Dear Ms Manners,
I enjoy Christmas parties because I get a chance to finally relax and have a drink with the people I work with. But what is “appropriate” for this casual event?
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I find it amusing that some etiquette books state that being intoxicated is a sign of a poor upbringing. It must be very exhausting thinking this way!
It is these same books that say you should not have more than one or two drinks but I do not subscribe to these theories for a simple reason: because I know some colleagues that even after one drink they would be dancing with a bar stool and so two drinks would not be pretty.
You ask what is appropriate so here is my rule, and it’s pretty simple: Know what your alcoholic limits are. That’s it. We’re all adults and we are smart enough to know what our behaviours are like after each drink and so be firm with yourself and stop where appropriate.
You are smart, witty, educated, elegant, stylish and great at your job; don’t lose a little bit of that reputation by waking up the morning after as “that person.”
You are worth much more than that.
Work functions are a chance to have conversations with people in your company that you may not ordinarily get in a busy work day. Use all these opportunities to mingle with your colleagues in an informal environment without slurred words or regretful dance moves.
Enjoy your new confidence and the game of etiquette.
Happy festive season!