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Why are Christmas parties always such a let down?

December 8, 2010

I’ve waited until hours after I left my first Christmas ‘party’ of the season before writing this post. Probably a good thing. There’s no more potent an example of what not to do when you’ve got alcohol charging around your body and you find yourself tapping into the more miserable side of your nature: don’t blog. It will only cause you heartache of one kind or another. So I’ve waited until the morning after.

In fairness, I probably should have stuck out the BBC Pride Christmas party a little longer than I did. And, if I’m being completely truthful, I was moaning about not wanting to go before I stepped up to the entrance. So maybe the writing was on the wall. This was always going to bit of a damp squib.

But that’s the risk with parties I find. On paper they’re very unlikely to ever work anyway. Get a handful of people in a bar, get them to buy drinks and then get them to talk to each other. In fact, what you’re basically doing is encouraging a group of strangers to get together and talk to each other in a reasonably noisy bar having forked out some money for some reasonably OK drinks.

God, listen to me. The typical view of a miserable arse whose not prepared to make an effort at socialising. And at Christmas too. Couldn’t you have made the effort?

I did for a while. I spoke to a lovely man from Radio 4 who does that ‘continuity stuff’ – well, I listed for a while giving me time to place his voice. I waved at a producer from Breakfast, observed the higher eschelons of gay BBC networking from a safe distance, observed another Radio 4 continuity chappy enter the room around about the time I took this rather sad looking picture (below). And shortly before I left the event I brushed past London blogger Joshua Hunt.

I left early

I know. It sounds all glamorous and exciting. But it really wasn’t. I left around 9.00pm feeling terribly deflated. The people I’d hoped to talk to about ‘stuff’ actually ended up leaving early. I wanted ‘the gays’ to somehow lift my spirit using the collective power of … just being gay. After all, isn’t that what Christmas parties are all about? Are you meant to go in all reluctant and miserable but leave feeling all upbeat, suffused with the joy of Christmas? Maybe I didn’t drink enough.

It was only when I got home I learnt what else was going on. In Weatherfield.

From → Life & Society, Media

  1. I thought it was just me who was always let down by work Christmas parties. Of course, the problem is that you’re either in a group of people who are drinking and having a gay ol’ time – in which case you didn’t really need the excuse of a Christmas party – or you turn up by yourself and hope to make new friends and network. But Christmas parties are one of the worst places to make new friends, if you ask me.

    Of course it could be worse. My career has a nasty habit of starting new jobs in December, the day before the all-staff Christmas party. So you have to stay all night in the vain hope that you’ll start recognising faces later, but nobody wants to talk to you because they don’t know who you are.

  2. David SFeastbay permalink

    Work Christmas parties are always iffy. You are either around the same people you see 40 hours a week anyway, or having to ‘meet’ people in person that maybe you know real well but only over the phone. Best to arrive late, stay for any prize drawnings and then leave.

    The best holiday season parties are ones you have with friends even if some of those friends are coworkers. Getting aways from a work function and into a private one is always better.

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