Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Office Party Survival Tips You Can Actually Use

You know what's not useful? Lists people post on the Internet around the holidays entitled "How to Survive The Office Christmas Party in 12 Easy Steps". First off, 12 is way too big of a number of steps for my caffeine* ravaged brain to handle. Second, they all seem to offer useless advice like "You have to go" and "Ask people questions" or, my favorite, "Don't photocopy your butt", because, Dude, hasn't every sitcom in the world addressed this party faux pas like a thousand times? So, I'm making my own list.  Because it's Christmas, and I stupidly followed all those bossy people on the Internet's first tip of "You have to go" and attended Jon's work party last weekend, and, really, what else was I supposed to do there?

Rule #1: Dress fancy.
And fancy has rules. Apparently. For instance, items on the "approved fancy list": 1) your grandmother's art deco necklace, 2) dresses you didn't buy in 1999, 3) heels.  On the other hand, items on the "not approved fancy list": 1) the comfy sweater your aunt knitted your grandpa in 1972, 2) your jumping jack Santa pin you've had since you were six, 3) TURKEY! hats, 4) anything you wore to the holiday party last year, 5) running shoes. In other words, I had to go shopping this year. Because Mabel, Geraldine and Belinda made me.

Rule #2: Brush up on your baby sign language.
This is especially useful if it's one of those lame office parties with like, music and a dance floor and stuff, because communicating to your spouse that "shoes hurt" and "want cookie"  is a lot less embarrassing if you don't have to yell.

Rule #3: Wear a slip.
Seriously, get one, even if you have to rip the last slip JC Penney has on their shelves out of a 90 year old woman's hands.  Because, eventually, sometime during the night it will totally cover your butt.  Literally.  Because of science. And wool coats. And because, inevitably, the restroom will be located on the complete other side of the bar. Where all the people are. That you have to walk past.  Because of science again, or really psychology, which is "almost real science" according to Jon.

Rule #4: Pack extra panty hose.
Also, I shouldn't even have to say this, but, it's totally true.  Because you never know.  

Rule #5: Bring one of those over the door restroom hooks.
Because washing your hands with your purse, coat and scarf clenched between your knees while balancing on three inch heels is hard.  Plus, when women walk into the restroom to find you splayed against the wall, heels askew, coat dropped on the floor, scarf between your teeth, giggling, and insisting "I haven't even had my one glass of wine yet!" they totally don't believe you.  At. All.

I did think about making my list all even and adding a Rule #6 about how to converse easily with people you don't know in holiday party situations. But, after spending the night making socially awkward hand gestures, mooning everyone, and finding myself practically sprawled on the restroom floor, it was probably best the DJ was too busy bustin' the Christmas tunes to really have a chance to engage people in conversation, so we left. Plus, it was like 9:30 and the coffee carafe was empty. Strangely enough.

*Fun fact: I only drank coffee in actual coffee shops before I had kids.  So, if you think about it, having kids basically drove me to drink.


  1. I have so much appreciation for this article and I love your wise and sage advice except for the part about not wearing a Turkey Hat. :-)

    1. I know! TURKEY! hats are amazing! Although, Pearl told me flat out not to bring it to Christmas this year because, apparently, she thinks it would encourage Mom or something. Like Mom needs any encouragement! :)