The joyful season is upon us! We have been looking at Christmas decorations and listening to the same old Christmas songs in the supermarkets since mid-September (if not before then), but now that we are in December, we believe it is finally acceptable to dust off the Christmas tree and join in the fun. And we wanted to bring some of that fun to work, too. So, of course we will celebrate the Christmas jumper day on 8th December, which, conveniently, is a Friday- so it comes with our usual Friday cakes.
And, although we are not going to organise a huge office Christmas party, we believe most of our tenants will have their own celebrations to attend. So instead, we bring some useful tips for your office parties. We grouped them by subject.
In preparation for the party, it is good to find out what the dress code is. And we do recommend following it. If there are no specific details in the invitation, you can usually assume something more elegant than what you would wear to work. If it’s more about a fancy-dress party and you are required to ‘wear’ Christmas, be careful. First of- do not order your Christmas elf outfit from Ann Summers, it must be appropriate to wear in public. And secondly, in case of an ‘ugly jumper competition’, avoid anything that might be deemed offensive. And before you buy that £150 human Christmas tree outfit, think about your comfort, too. Will there be dancing? Will the costume not make your moves too restricted?
Arriving on time shows respect, so ‘fashionably late’ will not be very well received on this occasion. Especially when food is involved. So don’t leave getting ready to the last minute. Maybe pre-order a taxi?
Are you close with certain colleagues? Do you exchange Christmas gifts? If so, it may be a good idea to do so in the office rather than at the party. You never know who might feel a bit left out.
But if, as part of the big celebrations, you all agreed to draw a name from the hat and buy just that one gift- the fun otherwise known as Secret Santa- our advice is to keep it safe. We all know that, even though ‘secret’ is implied, by the end of the party everyone will know who bought what for whom. So, stick to the agreed budget- it’s never good to buy cheaper (it’s obvious!), but it also doesn’t look good if someone goes way above the agreed sum. And, unless specifically agreed by all co-workers, we do not recommend gag gifts.
When at the party, it is OK to let your hair down a bit. It is a party after all- not another day in the office. Use this opportunity to get to know your colleagues better. Maybe chat to someone who you don’t get to see much at work, or only on the screen, as they work from home. The idea of a staff party is to strengthen your relations, so play along, participate in any games prepared by the hosts and have fun.
Yes, have fun, but not too much fun. There is usually food and, more often than not, there is also alcohol. Go easy on the booze. What you do outside of work is nobody’s business, but just remember that you will see all these people again on Monday, so on this occasion avoid making an absolute fool of yourself. After all, you wouldn’t want one night of silliness damaging your professional reputation, would you?
And if possible, look after those who may have had too many glasses of wine or Christmas margaritas. Order a cup of tea for them or maybe hide the wine.
Don’t talk shop
Now ordinarily, when with your colleagues and bosses, you normally discuss work and, of course, some of that will follow you around to the party. But surely, there must be other topics (beside work and weather) that you can discuss. We recommend: complimenting a colleague’s outfit, asking about recent trips or future holiday plans, connecting on mutual interests or hobbies, asking colleagues about the Christmas and New Year plans. It’s also good to reminisce- if most of your team members have some years of experience at this company, it may be fun to try and remember what the highlights of the last year’s Christmas party were. Best to avoid: politics, religious beliefs (someone could take offense), telling inappropriate jokes, etc. And no matter how urgent that work report is- now is not the time and place, so no talking about specific work tasks or projects.
Steer away from gossip
We give you two simple rules to follow: avoid talking about those not at the table and don’t give them anything to talk about when you leave. And yet somehow, some people find these two rules impossible to follow.
The day after the office Christmas party is a special kind of chaos. As you nurse your hangover, you receive an influx of embarrassing photos and videos that capture your finest moments of the night. You have a sudden urge to hide under your desk until the holiday season is safely in the rearview mirror. That’s of course if you chose to ignore all our useful tips. Hopefully, this year won’t be this bad.
And as you rock up to the office and put that silly Secret Santa mug on your desk, don’t forget to show gratitude to the boss. This hopefully memorable night was all their efforts- make sure to say ‘Thank you’.
So, there you have it – the hysterical world of office Christmas parties. While they might be filled with awkward moments and useless gifts, ridiculous fashion, and an abundance of embarrassing photos, these festivities also create unforgettable memories and moments of laughter. After all, the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a little chaos, right? Cheers to another year of delightful office holiday shenanigans!