Part of the fun of the Christmas party season is that it'll all go horribly wrong! I mean, that's partly the point of the Christmas party isn't it? There's nothing like a legendary story or two to pass down from generation to generation about how, in 1996, Charlie from Marketing ended up in Bedfordshire without any trousers on and a fragment of dinosaur rib in his jacket pocket.
Or how Jayde had a fight with a bouncer, put a traffic cone on her head, crashed a Boris bike whilst shouting random Welsh words at the top of her lungs and fell asleep in a pool of her own sick in the middle of the road (that one's true). Gone are the days of over-emphasised HR pampering and strained political correctness which seems to have been designed exclusively to suck the joy out of Christmas. With classic 80's notions of inequality and systematic surreptitious inappropriateness in the City generally consigned to the past, I believe that we should cast aside our intrinsic fear of consequential retribution and get on with having some good old fashioned fun. Plus, there never seems to be a photocopier around when you need one anyway...
Ok, so not everyone's going to push the festive boundaries quite as far as Jayde did, but hopefully my overly graphic description (of the quintessentially inevitable Christmas party experience) has de-sensitised you a little as to what's coming next?!
Here are ten (true) things that have gone wrong in the past, on your behalf, so you don't have to do it this year!:
1. Don't break the Dinosaur! As possibly the most famous Christmas Party story in London's glitteringly fabulous festive event history, the Natural History Museum's prize centre-piece, 'Dippy' the Diplodocus (discovered in the USA in the late 1800's) came face to face with its fiercest adversary for 60 million years - a bad boy City banker! A few drinks later and this adventurous 'pisshead-entologist' spontaneously leapt from his table and started to ascend the dinosaur's gigantic frame (well, it's ribcage anyway). It turns out, though, that 60 million year old dinosaur ribs aren't all they're cracked up to be. A rumoured thirty thousand pounds and an almost certain sacking later, 'Dippy' now has an artificial rib and there's a sign saying 'Don't touch the dinosaur!'
2. Sexy Secret Santa! We've all been there - tempted to go for either the most insulting or the most erotic gift we can anonymously give, without repercussions! The more adventurous amongst us have given something wildly inappropriate in the vain hope that someone else will get the blame, whilst we all benefit from the hilarious consequences! This never works though. Just ask the boss who bought someone a prosthetic penis (sounds softer that the actual word for it (no pun intended!)) who's gift was treated with universal tumbleweed before said gift (we'll call it 'exhibit D') mysteriously went missing and so was clearly appreciated by someone...! Secret Santa indeed...!
3. Boss' Speeches about Success. These would be great, even motivational, if we didn't all get such shit pay! Mixed messages don't work well at the best of times but at the Christmas party where drinks are involved? Not a chance. This is similar to the notion upheld by 'jobsworths' the world over - those who are somehow offended by being invited to a mildly imaginative Christmas party because it looks like it cost quite a bit to produce. It's almost as bad as saying "Don't do a Christmas party this year - just give me the equivalent money". This annoys me because we obviously all like money but it defeats the entire purpose of Christmas not to celebrate in style. Except for the Jesus part maybe. So it's either shit pay and a great party. Or you're fired!
4. Drink. Drink. And just one more drink. We've all been there. Crawled into the office the morning after and groaned the enduring mantra - "Uurgh - I'm never drinking again, ever!". Well, as it turns out, you are. Just give it a day, maybe two and you'll be back! In fact, chances are that you've probably had way more than 'one too many' because the illusive art of 'knowing when to stop' is more difficult to perfect than an actual Jedi mind trick. Just remember, drink is the route of all evil. And
5. Being sick on your boss. This one happened to a school friend of mine, obviously! Whilst working for a major City Bank he climbed up on to the dining table in a very public place, attempted singing, reverted to general drunken wine glass kicking boss-abuse before bringing forth the perfect 'Chunder Storm'. All over his formidable CEO. He was fired but it was totally worth it. Apparently.
6. Ending up in bed with your boss. Years ago, before I was the boss of anything, I somehow ended up in bed with four of my (really attractive) PR bosses after our Christmas party, who had stripped down to their underwear. I know this because I still have photographic evidence, somewhere. The really annoying thing about this is that I have absolutely no recollection of how I pulled this off. None whatsoever. Goddammit!
7. Photocopiers. If there's one anywhere near your office party then it's going to be done. It's as simple as that. If you're a boss who doesn't like butt and boob prints (loser!), don't throw a party in your actual office. Ever.
8. Live Twitter falls (fails!). This is a first world problem and it's brilliant sport. Last year I attended a major 1,000 person shared party in one of London's most prominent large scale venues. It even has indoor bumper cars! One of the many fun features was a gigantic real-time Twitter wall whereby revellers were encouraged to contribute positive tweets about the event. What could possibly go wrong? Well, in fact, nothing because a clever 30 second 'approval delay' policy was in place whereby the designated 'Twitter police' could vet controversial tweets following the previous year's real time exposé of a high profile corporate affair - in giant format! Come to think of it, we had a hilarious situation at the last Crowdfinders Summit where a delegate tweeted that one of our keynotes was "smoking hot" (during her keynote). Which she is. A righteous lady delegate then had a very public Twitter-fit (like a hissy fit but on Twitter) until the keynote replied and favourited the tweet because, think about it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being called "Smoking hot!". Whoever you are. Jeez...
9. Falling asleep on the tube...This is an occupational hazard and happens all the time. The best example I know of is the lady who boarded a train at Victoria and woke up in the middle of the night, locked in her overland carriage with all the lights off, parked in a siding at a railway depot somewhere near a freezing cold Southampton. The end of the line for that particular Christmas party then...!
And, finally, just to take it back to the Old School (literally)
10. The school Christmas Party. The one where I got drunk, climbed up a drainpipe onto the roof of School House, painted a gigantic obscenity, stumbled around a bit, fell down a gaping gulley and spent much of the next morning hanging in my study trying to convince my mum to look at naked pictures of Madonna when I was supposed to be collecting the PE prize in front of the entire school in the Speech Room. Soon after, I was expelled. Stay off the drugs kids....! Seriously.
To get your hilarious disaster underway, heres 10 Christmas Party ideas for inspirtation.