running gloves, a new pair of earrings.
If you’ve got someone you’ve spoken to by the photocopier once or you met them in a meeting that you could barely stay awake for, you need to tread very carefully. Aside from the fact it’s annoying to get some random crap, it’s not environmentally friendly either when people throw away their water pistol or weird reindeer poo.
Consumables are always a winner — chocolates, sweets, a bottle of wine or craft ales. Try and casually ask your co-workers about the person’s preferences in case they don’t drink or are a vegan and are hideously offended by your gift. Or go for a generic fail-safe gift — a new mug, a plant, a notebook. If you really don’t like the person buy a Cliff Richard calendar. You can at least all have a giggle at that.
Find out what the dress code is beforehand and try not to plan your outfit the night before. There’s nothing worse than trawling the busy shops trying to find a party number or god forbid a fancy dress outfit the night before. If it’s a casual affair, a jazzy Christmas jumper will tick the box of ‘I’m taking this Christmas shizzle seriosuly’. If you want a few Christmas bits to add to your outfit Flying Tiger does some great reasonable bits and bobs, including an excellent dancing turkey hat! If your do is a tad fancier, go for velvet, sequins and sparkly stuff. OK, maybe not altogether but it is Christmas after all!
The Main Event
If it’s a meal, make sure you get there on time or even early so you don’t get sat next to boring Bob or doesn’t-shut-the-f-up Sharon. If you get stuck next to someone who wants to talk work, suggest you have a meeting another time or shift the chat and ask them what they’re up to for Christmas. Or just tell them you’re going to move seats as you want to “network”. Job done.
If you’re a fan of the occasional glass of wine or three, pick your pals wisely to drink with. Don’t go spilling all the gossip you have with some dude you hardly know. Try and smash the water as much as you do the alcohol — especially if it’s on a week night. You don’t want to be remembered for throwing up on a street corner and being taken home early by goody-two-shoes-Pauline.
If you’re single and fancy getting off with Paul from sales, do your groundwork and make sure he’s single before you make a total tit of yourself. And whilst we believe age is just a number, do find out who/how old your fancy man is before you find out he’s an 18-year-old intern that the only way out of embarrassment of kissing him is to just quit your job.
If he is both single and appropriate to date, flirt away and casually suggest going for a drink one time. Hint at swapping numbers. If you do fancy a cheeky kiss under the mistletoe try and be stealth (which let’s face it is probably impossible with the combination of gin plus all your work mates there…) and maybe just leave it for date night. Also, the next morning you might realise that he’s not that hot when you’ve not had seven tequilas or are in a dark bar.
Lastly make sure you have fun, mingle and chat to new people. You never know, you might make a new mate or work contact that’s good to know. If you do end up making a total arse of yourself, laugh it off, don’t make a big deal out of it and pray everyone will have forgotten by the time 2018 rolls around. And if they haven’t then you’ll have to find a new rumour to circulate to replace it. Merry Christmas!