Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

15 Tips For Surviving Your Office Holiday Party

This holiday season, be wise, my friends, and do not underestimate the power of a yuletide office party to make or break your career. It can happen, oh yeah. Drink too much and flirt with your boss’ husband and come Monday you might be looking for a new job. Be ye not so stupid. Keep reading for 20 tips for surviving your office holiday party.



1. Ask whether spouses/significant others are invited before you show up with your husband in tow (actually, just leave the significant other at home since an office party is even more boring for outsiders than a high school reunion).

2. Dress fancier than you think you should, whatever that means for you and your office culture. Underdressing is a far bigger offense than overdressing, so err on the side of caution. And keep the girls under wraps. And for those of you who need ideas for appropriate holiday office attire, I suggest this, this and this.

3. One boozey drink per hour that you’re there, maximum, with a three drink limit. Remember to chase each drink with a glass of water.

4. Line your belly with lots of bread and Hors d’oeuvres.

5. Don’t bore people with iPhone pictures of your kids, nieces, nephews, or pets. If people ask to see photos, fine, but limit yourself to one or two. No one wants to sit β€” or stand β€” through a slideshow of Junior.

6. Ask people to show you pictures of their kids, nieces, nephews, or pets. Tell them how freakin’ adorable they are.

7. Don’t ask personal questions like, “When are you going to get married?” or “Why don’t you have kids yet?” or “What color are your panties?”

8. Appropriate small talk questions: “What are your holiday plans?” “How are your significant other/kids/parents?” “Have you seen any good movies lately?” And if you know you share a mutual hobby or interest, like a favorite sports team or TV show, talk about that.

9. Don’t talk about work. Or politics. Or religion, or your IBS.

10. Appropriate touching: Handshakes; air kisses; shoulder squeezes.

11. Inappropriate touching: everything else.

12. Introduce yourself to the boss’ spouse and ask her about her holiday plans.

13. Thank the host.

14. Show up early to work the next morning.

15. Don’t post pics on Facebook.

76 comments… add one
  • bethany November 29, 2012, 12:34 pm

    #16- Don’t be the first or last to leave.
    Leaving first makes it look like you didn’t want to be there, if you leave last you’re just asking to get drunk and do something stupid.

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    • Wendy November 29, 2012, 1:48 pm

      That’s a great one

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      • bethany November 30, 2012, 9:20 am

        Thanks!! I had a problem with always wanting to be the last to leave… I learned that lesson the hard way!

  • KKZ November 29, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Phew, I’m lucky, my office holiday party is just a big lunch out for employees only. Last year we did a White Elephant gift exchange, I don’t know if that’s happening again this year, they’ve only just started planning it. I typically don’t drink alcohol at lunch anyway so no worries there. I just hope the food is better this year – last year we went to a Mediterranean place and I was underwhelmed. (I like Mediterranean food, I just don’t think I’d return to that particular restaurant.)

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    • Addie Pray November 29, 2012, 12:53 pm

      KKZ, I had a dream about you!!!!!!! Except your name was Becca. And in my dream you had sent Wendy a letter and posted a picture of you and your grandpa at a holiday party in a nursing home (my dreams are always vivid). He was sitting in a wheelchair and you were leaning over his shoulder and there were holiday banners and other people milling about in the background. Except Weny didn’t have time to answer the letter. But for some reason Wendy posted the letter and the picture on DW and said “Sorry, Becca, I can’t answer this right now.” But we all knew it was KKZ b/c we could see your face in the picture and I thought to myself “oops, Wendy probably didn’t mean to out her real name.”

      There you go, confession, I dream about Wendy and KKZ.

      Reply Link
      • AKchic_ November 29, 2012, 2:04 pm

        Did you watch Supernatural last night? That’s the only reason I can think of for why you’d dream about a nursing home.

      • KKZ November 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

        ‘Tis one of the little-known superpowers we gingers share, the power to infiltrate your dreams via the internet…

  • Classic November 29, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Ooooh great dresses in item 2– I could so wear the blue one or the black one with the cap sleeves and peplum!

