Illustration by Antony Hare for Gentleman's Journal

How to survive the office Christmas party

Gentleman’s Journal serves up a festivity-filled survival guide...

The mere existence of office Christmas parties is a mystery — who enjoys them? Who would voluntarily sit in the basement of a budget hotel eating turkey-wrapped-in-what-might-be-bacon next to non-friends who they’re contractually obliged to speak to every day?

dinner party wine

They’re the crescent of forced fun, where CEOs cheerily greet employees they’d usually just ignore. Nobody sits next to Janice from Haych-R and prepares for a rip-roaring evening of laughter and joy.

Fear not, though. Gentleman’s Journal serves up a festivity-filled guide to ensure you survive the Office Party.

Rule One: Organise it

This job is usually left to the girl who’s just left Manchester with a 2:2 in Sociology. The boss (her godmother) knows she’s good at partying, so it’s become her first task. She’s probably called Sophie.

dinner party wine

Stop Sophie in her tracks by distracting her with fictitious but meaningful tasks. Seize the opportunity to organise the party yourself and make it a lunch, on a work day. Booze will be served but you can ensure that the day finishes by 3pm, with taxis waiting to take everyone home.

Rule Two: Screw Secret Santa

These gatherings invariably include the perfectly horrific practice of secretly gifting unwanted tat to co-workers. Make this the final year of this appalling pastime by offending your colleagues with your present.

dinner party wine

Is Steve overweight? Give him a gym membership. Does Sophie have bad breath? Mouthwash. Do you have an employee who’s incredibly irritating? Wrap up a P45 in Santa Baby paper and see whether Secret Santa is repeated next year…

Rule Three: Drink Heavily

The easiest way of getting through the office party is to suspend your taste buds and plough through the Blue Nun like a crazed man in a convent. If the intoxication causes the wine to re-emerge, fear not — throwing up over Hayley from accounts is a guaranteed ticket home.

Do, however, carefully manage your intoxication level: enough that you’re sharing ill-considered opinions on the benefits of Brexit, but not so much that Hayley becomes the target of your lust.

dinner party wine

Ask yourself this: Would you rather go to the Christmas Party, or take the cash equivalent? A simple question with a simple answer. So stop putting up with these gatherings simply because everyone else does.

Ask your boss for the £20 instead and ensure this year is the last year of playing drunk-charades with people you have to see the following morning.

Looking for more party season advice? Here’s how to avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas…

Further Reading