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Christmas Party: Dos and Don'ts

09 Dec 16 By: Lene McGuinness

Businesses and families across the country are gearing up for the Christmas party season and while it’s a time to be jolly, it’s also easy to make a social faux-par that could affect your career or family relations. So whether you are attending a big family and friends get together or the annual office knees up, here are some dos and don’ts that will get you through the winter party season.

Christmas party dos


Your office or family members have gone to great length and expense to host a Christmas party and not turning up could be seen as disrespectful or indicate that you are not a team player. Of course, it may not be possible to attend, but let your host know in advance if you can’t.

Dress appropriately

If your invitation outlines a dress code, including fancy dress, its best to stick to it. Your work Christmas party is not the best time to experiment with an outfit that leaves little to the imagination or that loud ill-fitting suit. If there is fancy dress then be a team player, get into the sprint and dress up.

Stay for an appropriate length of time

Only putting in a guest appearance can come across as unappreciative, especially if you leave before the food arrives and your presence was expected for dinner. If you do stay for the sit-down meal, don’t rush off as soon as the pudding has been whisked away, you may miss out on an important networking opportunity.

Bring a gift and say thank you

This may not be expected for an office Christmas party, but if you are attending a family or private party it is always appropriate to bring a gift of some sort. It does not have to be a large present; a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates is fine. Also, send the host a thank you message after the event. This might be highly appreciated by the event organiser and they may be thankful back.

What not to do at a Christmas party


Don’t drink too much

The cardinal rule of any Christmas party is always not to drink too much. It is easy to overdo it with the free booze, but the likelihood of you regretting it in the morning is high. Be mindful of how much you are drinking and don’t get carried along with what other people are doing. Your work Christmas party is a time to present yourself in the best possible light, so go easy on the alcohol. However, don’t go teetotal (unless you need to for medical reasons or are the designated driver) for the Christmas party, it’s never a popular choice.

Don’t talk shop

The Christmas party is not the place to become a work bore. The event has been set up specifically for you and your colleagues to let your hair down a little. Leave talk about impending deadlines and reports back at the office. If you are attending a family Christmas party, also keep work out of the conversation and its probably best not to bring out any skeletons from the closet either. 

Don’t spend too much time on your phone

No matter what kind of party you are attending, do not be that person who is glued to their phone posting pictures of guests and selfies throughout the night. First of all, it is anti-social and secondly your colleagues or family members may not appreciate being tagged in an image of them looking stupid or worse.

Stay away from the mistletoe and gossip

Christmas parties are notorious for being the catalyst for many office romances. If, after a few glasses, you drag your office romance to the mistletoe, you will be declaring your love in front of the whole office, which depending on the circumstances may not be the best idea. It is highly likely to lead to you being the object of gossip for months to come. Speaking of gossip, staying away or not participating in office or family gossip is always a good idea. What you say will be remembered and noted.

Planning an office or family party? If you need to hire catering equipment and furniture then Allen’s Hire can help. We deliver across London, the Home Counties and the south coast.