From the classic awkward long-table lunch to the big company blow-out, here's our top five. Pass the house white...
Got your office Christmas party looming? It’s probably one of these…
1. The big company blow-out
When the large company you work for runs hours that nudge into the ‘indentured slavery’ zone, management attempts to blow away the year’s resentment by throwing vast amounts of money at a massive, swanky, white tie Christmas party. Who cares if you don’t ever see your kids, there’s a Moet bar and they’ve booked out half of Cirque du Soleil! As the Big Company Blow-Out can stretch to the thousand guest mark, it’s also a prime opportunity for your single colleague to hook up with a man from a distant department you never knew existed. Of course, the office hook-up gods dictate that come January this colleague will end up sitting red-faced in her first ever meeting in that very same department.
2. The awkward long-table lunch
Everyone’s December diaries are too full for an evening party so in the week before Christmas your team of 25 decamps to the nearest Zizzi for the group Festive Set Menu deal (3 courses and a glass of prosecco, £19.95). The smart ones claim their seats early, but a badly timed trip to loo leaves you with a single spot at the other end of the table talking to Mark from Strategy about all the different stages of his commute, until you both lapse into silence, lean on the table and sadly observe the better conversation going on down at the other end.
3. The wine-bar binge
The setting: a roped-off section of booths with ice buckets of wine purchased in advance by the office manager. A combination of free-flowing booze and no food leads to one colleague getting drunk and shouty, three decamping to a corner to slur their way through every office grievance of the past year and two realising they have always just ‘misunderstood’ one another, ending the night in a tearful, silent hug.
4. The tiny team bender
You work in a small office so your boss plans a low-key team Christmas dinner at a restaurant. But unexpectedly, by pudding everyone is steaming drunk and Quiet Joanne has revealed her secret early career as an exotic dancer. Here begins the unexpected bender, which propels the dinner onto a noisy cocktail bar, a nightclub and then back to someone’s house for a nightcap. “Who knew Boring John was such a legend?” you think when you wake the following morning with a styrofoam of decimated cheesy chips on your bedside table.
5. The ‘think outside the box’ party
Your boss just ran her third ultra marathon and doesn’t see enough bonding potential in a ‘normal’ office Christmas party. That’s why you all end up in a converted airport hangar at 10am on a Friday morning in colour-coded team Santa hats, attempting to transport a ball 100 feet using a stretch of rubber tube, a ball of string and a coat hanger. Ho Ho Ho.
Need to find a novelty Christmas jumper? Here’s Marie Claire’s edit of the best.
What’s the biggest office Christmas party mood killer?
We conducted a quick Twitter poll and you answered…
35% A co-worker getting drunk and shouty
22% The bar going dry
41% A married colleague hitting on you
2% You misreading the signs and asking the CEO for a pay rise