The Office Christmas Party Vs. Real Life

by Lily Feinn

Our culture may have changed since the days of Mad Men, but the Holiday Office Party remains the one sacrosanct place where the normal rules inhibiting our behavior simply don’t exist. When you let the animals out of their cubicles, it should come as no surprise that a bacchanal frenzy may take place. So put on that office inappropriate dress, strap that flask to your hips (whatever dry party), and enter the only safe space our overly corporate work culture still allows us! Just remember to leave the lampshade at home.

Now, depending on how corporate and fancy-schmancy your company is, some of these parties can be buttoned up and lame. In which case, you have to make your own fun. Create a drinking game — like taking a shot every time someone says “year end review” or “tax write-off.” You might not want to get so crunk in front of your boss that you’re photocopying your butt or grinding rhythmically with Cheryl from HR to R Kelly’s Ignition. Cheryl has two teenage kids! But you really can get away with a lot during the party and we suggest you take the opportunity to do so. You don’t want to wait another twelve stupid months to tell your work crush how you really feel, or to harbor a grudge against Fran because the five dollar coffee gift card she gave you for Secret Santa was the f**king pits. She works in New Media, she should know better!

1. Getting (A Tad) Too Tipsy

You’ve spent the entire year carefully measuring out how many drinks to have at office happy hours before getting loopy. When you stay in control, you keep that professional barrier intact. Well, shields down Captain, because the Christmas party ain’t about restraint. Hit the punch bowl early and hit if often, because the one thing you don’t want to be is the one sober person in your conference room on a Wednesday night at 9 p.m.

2. Dancing Like Nobody’s Watching (When Everybody Is Watching)

Did you know that Kirk also shared a love of all things Taylor Swift? Of course you didn’t! He works in accounting and you have no reason to visit him during the year. But once a year, you and that nerd from accounting can share your mutual love of TayTay or get down to the rhythmic beats of XX. Heck, you might even get Mr. Jacobsen to join in — he heard it was all the rage on NPR!

3. Staking Out The Buffet Table So You Get First Pick On Food

Sandra makes macarons once a year. She spends seven painful hours in her kitchen with her oven door open to deliver delightful French treats to the masses. You owe it to Sandra to be the first in line to gobble up all that pastry goodness because NO ONE appreciates Sandra like you do. Certainly not Jerry, who keeps rocking the stale store bought cupcakes — Jerry's the worst.

4. Singing Karaoke Loudly... Even If You Don't Know The Lyrics

It’s time to make a name for yourself around the office, even if maybe you are not the most sober at the moment. This is your one chance to show off your chops, and let all them paper pushers know, you are the second coming of Adele. They will worship you come next Monday.

5. Proclaiming Your Undying Love To Your Work-Husband Or Work-Wife

This has been on the backburner for at least a year. An accidental hand hold at the copy machine, long meaningful looks during board meetings, and the late night projects where both of you had to eat out of the same Chinese carton. You guys go together better than egg rolls and scallion pancakes — if only you could only get over your shyness. Now it’s your chance to confess your love with very little repercussions. You can drunkenly proclaim your affection without any fear that it’s going to change the dynamic the next day. So grab your hubby or your wifey and tell them how amazing the last year has been — from a professional standpoint of course ;)

6. Kissing Everybody Under The Mistletoe (Heck, You Brought Your Own)

The nuclear weapon of the holiday party, and you have your finger on the button. If the corporate event is flagging, grab that cute graphic designer from the second floor you've been making eyes at all year for a quick peck. What happens at the office holiday party ... kind of hopefully stays there.

7. Telling Sarah From Accounting To Shove It

You spent 99 percent of the year having your brilliance thwarted by the petty tyrants in your office. So many communiques delayed because they lacked the proper stamp or didn’t “go through the proper channels.” Well, heads up, Sarah, because you are about to get some truth bombs dropped on you! If you're wondering where those TPS reports are, you can find them quietly burning in the the nearby wastebasket, where there may or may not be several drunk officemates roasting s'mores.

8. Buying A Crappy Secret Santa Gift

The rules of this are tricky depending on if you have to reveal your identity at the end. However, if you get to remain anonymous, it’s beef jerky and lotto tickets for Mark from Accounts Receivable. And even if it isn’t anonymous, at least Mark will have a story to tell when he gets home to his three gremlin children that he won't stop showing you pics of.

9. Being A Little Too Honest With Your Coworkers

You spend most of the year looking at the tiny little tchotchkes littering your co-worker’s desk or the omnipresent smiles of their spawn. Well this is your chance to deploy the truth-pedos on everyone. Renee, I’m sorry, but the smell of the lunch that you bring from home torments peoples’s nostrils and their dreams. The truth hurts, but thankfully eggnog makes it go down easier.

10. Puking In The Bathroom, Like A Boss!

The sweet soothing feeling of a cold tile floor. This is your one chance to take as much time as you want in the roomiest stall and not feel guilty. Enjoy it even as your best workmate is pulling your hair back from from your face. (Of course, this can never leave the ladies room. Ever.)

If you need something to get you in the office party mood, check out this clip:

And remember, egg nog can pack a real punch, so you might need to call in sick the next few days. Oh no!