Do try to look a little bit Christmassy.
It’s a Christmas party, and people have probably told you to look at least a little bit Christmassy. No, don’t bother spending £11 on a hideous Christmas jumper - that’s just a waste. But don’t put yourself under the spotlight by not bothering at all. If all else fails, grab some Poundland tinsel and tie it around your neck.
Don’t get stuck talking to the guy from IT.
Ok, I’m sure that there are some really interesting people who work in the IT department, but there’s definitely someone in your office who you’d rather not be stuck in a corner with. To avoid situations like this, prepare yourself with the office party’s equivalent of the get-out-of-jail-free card: a list of excuses including, “1 sec, I really need a wee”, “Hold on, I’m just going to get a drink”, and “BRB, I need to check that the cat has been fed”. It goes without saying that you never return; they probably don’t want to be talking to you either.
Do get drunk.
“More wine?” Now that’s just a silly question. What else can prepare you for forced fun, copious amounts of small talk, and average food like alcohol can? Drink up!
But don’t get obliterated.
Do you think you can look your boss in the eye after they’ve seen you at your worst? I’m not sure that there are many of us that could. Enjoy the - hopefully - free booze to the best of your capabilities, but don’t go overboard or it might haunt you in the form of repeated, dimly lit flashbacks of you dancing on a table to Migos’ Bad and Bad and Boujee for the rest of your career.
Don’t fraternize with your coworkers.
Keith from the next desk over has been giving you the eye for the last couple of weeks and, let’s face it, you’ve been giving him the eye back. But by no means is this an invitation to commit the cardinal sin of getting with one of your coworkers. Maybe you two are meant to be, but what’s more likely is that you’ll share a sloppy, gravy-scented kiss under the mistletoe that will amount to nothing more than an somewhat unsatisfying booty call and a lifetime of crippling regret.
Don’t forget to buy your secret santa present.
How well do you really know your coworkers? Probably not very well which is why buying secret santa presents is perhaps one of the most arduous tasks ever invented. However, by now it’s probably too late to back out, and turning up presentless will only make you look inconsiderate and lazy.
Don’t complain about your boss.
The evening is drawing to a close and hopefully - if you’ve listened to all of the above pointers - the party has gone off without a hitch. You and Mabel are better friends than ever, you’ve avoided the guy from IT, and maybe you’ll even go as far as saying that you’ve enjoyed yourself. But friend, don’t be fooled by this false sense of security. It may be tempting to give your boss a good verbal thrashing to your new best friend after a few drinks, because who doesn’t love to hate their boss a little bit? However, such behaviour can only end in tears; your boss will most likely find out, you’ll be out of the running for that promotion, and your only source of comfort will be Keith from the next desk over.