The 21 Rules For Surviving Your Office Christmas Party

John LeFevre
2 min readDec 12, 2019


Office parties are usually a mixed back of unpredictability: tedious, festive, boring, scandalous, embarrassing, or even sometimes fun. Where else can you drink free booze and watch people ruin their careers or reputations in a single night?

In the interests of helping you navigate this night of eye-rolls and eggnog, here are a few tips on how to get through your holiday party this year:

  1. Don’t skip it
  2. Pre-game with comfort food. It might be a long night and you don’t want to be the first one looking inebriated
  3. Show up on time. Most seniors do. Hang out with them for the first half hour, and then keep your distance. No one likes a kiss-ass
  4. Don’t check your work emails. No one is impressed
  5. Don’t act too excited about the open bar
  6. Men: Wear what you wore to the office. The guy who shows up in skinny jeans clearly has too much free time
  7. Women: Change into something elegant. And I’m sorry that you live in a sexist corporate world
  8. Don’t talk shop
  9. If your boss’s boss doesn’t already know your name, don’t waste your time talking to them. Now’s not the time
  10. Spread rumors about people you don’t like: “Danny’s made three trips to the bathroom stall in the last hour. That’s weird, right?”
  11. Don’t flirt or dance with junior staff at the main event. Wait until the after party
  12. If it comes up in conversation, of course Die Hard isn’t the greatest Christmas movie ever. Bad Santa is
  13. Get your adversaries as drunk as possible
  14. Hold your wine glass by the stem. And in your left hand
  15. Get the assistants drunk and gossiping. Dodgy expenses. Interoffice affairs. Bonus numbers. Headcount discussions. They know it all
  16. No social media. If you’re posting to Instagram or Snapchat, people won’t trust you
  17. Thank the person who organized the party logistics
  18. Put your card behind the bar at the after party. It makes you the designated leader
  19. Make sure your iPhone alarm clock is already set for the morning
  20. Always be first into the office the next day
  21. If you actually need a list of holiday party rules, go ahead and get blackout drunk and hookup with a co-worker. You’re probably going to get fired soon anyway

John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator, the founder of a fashion line, a podcast host, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals, currently in development as a major motion picture.



John LeFevre

Signed contracts with Goldman Sachs and Simon & Schuster, and paid lawyers more than I made. Author of STRAIGHT TO HELL (not about @gselevator or Goldman Sachs)