Four fixes for Christmas party problems

The work Christmas party: it should be a great chance to see your colleagues in an informal setting and celebrate the season. Yet sometimes people have their reservations about this traditional part of the festive period, worrying that it just won't be as fun as they'd like.

In a spirit of lightheartedness as Christmas comes closer, we present four ways to deal with possible work Christmas party problems! We hope your festive bash goes well in 2014!

I'm not sat with my friends!

People can get a bit worried as they approach the work do, as concern mounts that the sit-down meal will be a wash out because of the people they're sat with.

The question of seating can become quite a tense topic, with new starters perhaps anxious not to be placed with managers and everyone a little concerned that they might not be near their friends.

But the best way to deal with this unnecessary Christmas fuss is to forget about it. Yes, it might be nicer to have your bff beside you as you tuck into the turkey, but on the other hand this meal will be over in the space of an hour, after which people will doubtless end up moving around and chatting to whoever they want to anyway.

The best way forward is to embrace whoever you end up next to – even if not literally. You never know, if you spark up a chat, you could find you have more in common than you thought.

Prepare some conversation starters pre-dinner, just in case. For example, you could find out what the person next to you is doing for Christmas, or polish up an anecdote about someone you served recently.

I'm worried I might do something silly!

There's one thing that almost certainly plays a part in Christmas party embarrassment, and that's alcohol. So if you know you might not be careful enough about the things you've say if you've had a few, perhaps hold back. The fact that there's free drink being poured doesn't mean you have to knock it all back! While you're at the party, think of your superiors as you would your parents or older relatives: They don't mind seeing you enjoy yourself but they probably don't want you to become overly silly! 

I can't dance!

A Christmas party would not be a Christmas party without a spot of music to jive to. However, getting onto the dance floor isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you feel like the last thing you want to be doing is the Macarena at 1am, rest assured that you won't be the only one. That said, if you let go of your fear and just make your way to the floor, you might end up feeling a lot less silly than you think in the midst of all the questionable dance moves that are sure to turn up around you!

I've got work the next morning!

It's not uncommon to end up back at work the morning after the Christmas bash. If you know you'll have to work the next day, don't let it spoil the party, but also remember that you'll want to be at your best the next day, and not letting customers down. These tips might help:

Stop drinking early: Switch wine for water an hour or so before you leave. Give your body time to process the alcohol and cut down on the chance of a morning hangover.

Don't pull an all nighter: Serving the breakfast crowd after an hour's sleep will not be fun. Be sensible and leave when you'll still be able to get enough shut eye. Set a time you know you should leave – for example midnight – and don't let yourself go past it. Booking a taxi for that time can help here as it prompts you to leave when the moment comes! 

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