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Mind Your Ps and Qs: Office Holiday Party Dos and Don’ts

Everyone and his neighbor is throwing a holiday party, and you’ve been invited to them all — an ugly Christmas sweater party at Jane’s, a Happy Hanukkah party at Dan’s, the office holiday party at your boss’s house on the river, and a white elephant gift exchange party at Betsy’s. You found the tackiest tacky sweater, perfected your latke recipe, purchased a yodeling pickle, and scoured the wine store for hostess gifts. Your party guest prep is complete.

‘Tis the season to let your hair down, and party like it’s 336.

Bring the manischewitz. Spike the eggnog.

Have yourself a merry little holiday party, but mind your surroundings. Attempts to strike up a rousing chorus of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as Dan lights the menorah will fall flat; likewise, an impromptu dance party on your boss’s coffee table might be frowned upon.

1. Dress appropriately.

A good rule of thumb is, “If you wouldn’t wear it to work, don’t wear it to your office holiday party.” That doesn’t mean you have to wear slacks and a demure blouse (Go ahead, add a little sparkle.), but remember that you’re not going bar hopping with the girls. Avoid overly sexy dress or short skirts.

2. Don’t drink too much.

Can you imagine how embarrassed you’d feel walking into the office Monday morning after a night of drunken debauchery… Did you hear someone say something about a broken coffee table? Enjoy the champagne punch, but don’t go overboard. Know your limits, and make sure you eat. Rumor has it, Boulevard Café Catering provided the food, and it’s going to be TASTY.

3. Keep it casual.

Your inhibitions will be lowered; the occasion will be festive — you might be tempted to give that cute guy from Accounting your phone number. Don’t. That cute guy from Accounting (Is his name John?) came to the office holiday party with his wife, and chances are good neither she, nor he will be appreciate the overture.

4. Watch your language.

Remember, the party may be a… party, but it’s still a professional event. If that off-color joke wouldn’t be welcome around the water cooler, it probably won’t go over well at the appetizer table.

5. Mind your manners, and your guest’s.

Whether spouse, friend, or Mr. Right Now, you are responsible for your guest’s behavior. You may be pleasant, polite, and professional all evening, but if he’s spiking the punch and breaking furniture, it’ll be you who pays the consequences. Behave as responsible party guests, the both of you, and a good time will be had by all.

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