How to Handle an Office Holiday Party

By: Butch Ewing

December 16, 2013



Office Holiday Party

It’s that time of the year again. No, we are not talking about the happy, exciting, monumental Christmas morning. We are talking about the time leading up to that moment.

The moments spent running from store to store, trying to find the perfect gift for every person in your life. Constantly having to purchase new outfits in order to attend every holiday party. And among all these exciting holiday parties you are attending lies the dreaded office holiday party.

Yes, you see these people every. single. day. And now you get the privilege of spending the evening with them. Let’s be honest, there are probably things you would rather be doing than attending this particular party.

We don’t mean to make assumptions; maybe you work in an amazing office and absolutely love all of your co-workers. Spending an evening with these people is your perfect night. Then have a cocktail. Relax. Enjoy your evening.

For everyone else, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Think of your office party as another holiday party except if you embarrass yourself, you may lose your job. Just kidding. But not really.

Follow these guidelines or join the planning committee to make the most of the event.


Arrive on Time

This isn’t a wild night out on the town. There is no need to show up fashionably late. If you choose to show up late, then you will be leaving late. Showing up early allows you plenty of time to mingle with co-workers and get out of there early. Don’t be that person who is the last to show up and first to leave. Just don’t.

Late Arrival


For goodness sake, do not pre-game. Nothing good can come out of that. As we already stated, this isn’t supposed to be the wildest night of your life. This is still the group of people you work with every day. If you want to have a drink beforehand to take the edge off, do it sparingly. Don’t show up drunk. There will most likely be alcohol there, and once you’ve started, there is no going back.


Don’t throw your holiday party at the office. You spend all week there. No one wants to stay in the office any longer than they have to. Not to mention, no one is going to let loose in that setting. After all, this is a place of business.

Office Space Humor

Dress Appropriately

If you aren’t sure what to wear, ask your fellow co-workers. You don’t want to show up to an event that’s already awkward on its own and feel even more uncomfortable. When in doubt, it’s always better to dress up than down. That’s a little piece of advice you can take with you for life.


This is a great time NOT to discuss work. I’m sure that is the last thing your boss wants to hear about while sipping a cocktail. Make small talk. Ask unique questions. Maybe you will learn some new and interesting facts about the people you work alongside every day. This doesn’t mean you should go off and say anything that comes to mind. Your superiors are still your superiors, and that doesn’t change just because you are exchanging words over a cocktail rather than a desk. Have great conversations. Just be mindful of what you say.

Office Party

Cut Loose

I know. Sounds hypocritical. We’ve gone into detail to stress that this is still a “business” setting, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uptight. I’m not saying that dancing on tables would be an appropriate way to cut loose, but it’s okay to have some fun and dance. It’s a party after all. People want to have a good time and enjoy themselves. It’s okay to leave some of your work self at the office and bring out that inner party animal. Just use good judgment.


Having live music is a surefire way to get people up and dancing. If you book a band, you will rest assured knowing exactly what type of music will be playing throughout the evening. You don’t have to worry about explicit music bumping out of your speakers and the 22 year old intern taking that as a sign to channel their past collegiate days.

Know Your Setting

Every office holiday party is different. If it seems like the place to really cut loose and make some epic memories, then do so. If you aren’t sure, then play it on the safe side and don’t be that guy who is spoken about for years to come. These are still the people you work with every day. No one can really give you advice on how to act, so use your good judgment when it comes to making questionable decisions.

Office Humor


Have a bite to eat before you get there in order to absorb some of the alcohol that may be freely flowing, but don’t eat so much that you are completely full by the time you get there. You want to be able to mingle with people without worrying about your stomach rumbling or that you are about to get a little too sloshed due to an empty stomach. Sure there will probably be food there, but you don’t want to be that person who starts drinking, realizes they forgot to eat, then stands by the table shoveling down food in hopes that it reaches your stomach before those last four cocktails do.

Help a Sister Out

We’ve all been there. Had one to many drinks and are suddenly feeling, well actually, you are not feeling. If you see one of your co-workers have been “over-served” and has taken the opportunity to profess their love to their office crush, don’t just stand on the sidelines. Walk over and do your best to prevent them from embarrassing themselves so much that they can’t show up to work the next day. Now, be careful because there is a very fine line between helping and overstepping your bounds. If you think that someone is feeling a little too good, walk over and try to participate in their conversation as to diffuse the situation a little. You don’t want to call someone out only to find they just have a bold personality and you just completely offended them in your good deed. Especially if said person is your boss, then DO NOT try to step in and say anything. Ever. At the end of the day, they are not going to fire themselves for inappropriate behavior and you can bet your last tail feather that no one is going to call them out for embarrassing themselves. So look out for the little people. Leave no man behind.

Office Party Humor


No matter what kind of office environment you work in, just remember to enjoy yourself and have fun. Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

If you’re looking for a great band that can make your office party one that anyone can enjoy, consider The Classic Swing Band. For more than 10 years, The Classic Swing Band of Dallas has offered some of the best live entertainment for a wide variety of events and programs. Whether your event needs a small ensemble or a full big band sound, The Classic Swing Band has the professionalism and “class” that will be a welcome addition to any function requiring real live music!