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Top 5 company holiday party rules for you and your spouse

company holiday party

Save the date for your spouse’s company holiday party!

Company Holiday Party

Company Holiday party this year? Whether you are being asked or dragged, most of us will be attending our spouse’s company holiday party this Christmas season? (Yes, the HR guy called it Christmas)

If your significant other’s company is hosting a company holiday party, there are a number of things to think about. The following may sound basic but every year, I see a spouse ruin a great employees reputation after one drink too many, or through lack of common courtesy. I can’t takes it no mo’ mang. I gotta say some-pin!!!

If you are like most people, you like the Holiday season

What you don’t fully appreciate is “the requirement” to attend your spouse’s holiday party.  If you are a guy, you probably REALLY don’t like going to your spouse’s functions.  it’s up there with going to the wedding of your SO’s BFF that you don’t know very well. Yes there will be free food, yes there will be free booze, but at the end of the day, we just want to stay home, and not worry about the hassle tax – AKA the “clean shirt and haircut”. 

Call me the Grinch that stole Christmas, but Mrs. HRNasty’s company holiday party isn’t a must-attend event for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the company or her co-workers. I just don’t want to go. Not only do I have to wear something nice, but I am not going to know anyone. Well, let’s be real. I don’t HAVE to wear something nice, but Mrs. Nasty is going to want to dress up and that means she is going to want Mr. Nasty to dress up. Yippee.


Fr’ real tho, what am I going to do at these parties? Although I do know 1 or two employees at Mrs. Nasty’s company, it’s all relatively superficial. I can’t even recruit anyone at this party and fill one of my open job req’s. Do I really want to go to a function where I see a few people once a year, carry on with some meaningless chit-chat, and then try to remember that conversation when we meet up at the 2014 holiday party and NOT be in recruiter mode? There are a lot of unhappy employees making New Year’s resolutions around new jobs at the start of a new year and I can’t be on the prowl.  

I am going to put on my “Happy face” and my “Holiday season personality” and try to make conversation with all the other significant others that really don’t want to be there. Mrs. Nasty is going to be pointing to various co-workers and trying to give me some perspective on who they are, who they work with and then when she see’s I am bored, provide the real 411.  Bitter Bob has been at the company for 14 years and just got passed up for a promotion.  Super Sales Sam just slept with 2 women in marketing but HR won’t talk with him because he just brought in a million dollar deal. You get the idea. (Actually, I don’t put up with this nonsense, I have enough of this with my own 9-5)

Holiday parties seem to bring out the best and worst in the spouses. There are always the gracious spouses that come appropriately groomed, flash big smiles and can engage with our managers or VP’s. These spouses usually come attached to employees who enjoy their work, their co-workers and it shows in not just the employee, but their spouse as well. 

HRNasty gets tipsy

I don’t drink, but if I did, I would probably make a beeline to the bar and order a double as soon as I arrive. I wouldn’t even check my coat and my first “Happy Holidays!” would be directed to the bartender. I will arrive on an empty stomach because Mrs. HRNasty didn’t want me to ruin my appetite. Two drinks on an empty stomach later, HRNasty is a little tipsy.

Frustrated significant others are like the young innocent children who unknowingly learned how to drop the F-bomb from their parents in moments of frustration.  Monkey see, monkey do and alcohol just loosens the tongue.  There is nothing more refreshing than hearing the spouse of an employee who has had 1 too many drinks share the couples real thoughts and frustration with the company or the manager.  How many times have I heard a significant other tell the employee’s manager just how valuable their spouse is? How many times has a significant other asked for a raise at a company holiday party on behalf of the employee, or worse, told the manager the employed significant other SHOULD RECEIVE A RAISE because they work so hard?  Awkwarddddd.  

If you are attending your SO’s company holiday party, this is not the time.  On the flip side, if your company is hosting the company holiday party and you are afraid for your spouse, keep them on a tight leash.  Aggressive Rottweiler tight leash kind of close.  Spouses, if you know you can become obnoxious and overprotective of your spouse, put something in your stomach before you arrive at the party and don’t start drinking just because the company is buying. 

Below is a list of do’s and do not’s

  1. Don’t point at other guests and ask “who is that?” or “what do they do?”  (You can ask, just don’t point and whisper.)
  2. Don’t complain about the food.  The company is trying to say thank you and it’s never easy feeding more than 20 people at once.  Unless your chicken is raw, STFU.
  3. Don’t make a fuss if the company doesn’t have exactly what you are used to eating.  There are a lot of starving people out there who would be happy to have your overcooked prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes.
  4. Do say thank you to the manager and the head of the department before you leave the function.  Do feel free to engage with the manager or the VP.  They DO want to get to know you and you are NOT bothering them.  This is just common courtesy.
  5. Just because the company is hosting an open bar, doesn’t mean you need to recoup your low paycheck via company booze on this special night.
  6. Try not to complain about cheap gifts or lack of company swag.  This is more about being together than walking away with material profits.

I am a reflection of my spouse, I gotta represent

I am lucky. Mrs. HRNasty likes and respects her manager. As a Significant Other, I  want to be a reflection of that.  If I arrive at her company holiday party, inconsiderate, ungrateful, or worse, resentful, then her hard work and dedication will be trivialized because of my antics. Thankfully, I don’t drink and thankfully, we don’t’ have any children because I am confident they would be dropping more than their fair share of F-bombs raised in the Nasty household.

Just because you have a holiday-themed tie, doesn’t mean you have to wear it,

See you at the after party,


nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

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