Manners Matter: Holiday Party Manners

Since it is the season of festivities, I’d like to take this time to go over some things to remember when attending holiday parties, particularly holiday work parties.

  1. Consider wisely what you will wear. If the occasion calls for it, you can wear a cocktail dress or a suit/sport coat and tie. Maybe your workplace is more casual and a nice pair of slacks and a sweater would be a better choice. The most important thing to remember is that this is not the time to show off your daring sense of fashion or to dust off your clubbing clothes. Low-cut dresses, too much skin, jeans with holes in them, and tuxedo T-shirts are all forbidden.
  2. This one seems to be a problem for some, so I’ll stress this again. Do not drink too much alcohol. Keep it to a two-drink maximum. Too much alcohol at the holiday party can lead to behavior that isn’t appropriate in front of your boss and coworkers. It can also harm your reputation long after the party.
  3. Do not discuss work. This is not the time to lobby for a raise or bore your spouse with lots of inside jokes. Take the time to get to know your coworkers as people and leave the office chatter till Monday.
  4. Double check whether or not the invitation includes spouses/significant others. Most will be included but it’s good to double check.
  5. Be sure to thank your boss for hosting the party. Parties aren’t required and it is good to show appreciation. You should follow up with a thank you note too.
  6. Do not park yourself at the appetizer table and hog the shrimp cocktail. Be sure that everyone gets a chance to sample all of the appetizers.
  7. Introduce yourself to those who might be new. Get out of your comfort zone a little bit and mingle.
  8. Unless there is an organized gift exchange, don’t bring gifts for your boss or your work friends to the party. Save the gifts for a time when not everyone will be there. You don’t want anyone to feel left out if they aren’t on your gift list.
  9. Arrive on time and don’t overstay your welcome.
  10. Refer back to rule #2: do not drink too much. If you feel like you always need a drink in your hand, alternate your two alcohol drinks with water and/or soft drinks.


Good luck,

Mary Pat

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