Ho Ho No: Holiday Work Party Hijinks to Avoid

Company Christmas parties can be a jolly good time, but a lot can go wrong. Overdrinking, under-dressing, bad dancing and inappropriate flirting, to name a few. Here are some etiquette tips to help you party on without losing your dignity or your job.


First and Foremost, Don't Get Drunk

Everyone has the right to eat, drink and be merry during the holidays. Just tread lightly at the company shindig. It can be a slippery slope when the drinks are flowing and free of charge. You DO NOT want to be the guy in the fetal position under the table. Your boss and colleagues will not forget. And you will get nicknames. Bad ones. Pace yourself.


And that Means Laying Off the Hard Stuff

A key part of controlling your buzz at a company Christmas party is staying away from -- or at least limiting the amount of -- hard liquor. Everyone's tolerance is different, but slamming shots and gulping gin and tonics is always risky business. Do yourself a favor: stick to beer or wine.


Dress Appropriately (i.e. Not Like Katy Perry)

This applies mainly to the younger ladies (who may not know better). A stylish, tasteful dress will make you stand out, but there's a fine line between that and appearing too sexually suggestive. Remember, you are going to a corporate-sanctioned gathering with co-workers you see during business hours. Save the Katy Perry latex micro-minis for another night.


Say No to Mistletoe

Mistletoe kisses are usually innocent fun, but they are a big no-no at company holiday parties: It's a come-on that could make people uncomfortable (not to mention day-after awkwardness). If you do find a kissing partner at your company party, toss the evergreen plant and take it offsite.


Hitting On Young Intern: Probably a Bad Idea

Don't let Miller time turn into Clinton-Lewinsky time. She's way too young and you're a middle-aged married executive with a lot to lose. Look, but definitely do not touch.


No Loud Christmas Sweaters Please

Your bright sweater covered in snowmen may not offend anybody per se, but it will make you look like a big dork.


Tell Your Boss How You Really Feel ... Just Not Tonight

If you harbor ill will toward your boss, a few drinks may bring those feelings to a boiling point. Resist the urge to rant in his or her face. It's neither the time nor the place. Better to mend fences at an alcohol-free mid-week lunch outing.


Evacuate the Dancefloor

Some people are born with MJ moves and others just have no rhythm. Yet these are often the people who dance with the most, um, passion. Know your limits here. If people are pointing and snickering at your moonwalk, it's time to take a seat. Remember Elaine's dancing on "Seinfeld"? Trust me, you don't want to be Elaine.


Strictly Prohibited: After-Party Tweets About the Drunk CIO

Twitter and Facebook smartphone apps have made it easy to post content on the fly. But do not give in to this temptation at the company party. Sure, that may have been your CIO vomiting in the stall next to you, but broadcasting that to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, either through words or pictures, is a horrible idea.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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