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Throw Out the Mistletoe: Christmas Party Dos and Don’ts

Christmas Party Dos and Don’ts

Everyone loves a Christmas party. It’s the ideal time to sit back and bathe in all the work you’ve done (or promise to do some actual work next year), sink some drinks and get festive. However, do remember: your Christmas party is still work! Many people drink one too many, say something they don’t mean or use the mistletoe a bit too liberally for their own good.

Following these simple dos and don’ts will ensure you have a good time without waking up the next day with a HR complaint letter in your stocking…

The employment law team at Howells have given their best pieces of advice, both professionally and from personal experience:


Mingle: Don’t spend all night with your work bestie or department, be sure to mingle with others. The Christmas party is a great way to get to know people outside of the context of work, so don’t be afraid to say hi to those that you wouldn’t normally speak to!

Line Your Stomach: Even if your boss has laid out a herculean feast for the buffet, always line your stomach with a big meal beforehand. For those who aren’t used to drinking, a meal before a drinking session can literally save your reputation and social life.

Have fun: The office party is the perfect time to let your hair down, so do attend and stay as long as possible. Usually, a lot of time, effort and money have been put into the party, so make the most of it! Talk to people outside of your department, have a drink or two and join in.

Involve People: Don’t leave people standing on their own; befriend the introverts! Some people struggle to get involved, so try your best to get them in the holiday spirit.


Drink too much: Not much of a drinker? Teetotal? You’re first ever drink? Then don’t take the open bar as a sign to drink eight whiskies on the rocks in five minutes. With food and drink flowing, it’s tempting to go over the top and get plastered, but pace yourself.

Being completely off your face can ruin the mood, with many Christmas party arguments coming to a head and a disciplinary when one or both parties have too much to drink. Remember to have fun, but don’t ruin it for everyone else. The golden rule: don’t take your shirt off to dance unless at least four other people are, then it’s probably acceptable.

Gossip: Alcohol and gossip is a terrible combination. When talking with colleagues at a party, be sure to keep it fun and general. Focusing on office politics, arguments or nagging about certain co-workers never ends well, plus it can escalate to a bullying case.

Bring Mistletoe: Office romances and rejections are shaky ground to begin with, so don’t ruin your working situation with romantic advances at the Christmas party. After a few drinks, it may seem like a good idea to declare your love to a co-worker, but trust us and almost anyone who works in HR when we say this: don’t.

Poorly-timed romantic advances have led to numerous disciplinary proceedings, work reputation and HR headaches. Just go home and stick Love Actually on instead.

Talk About Work All The Time: There’s a time and a place to ask for a raise and that place is never, ever, ever at the bar of the Christmas party. Even if your boss does drunkenly agree to give you a raise or a promotion on his tenth drink, it’s probably not going to hold weight in the morning after.

The Christmas party is meant for fun times, not work times. However, if something does go wrong at the Christmas party this year, then the team at Howells Solicitors are always available to offer help and advice.

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