4 Ways to Survive Your Office Christmas Party

Christmas office party featureThe seemingly endless barrage of end-of-year events can make the holiday season more stressful than joyful. One of these added yuletide pressures often comes in the form of the office party. Luckily, a celebration with your boss doesn’t have to be a joy killer. Lizzie Post, an etiquette expert from The Emily Post Institute, offers some insights on how to handle your work’s Christmas bash.

Prep Ahead

When it comes to having a good time during your office’s festivities, homework is key. “There are a lot of things to prepare for beforehand,” Post explains. “Preparation depends on when and where the party is held. You have to know if a spouse is invited. You need to come prepared with different subjects to talk about, such as the latest movies or sports events.”

Breathe Easy

You may be apprehensive about a work party simply because you are not sure how to act while there, but that anxiety, while understandable, shouldn’t stop you from attending, Post says. “People stress about holiday office parties because they worry about mixing social with business,” she explains. “It’s supposed to be relaxed, but people don’t know how much they should relax. You just need to remind yourself that the people there are the people you see every day, so you shouldn’t worry too much about socializing with them.”

Make Conversation

“You should make it a goal to mingle with other departments. If you know nothing about someone, then just introduce yourself,” Post says. “People love to talk about themselves, so start a conversation by asking a coworker some questions. You don’t have to interview them, but you can talk to them about current events, sports, hobbies, or personal interests. I also advise people to stay away from talking about religion, money, politics, and other personal matters.”

Exit Strategy

Eventually, you’ll be ready for the festivities to end, but before you jingle all the way home, make sure you wrap things up nicely. “Before leaving you should participate in any activities because it shows your appreciation for the effort people put into organizing the event. You also want to make sure that you’ve talked to a few people and that you’ve thanked the organizers and your boss for throwing the party.”

For more tips on how to make the holidays happy, check out “All is Calm” in the Fall 2014 issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine.