10 Things to Avoid at Your Office Holiday Party

10 Things to Avoid at Your Office Holiday Party

Many employees look forward to them all year long. And others feel a sense of impending dread. Yes, tis the season for office holiday parties!

Make your office holiday party something to look forward to.

Don’t become fodder for the rumor mill at this year’s office holiday party. Have fun and stay out of trouble by avoiding these top 10 office holiday party mistakes:

1. Not showing up. That’s right, some people are just “too cool for school,” and avoid showing up at the holiday party. This makes you look arrogant, and believe it or not, can cause some resentment with your coworkers down the line. So even if your social calendar is completely booked, carve out a few minutes to make an appearance.

2. Getting a little tipsy. It’s happened to the best of us once or twice, but believe us when we say having too much to drink at the office holiday party is a bad idea! Nursing that beer or fancy holiday cocktail all night might not seem like much fun, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you won’t end up dancing like Elaine Benes from “Seinfeld” out on the dance floor!

3. Dressing suggestively. Sure, you look like a million bucks in that slinky new outfit. And we can’t blame you for wanting to show it off. But show it off somewhere else, please. If having too much to drink is the #1 way to become the subject of office gossip for six months, guess what’s #2? You want to show off your outfit, and you’re likely to become immortalized, but for all the wrong reasons.

4. Flirting. Maybe the mail guy looks a bit cuter after a holiday cocktail (or two), but hold back your emotions and refrain from flirting with your coworkers. Sure, a holiday party may seem like a fun event, but it’s still a work event. You have to face these people again…five days a week…for weeks, years, months! Don’t do something to make it hard to look people in the eye – just a general rule.

5. Bringing the family. Most offices allow you to bring a significant other to their holiday soirees, but don’t be the “Cousin Eddie” of your group and show up with the entire family. Free food is good and all, but you’ll stick out like a sore thumb, and once again will be grist for the office rumor mill.

6 Making one too many trips to the buffet. Yes, food will be there. And yes, it’s “free.” But hold back from devouring the appetizers and loading up on the desserts. You want to act dignified, after all (even though holiday cocktails taste better with those little pigs in a blanket).

7. Taking over the conversation. Think about last year’s holiday party. Do you remember who you talked to? What did you discuss? Now, the holiday cocktails may have an impact on your recollections here (if so, heed #2 this year!), but if you can’t recall who you spoke to, you may just be one of those people. You know, the people who completely take over the conversation, and inundate helpless victims with never-ending stories? Don’t be that person. Just…don’t.

8. Whining endlessly. “This booze is watered down.” “Why don’t they bring out more pigs in a blanket?” “Why is the dance floor so small?” You may think these things at your holiday party, but keep them to yourself. And if you’re tempted to complain about your bosses after a holiday cocktail or two, try to think reasonably – then keep your mouth shut.  You’ll look ungrateful at best, and like a total jerk at the worst. Don’t let your lack of judgment lose you your job.

9. Talking about work. See how conversation can make or break a holiday party (that’s 3 out of 10 here!)? Here’s one final conversation tip – don’t talk about work. Sure, that unhappy client might be on your mind from earlier, but let it go and enjoy yourself (remembering tips #1 through 8!). Talking about the stresses at work can not only ruin the party for you, you can end up being the Debbie Downer of the entire office party!

10. Sticking around too long. Free food and booze – a potent combination for many. Add a dance floor to the mix, and who wouldn’t want to party the night away? Here’s the thing, if you are the last to leave (and sadly part ways with your final holiday cocktail), you could end up looking like: A) a boozehound, B) the saddest person in the office, or C) the cheapest person in the office. Do you really want to rack up all these distinctions?

Ready to tackle your office holiday party?
Feel free to print out this list as your cheat sheet for what not to do. And most of all, have a safe and happy office holiday party!