The Office Christmas Party Approaches: Dont Panic!

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Lets face it, not everyone has been lucky enough this year to escape the ubiquitous work or office Christmas party this year. For some of us, the economic downturn has not been vicious enough, and well have to go through with it. But in a way, the office Christmas party is a thing unique and existing completely outside other social events, it has a life and spirit of its own, and neednt be entirely suffered. In its own cringe-worthy way, its a time to celebrate the years common hard work.

What to wear this year: There seems to be a proliferation this winter of floral print dresses, as well as long-sleeved and detail dresses. The look is one of dark colours offset by printed designs, and bunching or cowl fronts are making an appearance. Cooler than the look is dainty, were seeing a return of vertigo-striped black and white numbers, one shoulder dresses and gauzy hem dresses.

What to remember: The words I didnt see anything. Take shelter from the chattering of who-will-kiss-who and the speculating on boozy Christmas snogs with a policy of unseeing. If you maintain neutral, the gossips will soon get bored of you and gravitate to a more scandalous party guest, leaving you free to enjoy yourself. Youll be thanked for your tight-lipped approached on Monday with shy nods from the guilty parties anyhow.

What else?: Put on your best quality make-up, your favourite and most elegant, and take a few supplies if needed. If youre trapped with a boor, you can always find your way to the ladies on the pretext of powdering your nose. If things are going well, you neednt spend half the night in front of the mirror missing the bosss unintentional Ricky Gervais dance tribute.

What to bring: Good, imaginative Secret Santa presents. As most offices tend to have a limit on the price, youre not likely to have to worry about putting yourself into poverty. The main thing to concentrate on is thoughtfulness: something relevant to the recipients tastes that shows youve been listening. No matter how cheap, the sentiment will be appreciated. Jot down ideas in advance, to give yourself a hand.

What to participate in: Everything, no matter how gaudy or pained, contrived and slightly embarrassing. The office Christmas party is exactly that, and you might as well enter into the spirit of things and show some good will. Wear the silly hat; stick the post-it note to your forehead and play the guessing game. Accept that youre not exactly in any hurry to impress the people from accounts, or the IT support staff.

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