The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Office Parties


Ready or not, the holidays are here! We all know what that means: holiday office parties. Whether your company is large or small, almost every office has some kind of holiday celebration. This year at Legion, we will be doing an office potluck with a white elephant gift exchange, trivia, and an ugly sweater contest. No matter what the nature of your holiday party, there are some simple dos and don’ts that everyone should follow.

1. Show up. During this busy time of year, sometimes a work party does not fit perfectly into your schedule. Skipping out, however, doesn’t look good to your coworkers or management. Someone has taken the time to plan the party, so it is a good idea to invest a couple of hours in mingling. Who knows, you may learn the names of some of those people you pass in the hallways each day.

2. Dress Appropriately. Find out what the dress code is from whomever sends the invitation. Some parties are casual with jeans and others are more formal. It’s always better to ask, because there’s nothing worse than showing up to a party with a cocktail dress code in your ugly Christmas sweater. Also, it’s a given that if you normally wear it to the club, you probably shouldn’t wear it to the office party. Unless of course your party is being held at a club, in that case, go for it!

3. Behave Appropriately. You don’t want to be “that person” for any reason. Free alcohol combined with a social atmosphere can make letting loose very tempting. Just remember that you still have to see everyone Monday morning, including those who have a say in your career advancement.

4. Bring a Suitable Gift. Sometimes you won’t need to bring a gift at all, especially if the party is held at a public venue. If a coworker or manager is hosting the party at their home, it is a nice gesture to bring a small token of appreciation such as a bottle of wine. Many offices will do something a little bit more humorous like a white elephant or secret Santa gift exchange. While these gifts can be funny, remember that you are still bringing it to your work event, and there’s always a chance that your boss could be opening that box.


Holiday office parties are either a lot of fun (especially at Legion) or they can be dreaded, mandatory social events. While we can’t help you avoid awkward conversations and intoxicated coworkers, we hope these tips help to put you at ease during this busy time of year!