Save yourself at the Holiday Party

Its that time of year when parties abound – office parties and parties with friends.  And don’t forget December 31st and the NewYear’s celebrations.  Here are some tips for surviving and enjoying those holiday parties in style.

Office parties:

  • Remember it’s the office party and your image is just as important! This party is not the time to let your hair hang down!!
  • Clothes.  If the party is an afternoon open house, casual is appropriate but avoid the tattered jeans and sweats.  If the party is in the evening, dresses and pantsuits are great for women and suits are great for men.
  • Food. If a food is served that you are allergic to or don’t like don’t say anything to the host.  Just don’t eat it.  The host is not obligated to address the tastes of their guests.
  • Behavior.  Don’t get drunk – it’s not appropriate at the office party or a get together with your friends.  Remember not to speak with your mouth full of food.  Avoid using toothpicks in public.
  • At Midnight.  When the clock strikes 12 toast to the New Year and then make your exit soon after.  Be sure to thank the host on your way out.
  • Don’t be the last to leave.  If it’s an open house leave when the time frame is over.
  • If it’s a dinner party be sure to be on time.
  • If the party is at someone’s home.  Bring a gift for the host(s) such as chocolate, flowers, or a bottle of wine.  If you don’t see ashtrays, don’t light up especially in the bathroom.
  • Conversation.  If an office party talk about topics other than “shop talk.”  Consider the upcoming Olympics, traveling, books or movies.  Avoid off-colored jokes.  Try reading the headlines of the newspaper or listening to the news on TV or the radio or topics to talk about if you’re normally a wallflower.  Keep foul language out the conversation – for either gender it is not cool.
  • At a sit down dinner talk to both partners seated next to you.  Rather than pointing out the fly in your salad focus on positive topics.
  • Remember to introduce your significant other to the people you meet.  Be sure to include them in the conversation.
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About vseitz

Marketing Professor at California State University, San Bernardino and author of "I Don't Wear A Suit."

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