Due to reasons that i never really understood, our Office Christmas meal this year turned into nibbles in the staff room and it seemed to go down very well, mostly because nobody had to pull an 'Office Party sickie' to avoid it this year.
The Christmas Office Party can be a minefield and more and more of my colleagues have decided the best way to avoid it is to come down with a convenient minor illness just before them.
As someone who has managed to dodge quite a few work Christmas parties in my time, i feel qualified to pass on some tips to avoid possible repercussions after the sad looking Christmas Tree beside the water cooler has been packed away.
Most important is to feel a bit 'off' the day before the party , lay the groundwork as they say, so just throw out there to a few colleagues that you don't feel so well today and if you can make a few groaning noises or hold your head and look sad even better.
The second tip is on the day don't turn up at work, phone in sick and do the tried and tested, hang-upside-down-off -the-edge-of-the-sofa-when-you-phone-in-sick to get that right 'sick' tone in your voice. If the above had gone well then your colleagues will be fooled into going down the 'well, he/she did say they didn't feel well yesterday, poor him/her'.
An important point is when you return to work after the holidays to hear the salacious gossip of what went on when you were tucked up with a mug of Lemsip, remember what illness you had so that you can describe it later. A heavy cold may not cut it so Noravirus is a good one, nobody will want to dwell on the details your bodily fluids being forcibly excreted.
Just make sure that whatever ailment you had which prevented you from joining your colleagues for an evening of forced fun and avoiding the amorous advances of Timothy from IT, make it a short, sharp one which you miraculously recovered from days later with no long term, ill effects.
Everything being well, you can spend the evening watching TV and not have to spend time with the people you only spend time with because somebody is paying you to.