Dress up, be merry. (Xmas Party guide part two.)

Now that your Christmas Party is finally organised and everyone knows where they are going, it’s time to give you some guidance on how to behave when you actually get there.

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve always followed the rules, I was young once but I have learned from my mistakes (I hope) and you can learn from them too.

What to wear.

For most, the Xmas Party is one of the biggest nights out of the year so why not dress up? Dressing up means different things to different people. You may want to wear a full dinner suit, that is fine. You will look like a bit of a dick but that is fine.

To others, dressing up might mean running an iron over their shirt and putting on a clean pair of Y fronts, at least they are entering into the Christmas spirit.

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I am consulting with my favourite fashion blogger about my Christmas outfit. We are currently poles apart on our views but I am sure we can come to a compromise where I am right and she is wrong.

Surprising as it may seem, I don’t have a lot of rules when it comes to dressing up, if people feel good, I am generally ok with it. But as always, there are exceptions.

Chance are that if you are heading out in December, it is going to be a bit nippy. The decision on whether to wear a winter coat or not is largely dependant on your age and how keen you are on hypothermia. I’m a fan of the winter coat myself but there are restrictions. A smart winter coat is ok, an anorak is not. The idea is to dress up, not to look homeless.

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Contrary to my fashion consultants views, pockets are good. You need somewhere to carry your wallet, phone, battery charger, camera, Gaviscon, the Christmas essentials.

My views on fancy dress were covered in the previous blog. Do it if you must but don’t try to involve anybody else.

There is currently a law going through parliament to force people who wear festive antlers or Santa hats to queue in a different part of the pub to normal drinkers. The ‘Part time drinkers’ legislation has struggled in the past due to politicians wanting an easy way to identify those who only drink once a year. Whilst the antlers and Santa hat rule won’t capture all of them, it’s a bloody good start.

There is however a line to be drawn and that line is Christmas Jumpers. Like your Grandad telling racist jokes around the Christmas dinner table, their time is long gone, if it ever existed.

You are not being ironic by wearing the ‘worst’ Christmas Jumper, they are all the worst. Buying a cheap bit of tat knocked up by a three year old orphan in India is not really entering into the Christmas spirit.

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If you try and bully others into wearing Christmas Jumpers, you need to have a long hard look at yourself. What are you trying to achieve? Humiliating others is not what Christmas is all about.

Getting drunk is.

What to drink.

This section should probably be called ‘what not to drink’. We’ve all overindulged at Christmas and I am no exception. I’m sure there are many tales people can tell about my drunkenness at Christmas (I will sue) but this isn’t about me, it’s about you.

The simple rule is drink what you would normally drink the rest of the year. Don’t assume that as it is Christmas, your body has suddenly developed a festive filter which handles whatever alcohol you hoy down your neck. A glass of wine with your meal is fine, a couple bottles of red after an all day session probably isn’t. If you don’t normally drink spirits, why do you think drinking vodka, tequila or rum is going to end well for you? I guarantee you that it will not.

Most importantly of all, if you don’t normally drink, don’t start drinking at Christmas. You won’t be ‘letting your hair down’ apart from letting it down the pot when you are bing sick on it.

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Police reports show that the spike in murders in December is largely down to part time drinkers. They aren’t committing the murders, they are too pissed, they are usually the victims after holding up the queue at the bar or pinching someone’s bottom after morphing into a 1970’s sitcom character.

The major factor in whether people behave themselves at Christmas is who is paying for the drinks. If the individual is paying, they will baulk at paying city centre prices or paying the inflated costs at a Christmas venue. If there is a free bar or their boss is paying, they will fill their boots, sometimes quite literally.

I used to work with someone who I won’t name for fear of embarrassing him. He loved a free drink and demolished so much free wine at a Christmas Party that he knocked a table of drinks over, ruining somebody’s jacket, fell asleep at the table and then he was removed by bouncers who were only there to keep uninvited guests from getting into the party. He returned to work after Christmas sporting a big scar on his forehead that he claimed was from his child hitting him with a toy. More likely to be his wife delivering  a right hook when he got in that night.

The following year, on discovering that the free bar had run out, he threw his free drinks token at the barmaid. I had to deny knowing him when the girl next to me at the bar said “Who’s that knobhead?”

Do you really want to be the Christmas Knobhead? Are you so desperate for free drink that you are willing to soil yourself in public?

Have a drink, be merry and if the drinks aren’t free, get your round in.


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