8 problems with Christmas in an office

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day’ – Phyllis Diller

Christmas is without a doubt my favourite holiday period. I’m a traditional girl at heart, and Christmases in the Weatherstone house were always filled with love and laughter but more importantly presents and food. It’s not really until adulthood that you realise what a political time of year it can be, and especially if you happen to work in an office, it’s an absolute festive minefield sometimes. Below are some of the things I’ve observed over my last 14 years of working in offices about my favourite time of year that sometimes take the ‘fun’ out of re’fun’dable presents..

 Christmas Card Politics

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Who to send to? Who not to send to. Who is worthy of the fancy M&S ones and who gets the Asda smart price ones that don’t stand up properly? Do you wait to see who you get one from first? Do you just sack it off and give some money to charity? So many decisions over something that’s going in the bin on 1st January

The Tinsel Police

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Every year we get an email with a graphic video on how quickly tinsel can catch fire so we’re not to put it round our monitors and every year Cheryl and I ignore it and do it anyway

The Office Christmas Party

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 I’ve been lumped with organising the office Christmas lunch/dinner many a time and I feel it’s up there with being an ultra-runner’s wife in terms of thankless tasks. Half the people want traditional, half the people want ‘something different’ , no one offers any suggestions, no one wants to take over organisting duties and no one wants to pay more than a tenner. Getting a deposit off anyone is like trying to crack the enigma code so you always end up out of pocket and everyone expects you to work out who owes what at the end of the night. Oh and you’re too busy organising it to remember to take the next day off so you’re the only one who has to go to work with a hangover.

The Secret Santa/Bran Tub debacle

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Can I just clarify one thing? A bran tub is where you buy a generic present intended for anyone in the office, a secret santa is where you know who you’re buying for, got it?! I like the idea of a secret santa more than a bran tub but what I hate about both most is the rules. Once I was embroiled in a bran tub where you couldn’t buy any alcohol (some people were tea total) chocolate (for the people on diets) smellies (for the people with sensitive skin) and the budget was a fiver. So what did I buy? Napkins, I bought Christmas Themed napkins. FML.

Decorating the Christmas tree

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I never realised until I worked in an office how many different ways there are to decorate a Christmas tree, in my office, the way I decorate a tree is of course wrong, so in 2013 I removed myself from the tree decorating committee and removed I shall stay because apparently i hang my baubles with incorrect spacing

Organising Office Cover

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We get Santa to organise our office cover…

Quite naturally everyone wants to be off on the days between Christmas and New Year, being in work is boring as sin and you feel the rest of the world is at home in their new onesies eating their selection boxes. Half of me thinks I should save my annual leave and come to work on the days it’s quieter but then you know the whole onsie and selection box thing is so tempting. I worked in an office once where no one could agree on who would work when that the 3 days of doom between xmas and new year was divided into hours, Hours! Christmas Cray cray.

Pinching of Stationary

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Having never been a puncher of work stationary  or an orderer of office stationary I was naively oblivious that this went on but I have it on good authority that it does, every year. Most coveted items are tape of multiple varieties (scotch, sello, masking) blue tac (for Christmas cards I assume) padded envelopes and sticky labels. Seriously, have a word with yourselves ya filthy tea leaf, leave the blu tac alone!

Christmas Jumper Day 

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This is a reletively new one which has grown legs over the last few years. In the UK Christmas jumper day is fir charity, which of course if brilliant, however i can’t hekp but feel there a sense if oneupmanship that comes along with it. For example last years i was told that my rather lovely H&M jumper with black sparkly snowflake on the front wasn’t a Christmas jumper at all, and was merely a ‘winter jumper’ this of course was aid to me by someone dressed as an elf and we know what pernickety sticklers for the rules those guys are. This year i’m going to wear one of these and shut everyone up (right before I collect my P45)

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Feel free to add your office traditions below, and remember, and Elf is for life, not just for twatting upside the head when they slag off your Christmas jumper!

3 thoughts on “8 problems with Christmas in an office

  1. What a brilliant post! I haven’t worked in an office for some years, this was a (good???) reminder! Very funny and excellently observed.

  2. I remember when I worked in an architect’s office, I had to organise the Christmas party every year and it ended up being like a second job. Not only trying to get the deposit, as you say, but also the Excel chart of menu choices and heaven knows what else. One time we went to a place where there was a Christmas buffet, and some people turned up late and there wasn’t any food left! Truly a thankless task.

  3. Oh the bran tub. This year we’ve had someone who said they’d only take part in our raffle version if they can be guarantied a bottle of wine!

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