The Office Christmas Party

You don’t have to hide your faith at holiday workplace celebrations
You don’t have to hide your faith at holiday workplace celebrations

This is the season to eat, drink and be merry. It’s Christmas, and the office is hosting its annual holiday party. For many women, this is a fun time; for others, this is an event they’d like to avoid altogether. What could go wrong at the holiday party?

1. People drink too much alcohol, causing them to get loose and a little too friendly. Men may make inappropriate comments or moves on women that they wouldn’t normally approach. 2. The conversations go beyond work and maybe delve into the taboo topics like politics, religion, and sometimes “off color” jokes. 3. The party is boring, so you have a room full of people with attitude or people who feel they have to drink just to deal with the party. 4. And, finally, someone gets offended. It always happens. Someone thought somebody was talking about her, ignoring her, or even laughing at her.

Why all of the drama?

“The main culprit is alcohol,” Kristi Sharp, a retired executive from General Dynamics, said. “Everyone is expected to go to the party, but you don’t have to drink. The parties are usually boring or stressful because management creates talent contests between teams. They think it’s fun for the employees, but it’s usually just pressure to perform.”

You can still have fun at the party. But, as a Christian, Christmas is the main time really to shine your light. Without “preaching,” you can share some empathy by truly being interested in other people’s lives—and you can offer some God-given wisdom, advice or comfort as needed.

Most office parties have a wide variety of people, so it’s difficult to select what will appeal to everyone—from 18 to 65 years old, black to white, religious to atheist. It’s a challenge to choose a menu, music and mood for such a crowd.

According to Misha Helvey, an Atlanta-based marketing consultant, you should focus on the takeaway. “Our goal was to bring the entire staff together and make them feel so appreciated,” Helvey said. “Pick out a good venue, good food, good entertainment, and have fun! Employees will leave feeling appreciated and can’t wait to make things happen in the New Year. Christmas parties can be fantastic motivation and great relationship builders!”

As a woman in the workplace who loves the Lord, keep these things in mind:

1. Speak to everyone. Share a compliment, encourage, and recognize every person you encounter. Imagine that everyone has a button on that says, “Make me feel special or important.” 2. If people in the workplace know you’re a Christian, don’t go too heavy on the alcohol—maybe just have one glass of wine. Know that they’ll judge you more harshly than others. So no shots of tequila or “turning up” martinis. 3. Dress and dance appropriately. Know whom you’re really representing. You never know who is watching you and whom you may lead to the Lord because of your behavior. Keep it clean.