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  • TECH November 29, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Wonderful list, Wendy. However, I would be curious to know how many people who work in office environments actually have company sponsored parties any more. I work for a Fortune 500 Company that shall remain nameless, which had over 11 billion in revenue last year. But no holiday party.

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    • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 12:51 pm

      My company has a holiday party. But there are only 10 of us. It usually consists of a couple cases of beer and pizza or a fried turkey. Pretty simple.

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    • bethany November 29, 2012, 12:58 pm

      We have an awesome Holiday Party! I work for a finance company with about 25 employees. We get a private room at a fancy steak house every year. Awesome food and wine. Spouses are welcome. It’s really fun and I look forward to it every year.

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    • jlyfsh November 29, 2012, 1:03 pm

      We have a potluck. I think they might pay for some alcohol, but I work for a state agency, so maybe it’s just the ‘bosses’ going in and paying for it. I’m sure if they did throw the party it would have to be in the budget. And since almost all of us work on grants, I can only imagine the looks when one came through with a line item for Christmas party, haha.

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    • kerrycontrary November 29, 2012, 1:21 pm

      I work for a public corporation and we have a holiday party, but we do it in January. Apparently when we used to have normal holiday parties they got so rowdy that a shall-remain-nameless national newspaper ran a story on all the trouble/damage caused. So now we do something in-house, so if someone goes over the top it’s private and on company property.

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    • Kate B. November 29, 2012, 1:39 pm

      We have one, usually catered. With lots of booze. This is a boozy office anyway, and being a teetotaler I just hang out in the corner – with my camera.

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      • FireStar November 29, 2012, 2:26 pm

        that’s either evil or brilliant.

      • Kate B. November 29, 2012, 3:12 pm

        How do you think I negotiate my raise every year? πŸ˜‰

    • Wendy November 29, 2012, 1:51 pm

      Drew has one every year for employees only (no spouses). The Frisky always had one when I worked there. It seems most people I know do have some holiday-related party, even if it’s just a lunch (actually, the holiday lunches seem more and more common, and I like that idea a lot. Who really wants to spend off-time hanging out with co-workers anyway, right? Unless you love them, which is rare).

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      • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 2:11 pm

        We close work around noon or one and do the holiday party then. Employees are paid for a whole day of work. Everyone usually leaves pretty close to the normal time.

      • KKZ November 29, 2012, 2:14 pm

        Totally with you there. I feel bad sometimes because I often opt out of the philanthropic things my company does like cooking for Ronald McDonald House or there was some sort of Heart Health Fair in our town and we sponsored a station. I’m not anti-charity or anything and I don’t dislike my coworkers, but my off time is my off time. To make up for it I make sure to bring in donations for the other stuff we do (Soles4Souls and a holiday basket for a local family in need).

      • Brown-eyed NoVA Girl November 29, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Wendy, you should have one too! You and Jackson in fancy dress at the bar… wait, that might get protective services called on you.

      • Wendy's Dad November 30, 2012, 11:22 am

        I’m retired. My office party consists of me and a bottle of Riesling. Wendy’s mom is always welcome, but rarely chooses to attend. In fact, I’m having a party right now. She’s on the computer.

        And since I have the floor, Wendy, what the hell do you know about high school reunions? Have you ever even gone to one?

        Oh, and Addie Pray (my favorite lawyer-poster), WTF were you drinking the night before you had that dream?

        OK. I”m done now and headed to Abendessen (evening meal) mit meiner Frau (Jackson’s Oma).

    • bagge72 November 29, 2012, 2:05 pm

      I work for a large company as well, and we have department holiday lunches. The used to have holiday parties before I got here 8 years ago, but apparently things got out of hand a couple of times with some of the drunkies. I believe the one that ended it was when a women who was there with her partner got hammered, and told one of the guys very loudly, and frequently that she would fuck the shit out of him, and then she was dancing on the tables all night. But to her credit this guy is very handsome, because he has both women and men hitting on him here, one of the guys left him a nice long card with a confession when in it.

