Christmas decorations - santa suits

Christmas Office Party Etiquette

By Kristen Machut

Tips to consider when getting together with co-employees this holiday

You really don't want a Xerox copy of your bare fanny floating around the office the day after the big company holiday party. And you probably don't want to make any moves or remarks to a co-worker that might lead to a harassment suit...otherwise known as "HR Moments." So how should you "let go" at the company party without losing your "professional" side?

Foremost...the mistletoe rule need not apply at the office!

We suggest party-etiquette guidelines you might want to consider. See also the Top 10 Office Party tips! As Amy Wall writes, "The idea [behind an office party] is to bring together people who spend most of their waking hours toiling under fluorescent lighting and throw them into a social occasion. It's (theoretically) good for morale.

Many may think a party is a good excuse to "escape" from a working environment and where this may be true, beware! Tonight is not the night ask out the associate you've been eyeing up for the last 6 months...

A note about spirits...Wall suggests having one or more company executives serving as "celebrity bartenders." "The appearance of an authority figure at the bar," she writes, "can encourage moderation while simultaneously improving inner-office relations."

Whether or not to include alcohol depends on the corporate culture. Some outfits like their associates to relax and let their hair down once in a while; others find such behavior unbecoming, particularly on the work premises. If you prefer, hold a company holiday party away from work. Many restaraunts have large banquet rooms or quaint lounges and it's always nice to welcome your guests to new surroundings. This way it also gives people a chance to dress up!

On that note, less is not necessarily better. Don't be afraid to jazz it up, but keep skin covered and cleavage to a minimum. Still dress appropriately and according to company rules. You want your true colors to shine through, but don't distract others with too much bare skin.

Last but not least, it's best to start planning early. Get a decorating committe together and a few people to organize the basics. You don't want to get stressed out when you should be enjoying the occasion.