How to Survive Your Christmas Party
Stay Merry This Christmas
The table plans are set, outfits are chosen, introverts are planning their excuses and bartenders across the country are mentally preparing themselves for the inevitable onslaught - it's Christmas party season.
We love a party here at Eden Scott and our Christmas parties have reached legendary status amongst our team. However, as with all offices and workplaces, everyone knows where the line is and when not to cross it. We’ve heard some Christmas party horror stories over the years so we thought we’d put together our secrets to surviving the Christmas party.
Water, Water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink
The first one is fairly self-explanatory, but is essentially the cause of (and solution to) all the problems - take it easy with the drink. There’s bound to be some free drinks kicking around; pre-party drinks, games of beer pong, buckets of beer on the table, a cocktail on arrival, bottles of wine, some bubbly, and then, as if we need any more, some lunatic orders a tray of shots. It’s a party and everyone deserve a chance to unwind after a long year - nobody is begrudging anyone that. However, keep in mind that you will see the people you are drinking with on Monday. There’s no shame in turning down drinks - people who pressure you into drinking do not have your best interests at heart! There should always be water on the tables so make sure you have a bottle positioned within arm’s length. Try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink; the regular water will keep you hydrated, fight off the morning’s hangover while at the same time reduce your chances of ending the night slumped in a corner.
Let's Talk Business (or not)
Hopefully a Christmas party isn't the only occasion you get to speak to your boss, but, even if it is, it is absolutely not the time to get into a deep and meaningful conversation about your personal development. Whether you’ve been angling for a pay rise, fighting for a promotion, or you have concerns about their leadership - this is not the time. Would you go into a meeting with a drink in each hand and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day blaring out of a boombox? Hopefully not, so apply the same principles here. Stick to general chit chat. If you’re not good at that, spend five minutes before the party checking out the day’s news and find some common ground. Treat them like normal people and relax - you have the rest of the year to talk about your career or the business.
Know Your Limits
This goes without saying and, to be honest, if you need to be told this then you perhaps need to reconsider your life choices - inappropriate behaviour just won’t be tolerated. Despite the free drink and merriment, Christmas parties are still a work event. While a party is inevitably a more informal environment there is always a line that shouldn’t be crossed. If you’re going into the party harbouring some issues with another colleague, or you know it’s been a particularly stressful end to the year and stressed-fuelled drinking brings out your darker side, then take a step back and think about the consequences. It wouldn't be the first time someone leaves a Christmas party unemployed. Whatever the issue, it's never worth it in the cold light of day.
Leave the Gossip
“Loose lips sink ships” was a phrase commonly used on American propaganda posters during World War II. It might be a slightly extreme example, but the sentiment is not far off - loose lips can sink you career in a heartbeat. There are always rumours and conjecture flying round offices and very often when people get together the ‘he said, she said’ goes into overdrive. You don’t want to wake up in the morning with the fear; “who did I speak too?”, “what did I say?” it's an awful feeling. Arm yourself in advance with a few talking points and try and stick to them. This may sound a bit convoluted, but again – think about the next morning and having to bump into the person you’ve been gossiping about. Even if you like a bit of a gossip, leave it to the magazines and walk into the office with your head held high.
Dress to impress, not cause offense
The office party isn’t really the place to push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable attire. While your personal mantra might be that the whole world is a stage, it's important to remember to be appropriate in the way you present yourself. This includes everything from being too scruffy to being too revealing, or being scruffy and revealing (which would be a bold look at the best of times). Dress in a way that makes you comfortable and that won't make people question your decision making.
Have a Merry Little Christmas Party
To sum up; be smart and treat it as the work event it is. You will have a great time with your colleagues and see 2018 off in style, just make sure you’re not the talking point!