I’m no expert on what you should do at a work holiday party, but I am an expert on what NOT to do. Mostly by trial and error. And below is my tried-and-true list of 5 things to remember this holiday season…
1. Don’t get hammered
You will always and forever be that person who was sloppy at a work party. Look, I understand that alcohol makes social situations more tolerable, and I like drinking as much as the next person, but the office holiday party is not the place for keg stands.
I set a 3-drink maximum, which really is a 5-drink maximum, but at least there’s an end in sight. It’s not enough to just tell yourself to not get drunk; you have to quantify and set a limit. I make my husband be my accountability buddy. He’s usually too drunk to keep track of my drinks, but it’s a system that could really work in theory.
2. Don’t dance
I don’t care if the DJ plays Salt-N-Pepa’s Push It—which is a total banger and virtually impossible to not dance to—don’t dance unless that’s how you want to be remembered.
Case in point: one year my husband’s colleague got loose on the dance floor. This is a professional, straight-laced father of four who doesn’t even drink caffeine or cuss. Sure, I loved it. What’s not to love? But all anyone talked about for years afterward was Dave Longshanks gettin’ jiggy wit it.
3. Don’t make out with a coworker
I have personally never committed this sin, but I know some who have. And they all wish they hadn’t.
4. Don’t dress (or act) like a stripper
Unless, of course, you are a stripper, in which case you know your audience better than I do. For the rest of us, keep it professional and don’t show your bits. This is not Halloween and your chance to dress up like a sexy secretary.
I once wore a fluffy white dress of an office holiday party on the traditionally more formal East Coast. While not a slutty dress per se, it was a seasonally inappropriate choice that was also just weird. I’m sure people questioned my decision-making capabilities long after that.
5. Don’t go to the afterparty
Nothing good is coming out of the afterparty. Similarly, don’t agree to shoot tequila with coworkers in the hot tub. As fun as it might seem at the time, you’re not gonna wake up the next day and say to yourself, “Wow, I’m really glad I did that.”