Christmas Parties should never result in regret

Every year, about this time, we’re asked for advice on Christmas Parties.

What to do? What are the risks? How to avoid risks? What are the responsibilities? How to be inclusive? What’s the ‘right’ way to do this well?

Some people talk about some crazy legal workarounds they’ve heard about, aimed at avoiding all responsibility for employee safety and well-being. Others talk about horror stories of ‘the year it all went wrong’.

The fact is, most Christmas Parties are a nice end-of-the-year event. Everyone goes along, has a laugh and a giggle with their colleague. They drink some champagne (sometimes, a little too much), dance (often badly), and stay out later than planned,  heads home feeling relaxed and happily comes into work late the next day.

Without needing to call in the Fun Police, most people get that the work Christmas Party is not a buck’s/hen’s night, and that their colleagues are diverse and varied. That full-on, knock-down, debauchery is not required to end the working year.  Three things are always true.

i) it’s a lovely way to end the year;

ii) it is a work event and the boss is responsible as host, and

iii) that as adults, we are responsible for our own behaviour, and possibly a fourth,

iv) that it would be great if everyone enjoyed it.

So, rather than fear mongering, or preaching, we thought we’d take a different approach.

Here are two letters we have drafted to all staff to help you out in advance of the Christmas Party.

The letter NOT to send all staff at Christmas

The letter TO send all staff at Christmas

One, built (more than a little tongue in cheek) from the worst realities we’ve had to deal with (we did a team brainstorming session to collect the wildest and also the most common), and the other a simple note that you actually might send out in advance of the party.


And have a safe and happy Christmas

From the whole team at