Holiday Etiquette Tips

To Do Or Not To Do

This year, I thought it’d be helpful to talk about something people are always confused about: etiquette. Specifically Christmas/Holiday/Chanukah party etiquette! Fear not: thanks to Cairns Dining, we are about to clear the proverbial, office-party air.

1. What should you wear to an office party? Or rather, what should you not wear?
Men: First of all, know where you’re going and dress accordingly. It is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed; ask any woman which she would prefer. Dark pants, slacks or suits are best. They’re the most flattering and they hide spills. Your shirt should be collared and ironed: do not skip this step. Also, make sure you are relatively comfortable as you will likely be standing most of the evening. And please, no ugly Christmas sweaters!

Women: Showing more skin than in a normal office setting is a no. LBD’s are versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on the venue. Unless the venue screams otherwise, smart, business casual is the optimal look for these types of functions. Most importantly, make sure your shoes are comfortable. Also, bring a light sweater or shawl; you don’t want to freeze your you-know-whats in front of a crowd.

2. Say what you need to say… but not always what you want to.
First of all, don’t talk shop. Everyone has worked all day, just like you, and the last thing they want to do is talk about it some more. Besides, how can you get to know the people you work with more if all you ever talk about is… well… work! Be attentive and ask interesting questions to better acquaint yourself with your coworkers.

Secondly, avoid the red buttons: politics, sex, religion, women, race, and toilet humour. Not everyone may be watching their alcohol intake, and some topics are best left alone lest a heated debate spoil the evening. You don’t want to be the talk of the office for the next year.

3. To pig or not to pig, that is the question.
If your evening’s event is entirely free, please help yourself to the free-poured drinks and delectable food. However, that does not mean you have a free reign to act however you wish. Know your own limits. A simple way to avoid any embarrassing intolerance mishaps is to alternate drinks: for every alcoholic beverage, drink a non-alcoholic one. Men, this isn’t a competition on how much you can drink. Get some tonic water and a lime and call it a G&T if you don’t want to be seen as “unmanly.” Drink enough to loosen yourself up a bit, but not enough to make yourself tipsy. And please, whatever you do, do not drive home if you’ve had one or two too many. Get a taxi or book a service to drive you and your car home. If worse comes to worse, or you want to plan ahead, book a hotel room nearby. And last, but not least, no kissing anyone other than your spouse or partner at the company party – even then, keep it rated G. Ensure your reputation – and that of your company – is in good standing for the new year.