Top Ten Things Not to Do at Holiday Parties

Holiday party


The inspiration for this list has been an adult life-long fascination with human interactions. There is no time like the holidays to go out and get an actual feeling of how people interrelate. I may have published some of these points under a different context, but it still bears repeating some of the advice again. I cannot swear I haven’t done any of these but don’t think so. Also a message to the Yale School of Psychology. This is all in fun and should not be used as part of the curriculum dealing with Holiday stress. With that disclaimer here we go.

The Top Ten Things Not to Do at a Holiday Party by John W. Howell © 2016

10 At a holiday party, do not assume because the drinks are free you can have all you want. If you do, at best you will find the next morning that the drinks were not free after all. At worst, you might wake up in the guest room bathtub and have no idea how you got there. (Your host was very pleased when you locked the door to the only bathroom in the house. Too bad the pounding on the door didn’t give you a hint, Bunky.)

9 At a holiday party, do not think an informal atmosphere will lend itself to getting closer to your boss. If you do, At best, you will only say one stupid thing. At worst, you wake up at 3:00 am realizing you told your boss exactly what you thought of the latest project. (Now you also remember the hurt look on the boss’ face since it was a pet project. Maybe you can say you had a brain aneurysm huh Ferd?)

8 At a holiday party, do not double dip from the crab spread. If you do, at best no one will notice, and you’ll be safe. At worst, unfortunately, you chose the moment when the boss was doing a video panorama and are now a piece of history. (The playback at the office caused a noticeable groan from your co-workers and several grabbed their zinc inhaler. Why you had to sneeze right after the double dip is anybody’s guess.)

7 At a holiday party, do not think of arriving without a host gift. If you do, at best you might be able to sneak in unnoticed. At worst, the host had requested in the invitation to bring an unwrapped toy for a needy child. (That will teach you to ignore letters. You never sent an RSVP either did you, Buster?)

6 At a holiday party, do not think everyone wants to sing carols. If you do, at best you may be doing a solo. At worst, you will be so annoying that the host will ask his cousin Tiny with WWF champ to see you to the door. (Tiny’s method of seeing people to the door is very similar to his winning body slam in the ring. Don’t worry nothing’s broken. It’s all fake remember?)

5 At a holiday party, do not try to get away with bringing a  cheap bottle of wine as a gift. If you do, at best no one will see you set it down.At worst, your host will thank you and suggest that you open it immediately to share with the guests. (Two-buck Chuck is so well-known Oscar that your face is now the color of the wine.)

4 At a holiday party, do not attempt to have controversial discussions with each conversation. If you do, at best you’ll end up talking to the dog. At worst, you’ll spark a debate that will ultimately engulf the entire room and eventually lead to the arrival of a SWAT team. (Well you did learn that politics is a hot subject didn’t you, Bucky?)

3 At a holiday party, do not think you have to entertain everyone with your jokes. If you do, at best you’ll find out quickly you are no Henny Youngman. At worst, most in attendance will enquire of the host about that strange person who is not funny. (The beautiful thing is your boss’ boss took down your name which should lead to some good stuff. Maybe at the next company huh, Milton?)

2 At a holiday party, do not suggest that everyone go out into the snow to see how beautiful the lights look. If you do, at best no one will follow you. At worst, your host will open the front door and promptly slam and lock it after you are gone. (It seemed like a good idea at the time didn’t it, Roscoe?. Now you need to call and get your shoes back.)

1 At a holiday party, do not ignore someone who asks for your keys. If you do, at best you will be breaking the law. At worst, you could be responsible for hurting yourself and more importantly an innocent victim. (Obviously, we all should remember not to drink and drive this holiday season.)


  1. Yeah yeah, I understand… but it would sure be nice if SOMEbody would tell them their projects are stupid… Scratch that — they’d still do the same moronic things. 😀 Marvelous Monday list, John.
    Time to get busy with my busy work. Mega hugs!

    1. That one was mine. Thought I was going to die. Did survive when the boss was walked to the door. 😀

      1. Yepper — been there and recently. Didn’t pucker up or chant “Uh-huh, uh-huh that’s right!”, so off the “favorites” list. But when the CIO had to make a public apology to the top brass thanks to that one and the pucker-ers, that one got demoted. I don’t think they know where the door is…

      2. Ha ha ha. love Karma. Hugs

  2. Love how you ended it on that very serious one. Can’t spread that tip enough, especially these days. There is always that one double-dipper too. How hard is it to flip the chip or whatever it is to the side you didn’t bite from?

