Surviving the Office Holiday Party

Tips for celebrating with class

Dear Monica, I work for a major firm in the city. I always dread the company holiday party. Significant others are not included. This makes it even more difficult for the single female in the room. I feel like I am navigating my way through a minefield. What are your best suggestions for coming out in one piece? — C.C.  Lansdowne

Holiday parties can be a blast, but sometimes there are those who dip a little too deep into the bowl of eggnog. Besides having your boss and co-workers in the room, there are drinks, music and people wanting desperately to make the most of their night out on the firm’s tab. Eyes and hands may wander, personalities may become even more personable, and there will be those trying to be the center of attention. Here are some tips to make sure no unwanted hands end up on your derriere.

  • You want to look good but not too good. Keep the dress just above the knee and the cleavage tucked away. The last thing you want to do is to make yourself the object of desire amongst the crew.
  • Stop at one drink. Let’s face it — two or three dirty martinis fogs anybody’s  judgment.
  • Make a pact to leave with a female co-worker. No matter how hot the guy may be, you still have to see him every day. As a wise man once said, “Don’t shit where you eat.”
  • Steer clear of the karaoke scene. This is where the heartiest partiers end up. Off-key renditions of Bob Seger songs aren’t going to make your night any prettier.
  • For God’s sake, stay far away from the roving clown with the mistletoe sprig dangling above his head. He is most definitely the one person in the room that you don’t want to kiss.
  • Avoid the storyteller who is nibbling on  pigs-in-a-blanket. This will only lead to crumbs sprayed all over your outfit. And his jokes will inevitably have you grinding your teeth.

Have fun. Find out what everyone is doing for the holidays. Wish one and all season’s greetings, and make sure to eat some hors d’oeuvres as you enjoy your cocktail. Appoint a designated driver before you start drinking. If you follow the above list, returning to the office the next day will be stress free, since none of the gossip flying around will have anything to do with you.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: