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Questionnaire: Christmas Party Etiquette

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 3 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
Office Party Christmas Drink Say Jokes

It’s all too easy to make a fool of yourself at the office Christmas party. Unless you are incredibly lucky and work with great friends and a super boss, the Christmas party can be a bit of a minefield.

The truth is, the situation is ripe with potential for upsetting people, saying the wrong thing, looking unprofessional and generally showing yourself up. Add that to the free bar, heightened emotions and people fancying each other that really shouldn’t and it’s clear that you really ought to prepare yourself.

So, what are the rules? What should you do at the office Christmas party to get ahead and what should you avoid, unless you’re looking for a fast-track to a written warning?

Do this questionnaire to see how much you know about this once a year crazy state of affairs.

1. What To Wear

OK, this may seem like a minor topic to start with, but really it’s terribly important if you don’t want to make the wrong first impression. Read through the possible options and see what your first reaction would be to understand how close you are to making a fool of yourself!

a)I’ll buy something new and sparkly – probably a little dress I can get my money’s worth out of at other parties.
b)I’m going for all-out glamour – the highest heels I can find, tight little frock and plenty of false eyelashes.
c)I’m sticking with a classic wrap dress, medium heels and natural makeup
d)I can’t wait to show my colleagues what I get up to at the weekend! Total Pussy Cat Dolls is my plan.

2. What To Drink

Ooohh, think of the free bar! It’s your chance to get something free after a year of hard work. Or is it? Read through the following options and pick which one best represents you.

a)I’ll have a glass of champagne when I get there and maybe a glass of wine or two with my meal – then I’ll stick to lime and soda and no-one will notice I’m not drinking.
b)I can’t wait to get stuck in to the free bar! Champagne until it runs dry, then cocktails. I’ll probably be dancing all night too, so I’ll have plenty of water with the meal, too.
c)I plan to stick to fruit juice all night; I’m not driving but it will help me stay in control.
d)Man alive! Free bar! What’s not to like?! Keep drinking till I fall over, I say!

3. What To Do

It’s a party! It’s all about letting your hair down and enjoying yourself, right? Wrong! Not when it comes to office parties – quite a different matter, so you’d be wise to know what is and is not acceptable.

a)My plan is to chat with my colleagues, be friendly to my boss and try to be home before midnight.
b)The last thing I want to do is talk about work! I’m going avoid my boss and dance the night away with my work friends – although I’ll say hello if I see him.
c)I’m looking forward to sharing a business proposal idea with my team leader and the directors over the meal.
d)I’m going to tell dirty jokes, flirt with that gorgeous manager (I’ve heard his wife doesn’t understand him) and hope I can squeeze into someone’s cab at the end of the night! Wayhey!


So, now you’ve read the situations and the potential ways to handle it – where do you stand?
If you answered mainly a) it’s pretty likely that you take your job seriously, but not too seriously – carry on and good luck!
If you answered mainly b) you are just on the right side of professionalism, but don’t go thinking that you’re next in line for a juicy promotion.
If you answered mainly c) you really ought to think about lightening up a little – it’s all well and good taking your job seriously, but please!
If you answered mainly d) you are sure to be the life and soul of any party, not just the office party. Just remember that the reason your colleagues encourage you is because you make them look good – nobody wants to actually be you, so wind it in a little to get taken seriously.

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