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      • MaterialsGirl November 29, 2012, 2:35 pm

        My company is weird in that we have a full on traditional, straight from mad men bash. Starts at noon on a Friday when we host a catered lunch from Harry Carrys ( the good stuff). They invite the Little Sisters of the poor and the retirees and such. Anyway, after they leave, it really gets going. Multiple kegs, bartender, etc. they give out cash envelopes, prizes etc. usually there is an awkward speech by the CEO or in years past, Blago. Anyway, this party continues on until 6am the next day. The gardeners bring some high quality 1.5 L of tequila, the homebrew computer guys bring jugs of their juice, uh… Poker gets played, and virtually anything you do or say during Christmas party hours is completely forgivable. We even have an unofficial MVP every year. My only goal is to avoid being the MVP.

        It’s awesome. My favorite day of the year.

    • Riefer November 29, 2012, 7:03 pm

      My company’s massive, over 100 billion in revenue last year. No holiday party. When I started, each department got a budget for a pretty classy shindig, plus we each got a gift from the CEO (nothing huge, $25 value or so). Now, nothing at all. Nowadays you’re lucky to just not get laid off. But they’re still making money hand over fist.

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    • shanshantastic November 30, 2012, 8:57 am

      Add me to the list – we have seven FT employees including the owner, plus three part-timers. We have a holiday dinner every year (this year it’ll be in January) at one of Cleveland’s great and ridiculously expensive (for my tastes) restaurants. Spouses are invited, and it’s just a nice time to get together outside of work (except for the lech coworker who always conveniently leaves his wife at home…) The boss orders bottle service for the whole table, *and* tells us to roll in late the next day if it’s on a weeknight. I look forward to our holiday dinners every year!

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  • Addie Pray November 29, 2012, 12:49 pm

    No. 15 should just be a general rule in life. I’m in my early 30s (fine, bitches, i’m in my mid-30s), and my friends STILL post every single picture they take on FB. That was mabye cool 6 years ago, maybe.

    Except, of course, if the pictures are of your children, because secretly LOVE clicking through every single one of those. (No sarcasm, I do.) Except maybe save the pic of the birth for yourself. It’s crazy to me how many people post pictures of bloody babies coming out of hoohas and c-sectioned bellies – you know, where you get a glimpse of the mama’s thigh or the yellow cut up belly (what’s that stuff they put on skin for surgeries?).

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    • JK November 29, 2012, 12:50 pm

      THankk goodness you included the child caveat. πŸ™‚
      And I think itΒ΄s probably iodine? Or some other disinfectant.

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      • Addie Pray November 29, 2012, 12:56 pm

        Eh, I don’t have anything against posting pictures on FB generally – but I get so peeved when my friends post all 100 pictures they took from the night before. Ok, confession, I only hate it b/c I look mad drunk in all of them.

      • JK November 29, 2012, 12:58 pm

        IΒ΄m slack, so at most I usually post only a few pics of each “event”. WHich of course are all kid oriented.

      • bethany November 29, 2012, 1:00 pm

        I hate it when people post blurry pictures. It’s like they have no idea they don’t have to post all 200 pictures they took. Edit, people! EDIT!!

      • Fabelle November 29, 2012, 1:06 pm

        When I delude myself into thinking a certain blurry photo looks “artsy”, then I’ll post it anyway πŸ˜‰ Usually with an apologetic caption, though.

      • Diablo November 29, 2012, 1:09 pm

        My friends post photos of every party. I always look red-faced and drunk (because I am red-faced and drunk), and the people are always mostly the same. You could just post the same party pics every time. Or not bother. What about these photos is interesting?

        People should take care to post only the most embarrassing ones.

    • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 1:07 pm

      Oh gross. You know people who post pictures of delivery? That is soooo bleh inducing. I love seeing pictures of my FB friends cuddled up with their newborns after everyone has been washed up etc. not still covered in birth goo or mid-push!

      I’m a sucker for the growing pregnant belly albums. They make me so happy. My fiance has already told me I’m “not allowed” to make one on FB but I def will be taking montly pictures for myself.

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      • applescruffs November 29, 2012, 2:03 pm

        Not just delivery, but post delivery placenta. I submitted it to STFU parents.

