How To Survive The

OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY

No holiday festivity strikes fear in the hearts of the working class like the office Christmas party. To get you through this tricky tradition, we've put together some helpful tips that will keep you out of hot water, and in the boss's good graces.
Don't Show Up Empty Handed
Whether you've carefully considered your gift-list, or just pulled a random name out of a hat, choosing the perfect Christmas gift takes some thought. Consider your office atmosphere, the age of the recipients, and their personal interests. Steer clear of gag gifts that could potentially make someone uncomfortable, unless the co-worker is a close personal friend. If you're completely clueless about what to buy, anything edible or drinkable is usually a safe bet — think gourmet chocolate or cookies, or some fancy coffee that the whole office can enjoy come Monday morning.

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Wine Not?
In most workplaces, gifting a bottle wine is usually acceptable, provided that the recipient is of legal drinking age. Avoid hard liquor unless you're 100% sure that your boss is keen to it (for example, if you know that your boss likes to relax with a stiff one, a fine scotch or brandy could potentially win you some major brownie points). Either way, do yourself a favor and steer clear of the cheapest stuff of the shelf &mash; this isn't a frat party you're attending.

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Dress for the Occasion
Make sure you know what attire is appropriate by researching the venue. Meeting for drinks at a sports bar requires different clothing than if your company has rented a ballroom. If you're attending an outdoor party, such as a picnic or sporting event, make sure to check the weather before you select your outfit. Helpful hint: Wearing festive holiday fashion shows that you're actively participating — that Santa hat may seem silly at home, but it will be a great conversation starter and will show everyone that you're upbeat and fun to be with.

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Don't Go Overboard
It's tempting to try to be the life of the party, especially when the boss is footing the bill. This is almost always a mistake, and you'll be far better off if it's someone else's shenanigans that everyone is talking about on Monday morning. If you do end up embarrassing yourself, apologize as soon as possible—don't wait until the new year to face up to your faux pas.

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