December, the weather is getting warmer, days are longer, and the cricket is on the TV. It’s also time for that old age event “The Office Christmas Party”. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the year that was and to socialise with your colleagues.
Go to the party with a positive attitude. If it’s been a tough year for you workwise it may have been equally as tough for colleagues. Be casual, keep the conversation upbeat, light hearted and apolitical. Remember that alcohol and talking politics don’t make a good mix. Plus, colleagues like elephants have long memories so don’t drag the event down with a downer attitude and a litany of complaints. No one likes a wet blanket at parties.
Thank those whom deserve to be thanked, such as the social committee who spent time organising the event, or management for staging the party. Build relationships, it will make work more fun and interesting.
Err on the side of caution and take a conservative approach. Don’t forget that this is a work function and those present are your work colleagues, many of whom you may not have socialised with outside of work. So, it’s best to keep your Kylie Minogue gold hotpants or rock God skin tight leather pants at home. Also, clothing is not be removed, so while you may have the body of a Victoria Secrets model or Chippendales dancer it’s best to keep it under wraps for a more appropriate occasion.
Limitations: Know Yours
Pace yourself. The office Christmas Party is more a marathon than a sprint. While it’s an alluring prospect when presented with a “free or open bar” it’s not an invitation for a personal drinking challenge. Mixing drinks is a sure-fire way to ensure that you don’t make a graceful exit from the party.
If the Christmas Party isn’t going to be a sit-down meal occasion, it is wise to consider having a light meal prior to the party. Canapes, party pies, sushi and dips while tasty don’t offer much of a buffer to alcohol. At the same time, don’t overload your plate with food or hover around the buffet table or stalk wait staff like a half-starved vulture, there is usually enough food throughout the party to satisfy.
Being Memorable: Right Time and Place
If you possess the dances skills of a Solid Gold Dancer or can sing 99 Luft Balloons in German word perfect, firstly congratulations of your talent, secondly you need to ask yourself “is the Christmas Party the best place to demonstrate your ability?” If it is, go for it. If it isn’t then hold off until a more suitable time to show your skills off. The same can be said for fire breathing, handstands, and juggling along with the splits.
Opinions: Keep to Yourself
We all have them, but the Christmas Party isn’t necessarily the right forum to air them, as there is a time and place for frank discussions about your company, colleagues, pay and performance. The Christmas Party is neither the time or place.
“Sharing is caring” as the saying goes. But the Christmas Party isn’t the place to provide explicit detail on the persistent itch you have or the unsightly growth you noticed a few weeks ago. Intimate or previously unknown information about yourself, thanks but no thanks. That is best kept to yourself.
If you must have photos take them at the start of the party. Chances are a photo album will surface after the party. Also, you’re there to socialise with colleagues not spend the whole party posting to various social media accounts. You can put the phone away for a few hours it will still be there for you later.
Colleagues: Look After Them
If a colleague is acting like a schoolie during schoolies on the Gold Coast, be the one to rein them in so that they don’t make an unwanted scene such as dancing on the bar Coyote Ugly style or falling asleep on the toilet. You may need to put them in a taxi or Uber, if doing this take note of the taxi details or Uber registration number and get that colleague to text or call to advise they have made it home. If you don’t want to put them in a taxi or Uber set them up in a quiet area of the party and supply them with plenty of water, that way you can keep an eye on them.
Being able to leave the party under your own steam is the goal, you can always continue to party at another venue out of sight of management and colleagues. Leaving under your own steam ensures you leave with your dignity and reputation intact. Don’t forget to leave with your shoes on.
So, as you head to your office Christmas Party bear in mind the above. Have fun, socialise, laugh, look out for each other and most of all enjoy and stay safe.