      • AKchic_ November 29, 2012, 2:07 pm

        *shudder* I hate that crap. I made my very cute doctor frisk my 2nd husband to ensure he didn’t bring a camera to video tape the birth of my 3rd son (his 1st). I just wanna be left the fuck alone so I can get it over with, not deal with a photo/video shoot.

        And photos of a growing stomach? Fuck that.

  • Diablo November 29, 2012, 12:56 pm

    #7 – And here I’ve been asking women what colour their panties were for years. Who knew?

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    • JK November 29, 2012, 12:59 pm

      Just for you weΒ΄ll make an exception, Diablo. πŸ˜‰

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  • Fabelle November 29, 2012, 1:05 pm

    Thank God I don’t have an office holiday party (not one like this, anyway– my boss usually just gets us pizza & that is awesome by me) but my mom’s company has one every year & she can bring upwards of like, 4 people, so I usually go with my boyfriend. And everybody gets mad wasted.

    (Sorry, not much of a point to that except… yayy, nobody cares how drunk we are at the office parties I go to? haha)

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  • kerrycontrary November 29, 2012, 1:25 pm

    My boyfriend’s company has an awesome party every January and we break most of these rules. Like everyone is friends, so the touching always involves hugs. And every gets wasted because it’s open bar, and the company puts everyone up in a hotel for the night in the city so there’s not drunk driving. And there’s no work the next day because it’s on Saturdays. At least one person will ask someone “when are you two getting married” or “when are you having children”. Basically, it’s like going to the best wedding ever without the ceremony. And you like everyone in attendance. I can’t wait to go this year!

    But for people that aren’t my boyfriend and his coworkers, this is a good list, Wendy.

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    • Lianne November 29, 2012, 1:54 pm

      This is exactly how my work holiday parties are every year. I love it so much. We have a mid-summer party that’s the same way, except they get us to a bar around 1 PM and we drink until 1 AM. Yeah, don’t usually get to work very early that next day…one year I showed up around Noon. Mortified, but it was all good.

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    • Elisse December 1, 2012, 9:03 pm

      My company’s holiday party was last night and I’m still nursing a hangover. It was open bar in a banquet room of a Marriott, and the kids making the drinks were basically like, “You want some juice with your vodka?”

      Ouch. But it was fun. πŸ™‚

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  • Meg Murry November 29, 2012, 1:27 pm

    After several years of having someone get really drunk and do something stupid at the company Christmas party, the production supervisor summed it up wonderfully at a monthly employee meeting – “Don’t be that guy”. It pretty much covers all of the above, both for at the Christmas party and in life. Don’t be that guy who gets drunk & dirty dances with his girlfriend at the company party. Don’t be that guy who tells the CFO how he really feels about him and the party. Don’t be that guy that eats dinner with his mouth open. Don’t be that guy that walks into a door because you are texting & walking. Don’t be that guy that spills coffee in the hallway because you’re trying to carry 25 folders and your coffee at the same time to save yourself a trip down the hallway. Just don’t be that guy that everyone is talking about the next day.

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  • Lindsay November 29, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Maybe it’s a journalist thing, but our holiday parties are a shit show, helped by the fact that 90 percent of the staff is in their 20s or early 30s. Tons of drinking, people trolling for hookups, lots of talk about work and politics. A dude last year got wasted and passed out (luckily, at a bar afterward, not the actual party) and had co-workers posing and taking pictures with him with their phones. Eventually, someone put him in a cab and took him home. Our parties are also scheduled for weekday nights (about half an hour before many of us get off work), so there ends up being a lot of hungover people the next day.

    I behave myself, though, to extent. I’m not much of a drinker, so that’s not a problem, but I’m going to make a better effort to stay away from the attractive men this year…

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    • SixtyFour November 29, 2012, 1:34 pm

      Def not just a journalist thing – I used to work at a manufacturing plant with a bunch of 50+ year old men, and they would all get wasted at the Christmas party. Sooo much fun. They would get wasted at any event really. If a vendor came to town and took a few of us out to dinner, they got wasted. At the company golf tournament, they got wasted. Any excuse to drink, these men would.

