Survive Xmas in Style

The Xmas Party – Survive in Style

  • The silly season is fast approaching as we struggle through the last few weeks of the year trying to cope with the stresses associated with meeting work deadlines, Xmas shopping, larger than normal grocery bills and then the staff Xmas “DO’’!!
  • Here are some etiquette “do’s and don’ts” that could be helpful if you are organizing or attending the end of year function.
  • Delegate the details of the function as you require, but guarantee a successful party by putting one person in charge, everybody should report to this person.
  • If a meal is involved make sure you have catered for everybody’s dietary requirements. In our multi cultural society this is mandatory.
  • If gifts are to be exchanged, set a financial amount of around either $5 or $10, and get each person to select a name out of a hat. Humorous gifts can work well and be a great way to break the ice.
  • If you are hosting the function you are the one responsible for ensuring nobody gets out of hand and even wall flowers have as good a time as they can.  Keep an eye out for the office show off who relish their time in the limelight and can trap an unwary victim, often for hours. Rescue them!
  • Make sure that no one drinks too much. It is a social responsibility to serve food when there is alcohol, to supply non-alcoholic beverages and have arrangements made to provide transport or ensure nobody drinks and drives.
  • There are responsibilities that go with being a guest. Try to remain relatively sober if this is a customer or client you really want to impress. Even if everybody is feeling a little on the bright side avoid baring your soul, showing over the top affection to your romantic partner, or to anybody you fancy as a romantic partner, or making aggressive sexual advances to any of your colleagues. You do have to work with these people after the holidays. The old rule of one glass of alcohol followed by two glasses of water is a good guide to go by.
  • Ask shy guests or any body new to the company to pass things around. This gives them something to do as well as an excuse to make conversation with different groups.
  • Use this as an opportunity to practice your networking skills, remember names; be interested in what others are saying and try to include
  • Everybody around you in the conversation, when you are seated for a meal.
  • The question “how are you?” is a social script, not a permit for you to relate your medical history or disastrous love life in absolute detail. “Fine thanks, how are you?” is the expected response. Do not talk with your mouth full. When eating at a function, it is more useful to take small mouthfuls that can be quickly swallowed if somebody starts talking to you or asks you a question. Do not eat and drink at the same time.
  • Remember your manners, especially at a sit down dinner. If you are unsure of the table setting begin by using cutlery from the outside in, your glasses are at the top of your knives on the right hand side, and your napkin and bread and butter plate are on your left. Place your napkin on your lap; do not tuck it into your collar or neckline. If you drop cutlery on the floor leave it there and politely request a replacement.
  • Do not swear, shout, tell long winded boring stories, talk over people loudly or totally dominate a conversation. This is a social occasion not a platform for you to go off for hours on your favourite work problem or obscure hobby.
  • What to wear can be a dilemma for some people. If the staff function is in a restaurant then party mode is appropriate. Be a little restrained in levels of outrageousness. The thigh high split to the navel number may go down a treat with the gang but probably not with the boss’s partner or wife. This is a ‘work do’ and the impression you make on your work associates could help or hinder when it comes time for that promotion you have been gearing yourself up for. Appearing well dressed, well groomed and well styled will only add emphasis to how great you would be in that coveted position.
  • If the function is casual and the dress code is to be casual make sure everybody, including invited guests are aware of this.
  • Ensure invitations have the correct time, date and venue on them.

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