Both the internet and corridor conversations are full of advice on how to deal with the corporate Christmas party. A golden occasion for some people, a nightmare for others, a more or less participatory indifference for the rest. If you start reading about the world of the corporate Christmas party what you will read are mainly three things: don’t drink, dress well and be careful not to get in the wrong person’s way (the boss, the colleague you like, the boss you like, the boss or colleague you detest…).
The time has come: it’s time for the annual Christmas party.
Nightmare before the corporate Christmas party
The question is: how hard is it to survive a corporate Christmas party, particularly the one organized by your Human Resources department when Christmas comes and the sound of jingle bells everywhere, while pieces of plastic fir tree are attached to every corner with a red and green ribbon.
Everyone has a respectable resume of company dinners behind them. This, in many cases, equals a history of war wounds and things seen that others would not believe. All of this is seasoned with good resolutions available for (this time) to be put into practice for the corporate Christmas party.
All of them? Not everyone: there are two types of people who will attend their respective company Christmas dinners this year as if nothing has ever happened.
In the first case, that’s because literally, nothing has ever happened: they are the young, the juniors, the interns, the newcomers to the company who are in their first job and don’t know how company dinners go in this particular one.
In the second case, regardless of the novelty, this is due to an incorrigible discipline: they are the ones who don’t care, those who screw up, those who feel at home everywhere and do not watch what they hear, what they say or what they do. No matter how many disasters they may have caused at previous company dinners, they are always ready to add one more to their list.
So, which team are you on? Obviously: the elegant ones, the sober ones, the ones stop after the second glass of wine, the casual but well-groomed ones, the ones who smile without drooling and throw punch lines while still looking aristocratic. Of course, because you’re worth it!
However, as tradition dictates and we never know in what kind of trenches we will have to survive in the next corporate Christmas party, here we are going to fulfill the liturgy: a kind reminder of what (not) you should do when you go to the dinner that your company is organizing to set you all a death trap… to celebrate together in love and company that one year ends and another is about to begin.
3 tips to survive the corporate Christmas party
1. If in doubt, just don’t drink
We are adults, right? So let’s behave like adults. And what does an adult do? They don’t put themselves under fire, they dodge bullets, erect barricades, and fight back against external pressure. If you know that after the first drink you are already talking nonsense, don’t keep going into the ravine.
You have two options. One of them is the radical one: cast a spell and simply don’t drink alcohol during your corporate Christmas party. Believe me, no one, but no one, has ever died or killed anyone or caused a world war by not drinking alcohol at company dinners. Would I lie to you about something like this?
The second option is for those who know how to control themselves: have a drink or two and then sit down, tomorrow you will consider yourself the smartest person in the world.
Warning: in both cases, the pressure to drink is going to be relentless, seriously, you’re going to get friendly fire from all sides. That’s okay, why? Because we’ve agreed that adults know how to say no.
2. Choose the right table companion
Be cunning like a lioness crouching in the bush and don’t let the best places at the table be snatched away from you. And what are the best places at company dinners? The ones that are free next to the people you like, make you laugh and make you have a pleasant time.
Always place yourself strategically away from two blocks of people. The first block is that of the bosses, simply because in front of them you are going to behave in a less corseted way and look, what can I tell you, you did not come to this world to dine in a corset. The second block is that of people you don’t like. There, we have already said it: people you don’t like. Do you want to spend the company Christmas dinner with people you don’t like? You don’t, do you? Then fight for your seat and let the magic flow.
3. Get dressed and go (to the dinner)
No, seriously: watch what you are going to wear but don’t get obsessed either. You’re not going to the Met Gala, or to a wedding, or to a cotillion, or to play cards with your friends. You’re going to a Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration with your coworkers (who already know what you look like, they already know your style, they may already know some of your juiciest and darkest secrets, do you really have to impress them for dinner?).
And your bosses. To them, you may need to send a little message about your class and poise to make yourself look good, stand out and cause a certain wow effect. To do this, you know what? Less is more. You might want to wear some makeup and wear your best heels but don’t overdo it, don’t wear something especially uncomfortable just because you think it makes you look especially stunning. Wear something that feels good on you and is appropriate for the style you usually already have in the office. The opposite, whether you tone down the look too much or take it to the extreme, is to go in disguise.
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We hope you found this post about the annual corporate Christmas party helpful. If you want more information about our emotional well-being program for companies just request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible. You may also be interested in this post about psychosocial risks at work.