Hannah Park and Tenille Alexander get into the Christmas spirit at Darling and Co in Paddington. Picture: Adam Head
Hannah Park and Tenille Alexander get into the Christmas spirit at Darling and Co in Paddington. Picture: Adam Head

No hugging, kissing, flirting or dancing

'TIS the season to be merry careful, with etiquette experts saying the rise of feminism and "silence breakers" have had a massive impact on what behaviour is appropriate at festive functions.

Social advisers say people should be cautious whether an innocent greeting hug is appropriate, as affection can be interpreted in different ways.

"Long gone are the Christmas parties where people drank 'til they drop, speak appallingly about ­colleagues, tell the boss what they really think of them or flirt with a colleague you ­desire," Zarife Hardy of the Australian School of Etiquette.

"A Christmas party … should be enjoyed by all who attend, but it should be ­treated like a professional work function. It is never ­appropriate to flirt, touch or say disrespectful words to anyone at work.

"The problem with flirting is it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. What is fun and laughable to some, may be very embarrassing or threatening to others.

"So keep your hands to yourself, don't even go in for a hug or kiss if you haven't done that before and stay professional through the ­entire occasion."

Bianca Dye says despite the expert advice, people shouldn’t be afraid to let their hair down at office Christmas parties. Picture: Liam Kidston
Bianca Dye says despite the expert advice, people shouldn’t be afraid to let their hair down at office Christmas parties. Picture: Liam Kidston

The big no-nos include gossiping, dressing too sexy, hogging the one person all night, breaking out wild dance moves and drinking too much.

Ms Hardy said you can still let your hair down without making a fool of yourself.

"It is Christmas and you have spent a wonderful year working with your colleagues, but the No.1 rule is don't drink too much," she said. "One glass of alcohol to two glasses of water at a work function.

"Have a boogie, but don't break out all of your wild crazy moves. Basically, do not do ­anything that you would be embarrassed about the next day,'' she said.

"A promotion or pay rise may be completely off the agenda because of inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party. You are still being judged and are accountable for your actions."

Social commentator and radio presenter Bianca Dye said people shouldn't be afraid to be a bit silly.

"The best part about work functions is that people who are normally guarded let their guard down, so it's a great way to get to know people on a more intimate level," she said.

News Corp Australia


Thousands of rev heads show up to day one of Leyburn Sprints

premium_icon Thousands of rev heads show up to day one of Leyburn Sprints

Biggest Saturday turn out ever for the motor event.

Family returns home to find 20 cars engulfed in flames

premium_icon Family returns home to find 20 cars engulfed in flames

More than 20 cars consumed by fire at Leyburn property

REMEMBRANCE DAY:We are built on a nation of dreamers

premium_icon REMEMBRANCE DAY:We are built on a nation of dreamers

Warwick honours the Australian lives lost in Vietnam.

Local Partners