32. Holiday Parties at Work

During Christmas and the holiday season, the festive spirit and relaxed
mood even extends into the workplace where the pace is likely to slow
considerably as the volume of work is lessened. By having parties at work,
everyone can unwind a bit, have some fun and enjoy the satisfaction from the
results of a year of hard work. Colleagues at work can celebrate goals that have
been accomplished and look forward to an even more rewarding year.
Parties at work during Christmas and the holidays may include a voluntary
gift exchange and individuals have to make a decision whether or not they will
participate in it. In a situation where an individual may not know other
colleagues very well and is unsure what Christmas present to give, it may be
better to opt out of exchanging gifts. If the party and gift exchange is among a
fairly large group, such as company-wide or of several departments, it may not
be noticed if someone doesn’t participate in the gift exchange. If it’s a small
group however, it is likely to be noticed. To eliminate the possibility of any
negative talk regarding non-participation, it would likely be better to be among
those agreeing to exchange gifts.
A basic thing to remember in selecting gifts for Christmas gift exchanges
at work, which are usually called Secret Santa, is to not choose anything that
could be considered inappropriate or offensive. Although the sender won’t be
revealed, it won’t leave a good feeling and it will become the topic of
conversation among everyone.
Separate from the ‘Secret Santa’ Christmas gift exchange at work, it may
also be a good gesture to give Christmas presents, which can be small tokens or
even just candies or treats, to colleagues in a division or department if you
are the respective leader or manager. Such a gesture shows thoughtfulness and
that the work of individuals has been appreciated. It will be a good note on
which to end the year and to start a new one.
Another important thing to observe during Christmas parties at work is
good behavior that is considered casual but still business-like. Although there
will be much fun and laughter, it will still be occurring within a work
environment or within the parameters of work. So, individuals will still be
observed by their colleagues. It is of utmost importance to be careful about how
much drinking is done, or how much alcohol is consumed, because drunken or any
offensive behavior will not be tolerated and could have negative repercussions
on one’s career.
The consideration of good etiquette is also something to be remembered and
observed at holiday parties at work. As examples, talking and laughing with food
in one’s mouth, emptying a platter of delicious hors d’ouevres or bagging
candies, cookies or treats to take home are all considered poor etiquette.
A Christmas party at work can also provide an opportunity to have a brief
conversation with supervisors, managers and other company officials whom one may
not come in contact with frequently. It can be the ideal time to leave a good
impression on a key decision maker. By introducing yourself and striking up a
conversation, it is also putting a face to a name or making yourself known and
standing out among fellow colleagues. For those who are strivers and who want to
advance such interactions at work holiday and Christmas parties can be
beneficial and advantageous.
It’s therefore important to keep in mind that while Christmas parties at
work are fun, there are still ways to inconspicuously seek some benefit while
you laugh and enjoy a break from the stress, competitiveness and daily routine
of work.