Also available on The Calgary Herald’s The Q.

Christmas is getting closer and closer, which means that over the next couple of weeks your company will hopefully be hosting their annual Christmas party. The yearly ritual is a time for you and your co-workers to get together and celebrate your companies success and hopefully dance the night away.

I’ve actually been lucky (and in some cases unlucky) enough to have worked the Christmas party business the last three years and I have seen the highs and lows of many of Calgary’s biggest and best parties. Which is why I thought I would help everyone out by coming up with a list of the things you shouldn’t do at your staff Christmas party. No matter how risky your financial portfolio has become over the past couple of months.

1. Respect the Open Bar. Many people think an open bar means drink as much as you can, as fast as you can. Pace yourself. You are not teenagers and your parents are not out of town. An Open Bar is a think of beauty that is to be enjoyed all night long, not just until you start throwing up before dessert is even served. Also important, don’t start doing shooters until the bosses leave. Don’t worry, they know to not overstay their welcome.

2. If your Christmas Party has a professional photographer, get your picture taken as soon as you can. Because after a night of drinking, dancing and eating, you will never look as good as you do the minute you take off your coat.

3. It’s work party. Nobody wants to talk about work. This is however the perfect time to talk to that co-worker you’ve always shared the elevator with but never said hello.

4. When your server asks you if you have any dietary concerns or allergies, the correct answer is not: “Yes, I can only eat steak and lobster.” That is an annoying answer, especially because servers will hear it 27 more times that same night.

5. When your bosses announce at the party to “relax, have a great time and celebrate this festive season.” What they actually mean is that this isn’t really a party to them, more like a meeting with wreaths where they can see how you really act. Don’t make an ass of yourself, your boss is watching, they are always watching.

Follow these simple rules and not only will you have a great Christmas party, you will also have a job to go back to on Monday.

Mike Morrison