A Guy’s Guide to the Office Christmas Party
In the immortal words of Bob Geldof: It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid.
Just because it’s the season of office Christmas parties doesn’t mean you need to worry yourself sick.
Sure, there’s plenty of opportunity to make a fool of yourself, but if you follow this handy guide, you’ll be able to coast through the evening without becoming the talk of the watercooler.
Dress to (Somewhat) Impress
And that means no fancy dress when there’s no need for it.
Seriously, don’t turn up in an elf costume looking for a few quick laughs; everyone else will be rocking the smart casual look, and you’ll end up wishing you were back at Santa’s workshop.
What you do need is the happy medium. If your night out is in a nice bar or a fancy restaurant, you certainly don’t want to go too casual and feel out of place. But by the same token, you don’t want to turn up in a tux and look like you work there.
Here’s what you need for the quintessential Office Christmas Party outfit:
- A casual two-button blazer
- A slim-fitting, neutral colour shirt
- A pair of charcoal grey trousers, or dark blue/black denim jeans
- A nice pair of suede brogues
Everything in Moderation
Oh, cool! A free bar!
No, not cool. That’s just a recipe for disaster.
If there’s one place where you should not drink to excess, it’s at your Office Christmas Party. By all means, loosen up a bit and have a few laughs with your co-workers, but the moment you start feeling the urge to whip your top off and challenge your boss to an arm wrestle, that’s when you need to tone it down.
Drink plenty of water, don’t mix your drinks, and remember, this is not the place to make a name for yourself – particularly if that name is “the guy who thought he could break dance.”
Don’t Go Out on an Empty Stomach
It’s probably something you’ve been told by your mum, but it bears repeating: don’t drink on an empty stomach.
This is particularly important if you know beforehand that you won’t be getting a proper, adult-sized meal at the party. If it’s a buffet full of finger foods, you better line your stomach with something substantial prior to leaving the house.
It doesn’t have to be a full pizza either. As this Telegraph article suggests, something with natural fat content such as salmon and avocado ought to do the trick. Yum!
There’s a Time and a Place
As we’ve established, your goal for the evening is not to be memorable. There’s a time and a place for your antics, and this ain’t it.
So you can sing Bohemian Rhapsody in its entirety, including all the falsetto? Good for you – just keep it to yourself. Reckon you can juggle the tableware while you wait for the next course of your Wetherspoons Christmas dinner? Don’t.
Your mission is to get in and out of the Office Christmas Party without drawing any unnecessary attention in your direction.
And if, at any point during the evening, you find yourself looking down on the heads of your co-workers, you’ve probably clambered on top of a desk or table. Get down before someone important notices.
Bite Your Tongue and Stay Calm
This is not the place for pontificating about politics or religion. Nor is it the place to air your grievances with the company, no matter how justified you may feel.
Keep conversation light and jovial. Discuss your favourite Christmas movies, or chat about a shared interest that has absolutely nothing to do with work.
Just be careful not to stray beyond playful banter. And whatever you do, do not start throwing out spoilers for a popular TV show willy nilly; the last thing you want is some (completely justified) fisticuffs when you ruin Breaking Bad for Trevor in accounts.
Know When to Leave, and with Whom
Finally, you need to know when to say your farewells and hop in a cab home – or to another party without your co-workers.
This particular piece of advice should be heeded by those with a reputation for drinking too much and thinking too little. Remember, you want to leave with your reputation intact.
Speaking of which, it’s probably a good idea to be wary about copping off with a colleague.
If you’re both single, and you’ve both admired one another from afar, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t let things progress to the next level. It’s Christmas after all.
But if you know they’re in a committed relationship (or married), politely decline their advances and look for the nearest exit.