Surviving The Work Christmas Party

Remember last year? Remember waking up to a pulsating headache and bittersweet memories of (possibly) hitting on your married coworker?

If you’ve stuck with the same workplace for more than a year and a half, then chances are you’ve attended their work Christmas party. And if you’re reading this, then there’s a further chance you wish to make amends for your foolery last year. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Below you’ll find some words of wisdom which will help you successfully navigate this year’s Christmas party.

Don’t Hit On Karen, She’s Taken

Alright, so you’ve had a few sparkling pinot noirs and that girl with the nice legs decides to come over and talk to you – what do you do? Just talk to her, and leave it at that! The last thing you want to do is light her fire – unless she is truly worth the effort and you’re seeking something more than a one-night stand. There are two consequences that could arise from this: 1. You could make it awkward when you find out she is already dating John, the IT guy, and easily ruin a safe acquaintanceship; or 2. You could actually succeed, frolic with her for one night, and then deal with office gossip for the next couple of months until one of you considers it necessary to move to another career altogether. If you are truly desperate for a fling, try Anastacia behind the bar or her coworker Christian if you’re that way inclined.

Some Topics Are Off Limits

It may seem funny, but telling your boss and his associates about your husband’s hilarious flatulence at the doctor’s office last week is probably not the best idea. For one, your boss might know him, and for another, it comes off a bit rude. You are better off talking about politics and getting into a feisty argument about the rise of conservative politicians than divulging personal stories. If you have run out of ideas, talk about the weather. It won’t win you points, but it is safer than talking about how your husband made the doctor vomit with his impending gas. Also, do not talk about work. Nobody wants to talk about work when they can help it.

Naughty Secret Santa Gifts

A lot of smaller workplaces would hold a Secret Santa regime where everyone has to buy a gift for a coworker, and sometimes the gifts are opened at the party. If you don’t wish to crash a warm and humble gathering, it might be best to avoid the giant inflatable penis and that really funny card proclaiming, “What happens on Santa’s lap, stays on Santa’s lap”. Unless you know for sure that your coworkers have just as much of a sick humour as you, and the person you’re buying for can take the joke, then you are better off relying on a Coles-Myer gift card.

Wear Something Appropriate

If you are having a Christmas party at a park or at the beach, wear for comfort. If they wanted you to wear smart casual, they would have taken you to a classy bar or had it at their corporate headquarters. Nothing would seem more ludicrous than you wearing that nice ball gown you picked up off eBay to a Christmas party at the local pub. Nor would it seem appropriate to wear high cut denim shorts that leave little to the imagination at a Christmas party on the 23rd floor of your office building.


This section doesn’t need a fancy title, it’s expected. There’s an obvious here about not getting drunk, as you may hit on Karen who’s married or talk about your husband’s flatulence, and it gets more difficult to control when the booze is provided for free.

Rule no.1: Stick to one type of alcohol.
Rule no.2: Enjoy your drink slowly.

Unless you want to end up evacuating the contents of your stomach in front of your bosses or spend 10 minutes huddled in front of a public toilet, then please adhere to the rules. And if you are at a bar where the boss has opened a tab, be gracious… But do not take for granted.