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Work Christmas Party Rules To Read (Before Your First Drink)

Keep your job, and your reputation.

By now you may have received your work Christmas party invite email along with who you have for the Kris Kringle and a dancing Santa gif. What may not have been attached, though, are the implied Christmas-party rules. FYI, here they are:

Show up

The thought of spending your Friday night with your boss may sound tough, but suck it up and make an appearance. It’ll be a great opportunity to show your commitment and get to know your colleagues personally. If you have another event on the night, best to prioritise the work one. Running off an hour into the Christmas party will be considered disrespectful.

Overdress (if in doubt)

Check the dress code with your colleagues beforehand and stick to it. If in doubt, it’s always better to be over-dressed than under.

Enjoy yourself

Try not to complain, gossip, bitch, criticise, scheme or plot. Christmas parties are to be enjoyed – they’re not an opportunity for you to vent about everything wrong with your office. Put everything aside for a few hours and enjoy the hospitality.

30-centimeter dancing rule

Have fun on the d-floor, but don’t get too nobody-puts-baby-in-a corner with your colleagues. You’ll risk a sexual harassment claim against you. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least a ruler’s length from anybody else.


Christmas parties provide an opportunity to speak to those you don’t normally get the opportunity to, so make the most of it and mingle with those outside your normal crew.

Like at any work-related event, don’t bog anyone down for long periods. And remember to keep the chat appropriate. Your boss might want to hear about your kids, but not your past break ups.

Know your limits

While a glass of wine may help you unwind with your colleagues, don’t be the one passing out in the toilets at the end of the night, or promising your colleagues unrealistic pay rises.
Line the stomach before you start, pace yourself, drink water between rounds and try not to mix drinks.

Social media

It’s a work event, remember, not your friend’s hens or bucks night. So be careful if you’re going to post, upload or comment on things that relate to the party, especially after a few drinks.

Note: If you’re going to upload a picture of someone and tag them, ask them first. It’s polite.

Thank the organiser (not just your boss)

Go and thank the person who organised the Christmas party – they’ll seriously appreciate it. With scheduling, budgets and requests to consider, Christmas parties can be an absolute pain to plan, and often the one that does all the running around gets forgotten about.

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