The Christmas work party should be fun, but is full of pitfalls.
The Christmas work party should be fun, but is full of pitfalls. File

Office Christmas party can be great fun ... within limits

SOME may cringe, but most staff look forward to the office Christmas party, in what is now a staple in the Australian end-of-year celebrations.

Typically, over-indulging with a few too many beverages from an open bar is a task completed by many, followed by embarrassment.

If you want to avoid being remembered for an awkward dance - like that of Seinfeld character Elaine Benes - there are a few simple rules to follow.

Etiquette expert Heidi Fischer said work Christmas parties could be "fraught with danger".

"Let's just say we all know the golden rule. Have a drink, sure - but don't get drunk," she said.

"If you stick to this then everything else should pretty much be fine and you should end up having a great night.

"Everyone knows the repeat offenders, the ones that do it every year, but if you want to hold your head high at work in the following weeks, it's best not to over-indulge."

Ms Fischer said the Christmas party was a good opportunity to expand your friendship network within the office.

"Mixing and talking with others not from your immediate work area is a great way to meet people and socialise.

"Too often there are those groups that 'stick together' and don't get out there and mingle."

She added keeping your personal life to yourself was good option.

"It's a good point to remember that Christmas parties are probably not the best place to start discussing your private life.

"If you wouldn't usually talk such topics with a particular person, now is not the time to start."

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Brett Kitching said partiers should be careful of over-indulging.

"I'd encourage people to go all out and enjoy themselves. But when there is alcohol involved be responsible," he said.


Party do's and don'ts


1. Mix with colleagues outside your area

2. Enjoy your workmates' company

3. Drink within your limits

4. Dance responsibly

5. Dress the part


1. Don't drink and sing.

2. Avoid asking "So about that pay rise?"

3. Keep your private life private

4. Don't make a couple of drinks a dozen

5. Try not to become "the Christmas party guy"

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