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      • MaterialsGirl November 29, 2012, 2:40 pm

        Yup.. Exactly how it is as my manufacturing place of work. The golf outing is usually overnight too. Uh.. Softball game gets super late and rowdy. As is pretty much any time we decide to take a Friday lunch.

      • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 2:46 pm

        I work in construction, another male dominated industry, and it can get a little sloppy when we have company parties. We try to do company functions during the afternoon though so most people keep themselves in line.

  • theattack November 29, 2012, 1:55 pm

    My work Christmas party isn’t for the employees. We throw a big party with games, Santa, and a hot Christmas meal for our neediest families. One of my first tasks at my new job is to finish up planning the event and to hunt down food donations for the meal. So no alcohol, and no awkward interactions.

    But I have question about asking baby questions……. A coworker and I had to run an errand yesterday together, and we were getting to know each other a little bit in the car. She told me about her previous job history (because she’s brand new too), I told her about my upcoming wedding, She told me about her divorce, and I asked her if she had any kids. I didn’t think it was an invasive question, but she kind of hesitated and then confided some intensely personal details to me that seemed a little too much to be sharing with me. Is it wrong to ask people if they have kids? I felt like I caused a really awkward scenario, but I’m too socially awkward to know if I did something wrong or if someone else is weird.

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    • theattack November 29, 2012, 1:58 pm

      *a question. English actually IS my first language, believe it or not.

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    • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

      I think it can be a touchy subject, kids that is. Like what if she was unable to get pregnant or her ex-husband’s spermies didn’t swim? I know a couple who broke up after a miscarriage too so, yeah it can be really touchy.

      I don’t think what you said was wrong persay, just an area to tread lightly.

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      • theattack November 29, 2012, 2:14 pm

        Thanks. That was exactly the scenario. That they couldn’t get pregnant, but he got another woman pregnant while they were trying, so now she knows she can’t ever have babies even though she always wanted them, and it was all very upsetting to her, etc etc. Extremely personal, I think, but I really just thought asking if she had any was a pretty standard question. I was pretty surprised.

      • GatorGirl November 29, 2012, 2:34 pm

        It’s like impossible to ask any questions that don’t have a potential for disaster.

        Are you married? No, my fiance called it off the week before the wedding.
        Do you have children? Nope, asshat husband got another woman pregnant while we were trying. Turns out I might be infertile!
        Do you have any pets? My cat died last week.
        How about them Yankee’s? Instert rampage about how they hate the Yankee’s and love X team.

        So yeah, I don’t think you were in the wrong. You just never know when you’re small talking what kind of crazy you might get back.

      • katie November 29, 2012, 2:37 pm

        i think just keep in mind that if/when you ask those kinds of questions (the type can go either way into personal/rude/pleasant conversation areas) just be prepared for those kinds of reactions… my guess is that she is sick of having to make up excuses why she didnt have kids while she was married and that they got divorced because he cheated and got another woman pregnant (which i would assume lead to the divorce). depending on how long she was married, she might have been lying about that stuff for a long time!

      • theattack November 29, 2012, 5:00 pm

        That’s a really interesting point. I personally don’t have an expectation that anyone has kids, but so many people do, that question could make someone feel defensive. To me it was just a yes or no question to learn something about her life. She and I are basically a team as far as our work goes, so I didn’t want to miss out on some major piece of who she is. But yeah, wow…

      • Katie November 29, 2012, 5:31 pm

        Yea, I mean, like gg said, any question can be taken to some weird place- no matter the intention if the asker. And then, like Sampson said, some people are oversharers for whatever reason… Just be prepared for these left field answers when you get to know people. Everyone has some kind of skeleton in their closet, you know, and you never know when it’s going to come out!

      • iwannatalktosampson November 29, 2012, 2:41 pm

        I don’t think you were in the wrong at all for asking – it was innocent enough. But I am totally like that girl. If someone asks me a question I always feel obligated to answer and give the long drawn out version of anything. Unless I can plan ahead and think about my answer. If I am caught off guard I will just spill my guts. For example at a Christmas party I will know that we will talk about all those things so I’ll have answers prepared – but if I’m meeting a friend for happy hour and they ask me how my Thanksgiving was I might randomly tell them way more information than they need or want to know. Some people just don’t have filters when they’re caught off guard.

