10 Essential Rules For an Awesome Office Holiday Party

Editor’s Note: Readers sometimes ask about past TLNT articles, so every Friday we republish a Classic TLNT post.

It’s fast becoming that time of year when you’ll be invited to office holiday parties across the world!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Let’s face it — I’m married and 40-ish, and the holiday office holiday party is one of the few times a year I have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

What!? You want to do shots? Well, I shouldn’t, but I want to be a ‘team’ player. You know me!

Here’s why my holiday parties are awesome

My wife mildly puts up with me, for one night, so I can act like one of those Millennials who work with me. Usually, I’m yawning at 11 pm and wondering what I’m missing on the local news.

My company (HRU) holiday parties are awesome. That’s basically because I’m in charge of two things: Ordering the food, and, paying the bar tab.Mad Men Christmas party

That means we have plenty of variety of great things to eat, and, we have an open bar. The “kids” like an open bar. It always goes over well.

I don’t have any rules. I used to be one of those bosses that was like, “you better show up!” which led to about two or three people being at the party who didn’t want to be. But I’ve matured, and now I’m like, “don’t come if you don’t want to have fun!

Article Continues Below

Sackett’s Top 10 Holiday Party Rules

I do think some HR Pros need rules for their employees, and as usual, I’m here to help. So, here are Sackett’s Office Holiday Party Rules:

  • Rule No. 1 – If you drink too much and throw up at your office holiday party, never go back to work at that job. Ever!
  • Rule No. 2 – If you bring a date that looks like a stripper, you’ll be forever known as the employee who brought a stripper to the office holiday party. Dress appropriately, strippers.
  • Rule No. 3 – There are these things called smartphones which take pictures. Always remember this, or you’ll be reminded of it the next morning on Facebook.
  • Rule No. 4 – If you have a date that is anti-social, you might want to rethink that plan. No one wants to deal with “Creepy” at an office holiday party.
  • Rule No. 5 – It’s OK to dance at your holiday office party. It is not OK to dance alone at your holiday office party.
  • Rule No. 6 – You don’t have to ask if your employer will let you expense a cab or Uber ride home. They will — 100 percent of the time. Be safe.
  • Rule No. 7 – Don’t flirt with your office crush at the holiday party. You have 364 days a year you can do that and not look completely desperate.
  • Rule No. 8 – Getting your boss drunk, and making an idiot of her, isn’t funny; it’s career limiting. Be a good “wing-person.”
  • Rule No. 9 – Don’t get all religious at a holiday office party. Yes, I’m sure that Jesus is the reason for the season, but not the office holiday party season. Jesus isn’t into that season.
  • Rule No. 10 – Don’t talk work at the holiday office party. Talk cars, or sports, or kids, or video games, or movies, or books, or anything but work. Get to know your co-workers as people.

One more holiday party rule: Don’t be stupid

I’m different than most HR Pros in that I actually like holiday parties, and company picnics, and every other time we can get together as an organization that isn’t work.

We spend more time with our co-workers than our families in a normal week. Our co-workers become our close friends and extended family. It’s wonderful to break bread with them and just have fun. Learn who they are outside of work, and meet others in their life who are special to them.

So, go have fun. Don’t be stupid. And, order something expensive that you normally wouldn’t do when you’re paying the bill!

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

Topics