It’s that time of year again. Most of my friends are wandering around in a haze of alcohol; either drunk or horribly hungover. Me, I am polishing my halo as I turn down a second Christmas party this season to stay at home and watch my son (pictured here) make his stage debut. I was due to head to London next week for the Daily Mail party but have decided not to go. Leonardo’s school play may not be as entertaining as some of performances seasoned Mail hacks come up with but it’s just one of those things I can’t miss.
Also, Christmas parties are notoriously dangerous. I remember my mother years ago giving me the only piece of career advice she ever gave me. “Never get drunk at the office Christmas party,” she told me. Of course I totally ignored her. I have often woken up the morning after an office party, drifted between semi-consciousness and consciousness, realised why I feel like I’ve been hit over the head repeatedly with a cricket bat and then sat up in bed and wailed “NO, please, please, please someone tell me I didn’t do an impression of a lap-dancer on heat/insist on photocopying my cleavage /tell the boss how to run his shitty little company, resign and then try to snog him.”
We’ve all been there. The Christmas office party, it’s an institution, rather like fish & chips or the cup final. It’s the one time during the whole year we’re allowed to behave appallingly badly and all is forgiven. A policy of shaded windows applies; what goes on at the party is not allowed to be revealed outside the office and no on is held accountable for any misdemeanours. Suddenly everyone from the chief exec to the lowliest secretary is only as strong as their resistance to alcohol and most of them revert to teenage behaviour almost immediately. Forget I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here. Why not just film a few Christmas parties; where the rules of the jungle really apply?
Unlike my mother I won’t advise you to stay sober; it’s just not an option. But one tip I learnt from a French woman now living in London is to start the evening drinking water. That way by the time you get drunk, everyone else will be so far gone there’s no way they will remember you trying to nick their boyfriend, job or, most appalingly, their Jimmy Choo suede slingbacks.