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“Join us for our annual Office Christmas Party! Share the magic of the season with all of your co-workers as we celebrate with food, drinks, and good cheer.”

Ah, the inevitable office Christmas party. A time where you can finally make some awkward small talk with your boss’ significant other, pretend like the food isn’t cold and try to stay clear of the sketchy apple cider that came out of an unlabelled jug.

real grouch

If you are fortunate enough to work with coworkers you actually like, this can be the perfect occasion for everyone to get together and really absorb the holiday spirit. You can giggle with your friends when Mark from accounting walks in dressed up in his elf costume, enjoy the cherry candy canes and admire all the silver and gold.

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But, if you’re the type of person who tries to avoid work functions and rather stay at home, you might need some survival tips to make it through your annual Office Christmas Party.

And if you don’t feel like reading through the whole list because the 1964 movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is playing on tv, then just know that the main points are: show up and don’t get fired.

Top 6 Survival Tips For Surviving Your Office Christmas Party


1. Buy something appropriate for Secret Santa

Try to find a gift somewhere between an old flannel shirt from your closet, homemade oven mitts, and a $400 iPod. If the spending limit is $20, best to stick to it. Some standard and safe ideas include fancy tea, gourmet coffee beans or chocolate.

2. Take the time to do a bit of networking, but avoid office politics

Ask Jan from HR what kind of dog she has. Show interest in Shelly’s kitchen renovation. You can even take the time to prepare some basic talking points before you dive in (upcoming vacation, people’s kids, and pets, or popular tv shows or books are safe topics). Most of all, personally thank your boss for hosting the party (at least now he/she knows that you’ve attended…)

3. Grab a drink at the beginning of the party, so you’re not just twiddling your thumbs all night. Max number of drinks: two

Note, it’s called an OFFICE Christmas Party. Hence, it’s like being at work but you’re not getting paid overtime, so try to take it easy on the alcohol. The only one who can really get away with alcoholism at the office is Meredith anyways. 

4. Don’t draw any attention to yourself

Avoid overindulging on the food, the drinks and most importantly, stay away from the karaoke machine unless you can actually sing. You don’t want to pull a Mindy Kaling and start singing Santa Baby in front of the entire office… 

5. Have a buddy system

Everyone’s got at least one buddy at work, right? Before the party, you might want to come up with a signal to save each other if someone gets trapped in an awful conversation with Bob about his tango classes. Think back to the club days when a creepy dude would be approaching you and you would shoot your friend that look that said: “help me now!”

6. Try to focus on the positive

At the end of the day, instead of being a grouchy cake, you might as well make the best of the situation. It’s the holiday season! So try to take the time to appreciate everyone’s traditions (including the Belsnickel) and enjoy the FREE food and beverages and just go with the flow.

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So there you have it! The top 6 survival tips that I hope can prepare you for your upcoming office Christmas party. What are some of your holiday party survival tips? Does anyone have any interesting office Christmas parties they can share?

Here are 6 tips on how to survive your office Christmas party: having a buddy system, small talk prep, and not overdoing it with the alcohol.

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