Holiday Office Party Etiquette.

(Source: American Business Etiquette Expert Dallas Teague Snider Comments on Christmas and Holiday Office Party Etiquette &

 It’s the season for holiday parties which call for a bit of everyday common sense, so you don’t become part of the office gossip roundup. So what can you do?


1. Make sure you attend. Even if you don’t like your co-workers, your boss or your job, in today’s economy, many would love to have a job period. So be grateful. Just attend for at least about 30 minutes to show your co-workers that you do value the team. Remember perception is reality.

2. Dress appropriately. This is not the time to wear something too short, too revealing, too low and too extreme. You may want to hold off on that Santa costume unless someone has asked you to wear it.

3. Prepare Your Spouse or Significant Other. Remember your spouse or date’s behavior will have a positive or negative reflection on you as well. Let them know what is to be expected. Be sure they are aware of the dress code for the event. If you aren’t sure, contact the coördinator so that there are no surprises. No one wants to be uncomfortable when it can be avoided.

4. Don’t drink too much. Do I really need to elaborate? It is best to adhere to one or two drinks, but avoid that, if you cannot keep up a professional demeanor.  Know your limits.   Also, don’t go to the party with few drinks even before you get there, just so you will be in a jovial mood!

5. Be Personable – Not Personal. Avoid death by small talk by asking questions that are just too personal. For example: One out of the two marriages end in divorce, what is different about yours? Not the way to win over someone when you are trying to get to know them. Tip: If you wonder if it’s too personal,  think about how the question would be uncomfortable for you to answer.  If it is, don’t do it. If you really like to go down the extremes and damage your demeanor even more, be a good conversationalist by cracking lots of  “you think” are funny stories but are actually non-sense and rather offensive. It’s probably a perfect opportunity too to tell your boss about the time you photocopied your body parts because you were bored at work.

6. If you’ve met people other than your co-workers in the party, try to remember their names after you are introduced. Do not refer them as “buddy,” “blondie,” “baldy” or “sweet cheeks.”

7. If someone tries to carry on a conversation with you, do not let your eyes glaze over and look around the room for someone more interesting to talk to.

8. No matter what someone tells you, do not reply “that’s nothing, you should hear what happened to me”, nor discuss your personal problems, especially any medical conditions, in great detail.

9. If you see someone eyeing the last remaining hors d’oeuvres, mind your table manners. Do not grab it as quickly as you can, no matter how hungry you are.

10. Repeatedly double dipping your chips or veggies is not cool.

11. Do not invite yourself to start singing karaoke.

Finally, make sure you show appreciation to the people who hosted the party. After all, doesn’t it feel good to know at the end of the day that you still have a job?


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