    • AKchic_ November 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

      Considering that she volunteered that she was divorced, no, it’s not really an invasive question. Sounded like she needed to vent, and while a bit inappropriate, if she isn’t in the habit of doing so at the office to everyone, mildly flattering. She trusted you.

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      • theattack November 29, 2012, 2:16 pm

        I like this interpretation! Thanks, AK! πŸ™‚

    • jlyfsh November 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

      I wouldn’t think asking if they had kids would be that odd, especially considering it seems like you were having a little get to you know chat in the car. If you had asked why not or when are you going to have any it would have been invasive.

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      • theattack November 29, 2012, 2:15 pm

        Okay, that’s kind of what I was thinking. The conversation just went from a 2 to an 8 pretty quickly, so I wasn’t sure if I did something wrong. Thanks.

      • KKZ November 29, 2012, 2:21 pm

        WJS. “Do you have kids?” is a simple Yes/No question and not terribly invasive (though she chose to make it so by divulging her details, but that’s on her), but “When are you going to have kids?” is much touchier.

        Whenever possible I try to get people talking about their pets and the cute (or not so cute) stuff their pets do. It’s generally a safe topic as long as you stay away from subtopics like the ethics of declawing cats or Breed Specific Legislation (anti-pit-bull laws and such) where people can get REALLY heated.

      • jlyfsh November 29, 2012, 2:31 pm

        I saw the WJS and my first thought was that’s not the first letter of my name, haha. Oh man, it’s one of those days. I agree on the pets though, usually a safe topic. However, last night there was a lady with a missing cat at a Scentsy party I went to. Talking about pets went from safe to crying in about 2 seconds. Some days you just never know what is safe.

      • KKZ November 29, 2012, 2:36 pm

        Yeesh. Yeah, you never know if someone just recently had to put a pet down either – but even then it’s usually safe to swap funny pet stories. Unless it’s super-fresh to them they usually still like sharing stories, even if it brings a few tears to their eyes. For the most part though I find people love talking about their pets.

    • bethany November 29, 2012, 2:25 pm

      It’s fine to ask if someone has kids, but not ok to ask “So when are you having kids?”

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  • llclarityll November 29, 2012, 2:05 pm

    My work Christmas party is SWEET. Leave work at 1 p.m., open bar, white elephant gift exchange, unruly kind of work party.

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  • AKchic_ November 29, 2012, 2:32 pm

    Our Christmas party is pretty tame. Since we’re rehab, it’s booze-free (many clinicians are rehabbed themselves, some of ours are former clients). When we had only 60 employees, it was cozy and familial (I’ve been here for 4 years). Now that we have more than doubled in size, it’s cold, and almost formal. Many people don’t know each other. It’s clique-y. It’s like high school all over again. Being admin, and being the CLINICAL admin, I’m expected to walk the fine line and be everywhere. I hate parties like that. Not to mention, I hate big crowds. We do this stupid White Elephant/Goofy Gift exchange. Nobody can agree on the “official” rules. Last year, I got irritated with all the fighting and brought bacon-flavored toothpaste and gag-wrapped it. 6 boxes, each with different wrapping paper (I needed to get rid of a lot of wrapping paper from 3 kids’ wrapping paper sales over the years). Everyone has been wondering what I’ll do this year (the year before it was a balloon animal making kit). I’m actually thinking about a framed, autographed photo of Tom Selleck just to throw a spanner in the works.

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    • KKZ November 29, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Haha, we did White Elephant last year too, I’m hoping we do it again this year because I have some stuff in my basement I’d sorely like to pawn off on an unsuspecting coworker.

      Last year I got a cookie dough press with different shaped nozzles to make spritzers. My husband used it once, but I have no idea where it went from there. Something tells me it didn’t make the move to Cincinnati with us.

