During Christmas and the holiday season, the festive spirit and relaxed mood even extends into the workplace where the pace is likely to slow considerably as the volume of work is lessened. By having parties at work, everyone can unwind a bit, have some fun and enjoy the satisfaction from the results of a year of hard work. Colleagues at work can celebrate goals that have been accomplished and look forward to an even more rewarding year.

Parties at work during Christmas and the holidays may include a voluntary gift exchange and individuals have to make a decision whether or not they will participate in it. In a situation where an individual may not know other colleagues very well and is unsure what Christmas present to give, it may be better to opt out of exchanging gifts. If the party and gift exchange is among a fairly large group, such as company-wide or of several departments, it may not be noticed if someone doesn’t participate in the gift exchange. If it’s a small group however, it is likely to be noticed. To eliminate the possibility of any negative talk regarding non-participation, it would likely be better to be among those agreeing to exchange gifts.

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A basic thing to remember in selecting gifts for Christmas gift exchanges at work, which are usually called Secret Santa, is to not choose anything that could be considered inappropriate or offensive. Although the sender won’t be revealed, it won’t leave a good feeling and it will become the topic of conversation among everyone.

Separate from the ‘Secret Santa’ Christmas gift exchange at work, it may also be a good gesture to give Christmas presents, which can be small tokens or even just candies or treats, to colleagues in a division or department if you are the respective leader or manager. Such a gesture shows thoughtfulness and that the work of individuals has been appreciated. It will be a good note on which to end the year and to start a new one.

Another important thing to observe during Christmas parties at work is good behavior that is considered casual but still business-like. Although there will be much fun and laughter, it will still be occurring within a work environment or within the parameters of work. So, individuals will still be observed by their colleagues. It is of utmost importance to be careful about how much drinking is done, or how much alcohol is consumed, because drunken or any offensive behavior will not be tolerated and could have negative repercussions on one’s career.

The consideration of good etiquette is also something to be remembered and observed at holiday parties at work. As examples, talking and laughing with food in one’s mouth, emptying a platter of delicious hors d’ouevres or bagging candies, cookies or treats to take home are all considered poor etiquette.

A Christmas party at work can also provide an opportunity to have a brief conversation with supervisors, managers and other company officials whom one may not come in contact with frequently. It can be the ideal time to leave a good impression on a key decision maker. By introducing yourself and striking up a conversation, it is also putting a face to a name or making yourself known and standing out among fellow colleagues. For those who are strivers and who want to advance such interactions at work holiday and Christmas parties can be beneficial and advantageous.

It’s therefore important to keep in mind that while Christmas parties at work are fun, there are still ways to inconspicuously seek some benefit while you laugh and enjoy a break from the stress, competitiveness and daily routine of work.

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