Office Christmas Party Fun
Can't remember the last time you had fun at the annual office Christmas or holiday party? If memories of past parties leave you cringing, you can take a new approach and possibly change the outcome of this year's event. By getting involved and following some simple office etiquette, you can relax and enjoy the festivities.
Become a part of the planning process. If you volunteer to help prepare and decorate for the party, you'll have more interest in it's success. Use your influence to make decisions that may have been dictated by the same people every year. Not everyone has the same idea of fun and a little compromise goes a long way.
Don't bring a guest to an office Christmas party unless it's allowed. If so, by all means, bring your spouse, significant other, or even a close friend. As they say, misery loves company -- but you might be surprised how this changes your attitude, removes some pressure, and allows you to view the party in a new light.
Ease any initial tension by introducing your guest to co-workers as you "work" the room. A word of caution: only bring someone you trust. If your guest has too much to drink and gets loose lips, you may be quite embarrassed and reluctant to show up for work on Monday morning.
One way to start off on the wrong foot is to dress inappropriately. If you pull a fashion faux-pas, you will probably feel uncomfortable and prompt others to take notice. That's probably not the type of attention you're looking for, so check the invitation or ask about the dress code. Pass along the information to any guests. If you're still not sure, wear a versatile outfit and take along a jacket and tie for security.
Christmas parties are perfect events for socializing and office parties allow you to become better acquainted with those working in different departments or divisions of your company. Don't be a wallflower. Introduce yourself if necessary and mingle with the crowd. Don't always talk "shop." Keep jokes clean. Asks questions, show interest, and others will be interested in you as well.
Being the life of the party does not mean making a fool out of yourself. Unless you want to wear a lampshade and be the target of office gossip, don't get drunk. Mind your manners and pace yourself. You can have fun and stay in control by eating the food and alternating your drinks with water or non-alcoholic beverages. If you have any inclination that things are getting out of hand, call a taxi and make a timely exit.
Bringing a gift for the host or hostess is a nice gesture that will show your thoughtfulness and perhaps get you some brownie points. Seriously though, it's traditional to do this but not everyone will. Be the better person and bring a bottle of wine, a poinsettia plant, or Christmas floral arrangement that will add to the office party decor.
One last thing on etiquette. Regardless of whether or not you had fun, you received a free meal, drinks, and entertainment. This is reason enough to send a gracious thank-you note that expresses your gratitude for a "wonderful" party. Someone took the time, effort, and money to thrown the party and this should be acknowledged.