There are so many holiday parties this time of year: the family party, the friend’s party, the neighbor’s party. But there’s really one party that I look forward to the most, the office holiday party.  It’s a time where you see your coworkers and their guests in a different environment, in a whole new light. Granted, you might occasionally hang out outside of the office, but the holiday party is a whole different level. That once a year level. Everyone’s office holiday party is different, but I’m going out on a limb and guessing that three specific people attend your holiday parties:


The Should’ve Switched to Water Co-worker: The co-worker who decided, yes, it was appropriate to pull out their college drinking skills.  Trust me, I’m not judging, I admire the skills, I just don’t think it’s the right time to showcase them. By all means, imbibe and indulge but it’s probably not the best idea to drink your boss under the table or challenge her to a chugging contest. We’ve all heard about “that guy” from last year’s party and seen the office party etiquette news articles. Yet, there’s still always someone who fills this role. Always.


The Hot Date: This guest always accompanies a co-worker. Whether it’s the outfit, great bone structure or personality, your co-worker’s date has got it going on. And on the second cocktail you begin to ask yourself “She’s with him? Really?” Yes, sometimes the world just isn’t fair.  Sometimes the Cruella Devilles and Ugly Bettys of the world find George Clooneys and there is nothing you can do about it. Or is there? The bartender slides cocktail number four across the bar, and after a few sips, you decide you no longer want to ask yourself this question, but you want to ask him. “What does a gorgeous, athletic, witty man-babe see in your materialistic, slightly heavy, yet still a bit promiscuous, humorless co-worker?” And the fact that you’re there without a date isn’t helping the situation. The “What does she have that I don’t have?” question couldn’t be more relevant. My advice? Think holiday cheer and karma, bite your tongue and head back to the bar for cocktail number five.


Crickets: This one isn’t quite so obvious.  Any guesses? Whether it’s your co-worker or a co-workers guest, this person just doesn’t like conversation, not even small talk. You initiate, “So, what do you do for work?” “I’m a lawyer.” “Oh that’s great! Where?” “A law firm.”,  “Oh nice.” Crickets. Crickets. Crickets. The silence is deafening. So you try again, on a smaller scale, “It’s really getting cold out there.” You know what’s coming. “Yeah.” Crickets. Crickets. Crickets. Thinking third times a charm? You’re too kind. You say,  “What are your plans for the holidays?” “Not really sure yet.” Crickets. Crickets. Crick – just walk away. Don’t even say bye. Don’t even pretend that you’re heading to the bathroom or grabbing another drink at the bar. You’ve already tried. This guy is socially inept, and this condensed version of conversation, although at first oddly hilarious, is now completely unbearable. You’re 100% allowed to abandon these conversations without politely excusing yourself. 100%. Go.


Really, the list is endless. But I kid you not, the three I just mentioned attend pretty much every holiday office party. Best part? Always a different three. New people, same roles. Every year. So I look forward to it. When I head into my office holiday party I know I can always count on great food, great drink and those three great legendary attendees.