Survival Guide: Top 10 Ways to Survive Holidays at Work


December 12, 2012

work-partyAre you starting to feel the stress and pressure of holidays at work?  From knowing which ones people celebrate and when it’s appropriate to ask, to feeling guilty if you don’t want to participate at all, I’ve heard all the reasons that workers don’t like this time of year at work.  Here are my top 10 ways to make it through December unscathed:

  1. The holiday pot luck-  Don’t go for it.  If you have to bring something, opt for napkins or plates.  Stick to the store-bought food… you never know who made those Christmas cookies that look like Santa but are a little fuzzy.
  2. The office gift exchange-  I’ve often been lulled or even guilted into playing along with the office “Secret Santa” game.  Don’t follow suit!  You know who I always got stuck with?  The boss.  Or that one person I worked with that seemed a little creepy.  The only easy way to get around it is to just “forget” to put your name in, then say to your co-workers that you’d just rather see the joy on their faces as they get their $10 worth of holiday trinkets over the next week.
  3. To decorate or not to decorate-  You know what?  I spend a few days trying to put up three Christmas trees, decorate all throughout my house and even put up all the blow up and light up figures in my front yard.  The last thing I want to do is decorate at work.  If you must, grab a poinsettia at your local grocery store for your desk and be done with it.  Who needs the hassle?
  4. Holiday sweaters-  Steer clear!  The only time that is fun is….never.
  5. Adopt-A-Family-  Obviously the best thing to get involved in.  No matter what your holiday politics at work, this is a winner.  Who doesn’t have fun buying toys and needed items for a family?  If you’re investing in participating in anything, this is YOUR thing.
  6. The dreaded holiday party-  I’ll keep this one simple because you can find 100 other posts that detail all the things you need to do to survive the holiday party.  My advice is simple.  Don’t get drunk.  Be professional.  If you don’t think you can handle those two things, don’t go.  Simple.
  7. Holiday cards-  For clients, yay.  For all your office, nay.
  8. Holiday vacation time-  If you’re lucky enough to grab it on the schedule in January, do it.  Otherwise, plan to be annoyed each year between Christmas and New Years when you’re the only one in the office.
  9. December workload-  Here’s a concept…. actually use December to get ahead for the coming year.  You know why?  All your colleagues are slacking this month because of all the holiday distractions.  Then they all have to work twice as hard in January to get caught back up.  Don’t fall prey to this one.  Keep the pace in December so that you can ease into the new year.
  10. Gifts for the boss-  Best not to do it.  If you must, a bottle of wine or nice ornament can do the trick.  Keep it generic.  And red.  Never give white wine.

So there you have it…my simple guide to surviving the holidays at work.  Do any of these hit close to home for you?  Just remember to try not to go too crazy on the spiced egg nog and you should be fine.

Happy Holidays!

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 17.20.39

About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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