Holiday Party Survival Tips

Oh, the office holiday party.

Cue the video of a drunken Bridget Jones standing on a desk screeching, “I caaaaaaaan’t liiiiiiiiive….”

Holiday parties can be quite painful when you don’t drink alcohol. Pressure to imbibe seems to be coming from all over – from your boss to the office Santa — so here are a few tips to help you actually have fun while sober!



Wear something nice: It’s still work, regardless of the festive theme, so dress for the occasion. You’ll also feel good about yourself and less insecure as the champagne starts to flow.

Show up early: People should still be sober and “normal.” This may not last long so have an excuse to leave early just in case.

: Drinkers tend to have preconceived notions of sober people: that you’re boring and hate people who drink. Prove them wrong!

Enjoy your drink
: Walk confidently up to the bar and ask them to make you a nice drink you’ll enjoy. If the party is at a bar or a club with a cocktails menu, ask them to make you one of them alcohol-free. No one will know the difference! If it’s a simple bar with just beer and wine, your choices are limited, so ask for a soft drink or sparkling water with ice and a lime in it, and in a skinny glass. If you do get the third degree about why you’re not drinking, just say you’re trying to be healthy – how can anyone argue with that?!

: This is your chance to work the room. Everyone should be in a good, festive mood and you can meet people you don’t normally talk to in the office. Holiday parties are a great way to network, and since there’s no fear of you becoming sloppy, you can make a great impression!



Get trapped talking to one drunken officemate: Even if it’s someone you’ve always wanted to impress it’s not worth it, they probably won’t remember it the next day anyway.

Be held hostage at the food table: This neutral zone can **feel** like a safe place, but it can be the equivalent of holding up the wall at the school dance. Come back to the table when you’re hungry, but try not to act as though you’re gunning for a job with the waitstaff.

Judge: We’ve all had embarrassing moments, booze-fueled or otherwise. If your colleague gets sloppy, don’t hold it against them. But also don’t feel like you have to hold back their hair in the toilets either. Excuse yourself and forget it. They may have been nervous and chose booze to make them feel more at ease. Hopefully they learned a lesson — and will be joining you for mocktails next year!

DryChick lives in London. She started DryScene to show people that they can have fun without alcohol. She wants to promote a healthy lifestyle and connect like-minded people through her events, where the focus is on the fun and not what’s in your glass. Contact her at

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