The Holiday Party

Dear DW,

Is it okay to drink at our company holiday party?

Signed, Born to Boogie

Dear Born to Boogie,

The key word here is sip. Drinking, in moderation, is acceptable. There’s no worse feeling than slinking into the office the next day trying to remember what you said to your boss.

While you’re at it, here are some other holiday party etiquette tips.

Make sure to gather intelligence ahead of time about the event. That way you will be dressed appropriately. You don’t want to show up in a sexy, slinky, revealing dress at a sports bar when everybody else is in jeans. Also, double-check before assuming it’s okay to bring your spouse or partner.

Polish up on your small talk and ditch the shoptalk. Holiday parties are meant to be fun and light. Ask co-workers about their family, hobbies, or holiday plans. A bit of interest in your colleagues can go a long way toward burnishing your workplace relationships.
At the same time, don’t get too personal. Remember, the topics of religion, sex, and money are off-limits in an office—and a holiday party is still a workplace setting.

Mingle. Don’t spend all your time with the colleagues you know. The company party may be one of the few opportunities you have to meet employees in other departments as well as the CEO and VPs. Introduce yourself.

Don’t be a diva and time your arrival for maximum exposure. Come near the beginning and stay to the end. It’s best not to organize an after-party at a bar down the street that goes into the early-morning hours.

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