The holiday season is rapidly approaching. We know what you’re asking: where the heck did summer go? We totally get it.

Before you know it, it’ll be getting dark at 5 o’clock and a Santa impersonator will be ringing his bell outside of your local Salvation Army store. And with the emergence of Santa, you’ll be reminded that the office holiday party is also right around the corner.

Well, Hornblower’s here to help you through this reoccurring holiday office affair. We’ve devised five office party etiquette tips that you should try your best adhere to in order to successfully connect with your colleagues and superiors, and to avoid becoming the black sheep of the office.


1. Be Prepared for Small Talk
There’s a good chance you’ll bump into you boss or you boss’s boss while trying out the hors d’oeuvres or waiting to get the bartender’s attention at this pseudo-work environment shindig. Don’t panic. Prepare yourself before the party by remembering one or two small or casual things about people you know you’ll need to impress. Also, make an effort to talk with people from the office that you don’t know.

2. If There’s Karaoke, Grab the Mic
For you introverts, this may seem like the biggest task of the night, but we promise you you’ll have fun. If there’s Karaoke going on (which we hope there is), find an office mate and take to the stage. Getting out in front of the office to strut your stuff is a great way to show that you’re a team player. And even if you bomb, everyone will be entertained by your effort.

3. Give a Group Gift to Your Boss
Your boss’s job is tough. Tougher than yours, most likely (even if you feel like you’re always bearing the brunt of the workload). Get the team together before the office holiday party and pick out something you know your boss will like. It’s likely he/she isn’t expecting anything at all, so they’ll be super surprised when the team unveils it to them in the midst of the festivities.

4. Remember, It’s Still Work
With all the holiday music, specialty cocktails, and tasty appetizers, you may start to feel a little comfortable. Just don’t get too comfortable, and remember: this is still work. That means you need to be on your best behavior. Sure, let loose a little, but don’t do anything you wouldn’t otherwise do in your cubicle.

5. Lastly, Don’t Drink Too Much
No matter how stressful the week has been leading up to the office’s holiday party, please, please, please don’t take it out on yourself by lingering near the bar all night. You’ll regret it. If you can, stick to beer or wine, and remember to eat.

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