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      • AKchic_ November 29, 2012, 3:29 pm

        The one cube-mate that’s here today laughed when I suggested the framed, autographed photo of Magnum P.I.-era Tom Selleck (she’s 20). I’d spend $3 on the frame at Wal-Mart (the limit is $10 for the gift exchange). Unfortunately, I happen to have 3 autographed photos of Selleck left over from my 1st ex-husband’s collection of autographed junk. It’s odd enough to be dropped like a hot potato πŸ˜€

  • Moneypenny November 29, 2012, 3:46 pm

    My office Holiday party is next friday!! I’m looking forward to it. We typically have a lunch out at a nice restaurant (sometimes it’s been a space we designed- I work in architecture), but this year it’s a different place. In the morning, we get our bonus checks (best part ever), and then we go eat and drink for the rest of the afternoon. My coworkers are all pretty fun and friendly people, so I enjoy hanging out with them. Then we all leave half drunk and do stuff like go Christmas shopping or go drink more. Our office parties are the best place to hear stories and/or gossip about the office in years past or of *ahem* other people.
    A couple years in a row during the week before Christmas, we had a gingerbread house-making contest using graham crackers, frosting, and tons of candy. Being architects, it was a pretty serious activity, complete with judges and prizes.

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    • ScrambledMegss November 29, 2012, 4:33 pm

      Haha, we do house-making competitions too! I wish my firm did bonus checks πŸ™

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  • Lili November 29, 2012, 4:24 pm

    I can’t WAIT for my office Party, its more like a customer appreciation party for the bigger retail clients, so loads of fashion peeps come and its very glam. We rent out this super cool club in a trendy part of town. OPEN BAR with some of the club’s signature drinks renamed to things doing with our company. The open bar is dangerous. I took my best friend last year and was smart enough to realize 5 min before I hit my limit that my limit was coming, so we just waved bye to the two co workers I talked to earlier and stumbled home. Open Bar with glam sugary drinks and no food is very ‘industry’ appropriate, but not good for Lili!

    Also this year I might have to split it a bit early as my friends are hosting their annual party the same night but it makes me sad to leave the free booze πŸ™

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    • Copa November 29, 2012, 6:18 pm

      Open bars are dangerous! I am TERRIFIED of “hitting my limit” at work events that involve alcohol. Of course, I realize that NOT doing so is within my control, but I’m that girl who likes to do things like go drink for drink with the boys thinking it makes me so fun when really it makes me messy.

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      • Lili November 29, 2012, 6:45 pm

        Lucky for me, all the boys at my office party will be fashionistas worried about their figures. So my limit reaching is all my fault. And the fact that I can never say no to Champagne with raspberries in it.

  • fallonthecity November 29, 2012, 4:42 pm

    This is a great list! After hours holiday parties are fun, but can be super awkward. I now work for a government agency, so we just do a potluck witin our department – which works great, since it turns out many engineer nerds are also talented cooks! Yum =)

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  • Liz November 29, 2012, 6:06 pm

    I actually get to plan my company’s party as the marketing manager, but we usually end up having it at the same billiards place every year. It seems like a pretty good idea, seeing as there’s an activity to keep people away from the bar, which is open. I actually really look forward to it, because I work for a service company and half the employees I never get to see during the day. Annd one of them is my boyfriend :p
    We have it at the end of January because my boss is a religious Jehovah’s Witness and he doesn’t want any affiliation with the holiday season. It confuses some people, but they come anyway because they still want free booze.

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  • MMcG November 29, 2012, 6:59 pm

    I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH #11… a well choreographed kid & play dance (with requisite foot touching) is always appropriate πŸ™‚

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  • Anna November 29, 2012, 8:48 pm

    This is actually the first office holiday party for me ever. My company was bought out last year and this new company is having a fancy hotel party. The old company did exactly nothing for the holidays. I already know what I’m wearing and have to limit my drinking anyway so I can safely drive home. From the sounds of it, my coworkers plan to get a little rowdy. I’ve heard the words “hennessy” and “tequila” a lot in conversation around the office. As someone who only drinks wimpy girl drinks, this means lots of entertainment for me. And hopefully I will win the HDTV, iPad, or Playstation.

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