    1. Or be a menche and break it in two. Thanks, Charles.

      1. It takes a real man to be a real mensche. Still not sure on the spelling.

  3. Gwen Plano · ·

    Had a good chuckle at #4. I’ve not seen a SWAT team in action, but I’ve certainly wanted to escape intense political debates. Actually….this one might be good for the Yale School of Psychology…. 🙂

    1. Ha ha ha. :-D. Thanks, Gwen.

  4. “Two-buck Chuck is so well-known Oscar that your face is now the color of the wine.” LOL! Isn’t that from Trader Joe’s? Hilarious list, John! Happy Monday!

    1. Yes, Two-buck Chuck is Trader Joe’s red wine. Happy Monday, Jill 😀

  5. Ugh – ‘free’ drinks! My hubby once thought that a tenner of ‘hospitality funds’ would cover champagne cocktails for 6 at the hotel bar at the annual company thrash … Luckily someone relieved him of his wallet pretty quickly, but he did pull the bathtub trick (fortunately without mastering the lock) shortly afterwards, having somehow found his way back to our suite 😛

    1. Ha ha ha. From you this sounds like fun. 🙂

  6. I’ve been invited to a party that is being thrown by a Hilary Clinton voter, and to which a couple of Trump supporters are also going. As Switzerland, it is my civic duty to attend. And when things really get interesting . . . invite all those peeps outside to check out the Christmas lights…and then lock them out.

    Great tips and laughs, Sheriff.

  7. All great pointers – especially the “free” drinks reminder. 🙂 Overindulging is easy, the recovery…not so much.

    1. Payback is a bear. (notice I cleaned that up a little.) 😀

      1. Ha! Yes, way to keep it clean (which typically goes out the window with me when I overindulge, by the way)

  8. Double-dip…really??? And then a sneeze??? Right into the dip??? BULLSEYE! 😇

    1. The camera tells all. Thanks, John

  9. Great tips with a John Howell twist! 🙂

  10. Holiday parties is why God created taxis.

      1. God DID NOT create lawyers. That was done by the other guy. 🙂 🙂

      2. You are so right. 🙂

  11. Another reason I love working for myself, John — no forced company Christmas parties! I remember them well (not fondly, mind you, just vividly!)

    1. Vivid is a very special word. I remember one dimly. Thanks, Debbie. 🙂

  12. The double-dipper had me doubled over in pain and the guest with the cheap wine–well… Of course, I would make him open the bottle and announce so-and-so brought it. 😀 😀 😉

    1. Thant is the way to handle it.

  13. Here in OZ we have the same check list of ten things not to do. Then we add number 11 which states ‘Please disregard all of the above.’ Sigh.

    1. Ha ha ha. I can imagine. Thanks, Soooz

  14. In the noticeable absence of that charity gift, and unwrapped $10 is not a good substitute but an unwrapped $50 is. Don’t ask me how I know this. Great list John

    1. I won’t ask. Thanks, Dan

  15. Those double dippers ruin it for everyone.

    1. Yeah. You have to keep your eyes pealed. There is always one.

  16. Fantastic advise John! Seems like some people act completely different at these parties after consuming the adult beverages. I speak from experience as one of those that had too much to drink and put my foot in my mouth. Shocked? I think not…. LOL

    1. Not shocked. I’ve been there and have begged for my job back. 😀

      1. We’re all human and as I always say “shit happens” 😂

  17. Umm, I may or may not have accidently called the spouses’ boss “Rocky” instead of “Bobby”…either way, why do grown men in Texas still go by children’s names anyway. Thank goodness the boss loved my personality and swiftly ordered me another margarita. Phew.
    Great list. And brought back some fun memories of parties past.

    1. As to the Texas names I have no idea. I think if someone called me Rocky I would like that as well. Thanks, Audrey. 🙂

      1. To be fair there was an employee by the name Rocky in the room. I didn’t just pull the name out of the air, however Rocky did not have a very good reputation which is why it was laughable.

      2. Ha ha ha. Like calling someone Lucifer.

  18. Private Bad Thoughts · ·

    omg you’re right the drinks arent really free-its a trap!

    1. Too many drinks and a big trap. Thanks for the visit.

  19. As for the cheap bottle of wine, I have been known to return it to the guest when they have a party (but don’t tell anyone I told you that otherwise, I may see if Tiny wants to work for me as well 😀)

    1. Ha ha ha. Your secret is safe with me. Hugh. Tiny is in the process of training for the next WWF title bout. He is always good for a muscle engagement though. 😀

      1. He sounds my type of security man, John. 😀Let’s hope I don’t have to use him too much. Now, where’s that cheap wine again? 🍷😀

      2. Trader Joe’s. Get on a plane, fly to Austin Texas. Spend the two bucks and you are in.

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