Ten Do’s and Don’ts of a Company Holiday Party

DON’T – Drink too much. It can easily happen to the best of us. You’re talking, and drinking, not eating a full meal as you nibble on tiny tartlets and dip. One glass turns into four. Be conscious of your alcohol consumption. No one wants to be taken home by their significant other, only for the office to talk about their inability to control their drinking for the next two years.

DO – MINGLE! You are not here to talk with your date all night. You can talk to them whenever you please. Reach out to coworkers. Ask them about the sports their children are playing. Compliment your coworker’s wife’s dress, or jewelry. There is ALWAYS something you can talk about, and if the conversation expires, it’s easy enough to excuse yourself and move on.

DON’T – Talk about; religion, politics, or sex. Remember that while you are enjoying yourself, this is still a professional atmosphere. You are not at home on the sofa watching The Bachelor with your girlfriends. Avoid any off color jokes. While you may THINK you know your audience, there is always a chance you don’t. You could potentially find yourself in an irreconcilable disagreement with a coworker that could go far beyond this party.

DO – Dress nicely, not suggestively. We all know that person that uses the holiday party to show off what they can’t at work. Consider this party still “at work.” You can look nice, potentially sexy even, but no one will think it’s cute if you come in that Santa dress you bought for a Christmas party in college. Save the cleavage for a girl’s night out.

DON’T – Bring Children. Unless otherwise specified by your host, do not bring children. While you may find them to be the cutest, funniest children in the world, bringing kids hinders everyone else’s good time. Children can be noisy, lacking in self control, and at risk to break things even when supervised. If they weren’t specifically invited, they don’t belong at the company party.

DO – Clean up after yourself if the event is hosted in a home. While empty wine glasses and dirty plates get swept up at a catered event, this is often not the case in someone’s residence. Your hostess will more than appreciate you getting your trash in the trash, and dishes into the kitchen.

DON’T – Overstay your welcome. Don’t be the last person to leave, hanging off the arm of your coworker. Everyone is there to have a good time, but all good times must come to an end before they become bad times.

DO – Bring a hostess gift. This applies only if the party is hosted at someone’s house. A bottle of wine is always a good bet, but pretty Christmas cookies, seasonal coffee, and small holiday gifts are always great as well.

DON’T – Partake in office gossip. This should be a professional tip that is followed ALWAYS, inside or outside of the office. Not only is it trashy, but it paints you in a poor light. You don’t need to whisper about the secretary who is getting a divorce. Or that your office mate won’t be here this time next year because you heard he’s getting fired. If it’s not something you would want people sharing about YOU, don’t partake in sharing it about others.

DO – Know your date. Keep in mind this person is a representation of yourself and the type of person you spend your time with. If this isn’t a spouse or long term boyfriend or girlfriend, make sure you haven’t just called up the most recent date you had and invited them to your company Christmas party. This could go south very quickly. You may not know who this person is when they drink and loosen up. They might share opinions that weren’t asked for, or worse, come off as insulting to your coworkers.

Armed with these tips, you can be sure your holiday parties will be fun, professional, merry and bright.