How to Handle Holiday Practices in the Workplace

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The holiday season can bring a host of unusual circumstances into your work life. You might receive a holiday bonus. Your office might have a gift exchange. A holiday party might present all sorts of unusual social situations. When it comes to navigating the holidays at work, keep the following tips in mind:

– Be grateful and discreet when it comes to bonuses. Holiday bonuses aren’t a given, particularly if a company is facing economic headwinds, and they can vary between workers. While it’s somewhat natural to want to know how your bonus stacks up against others as a way of seeing how much your company values your work, you need to squash the impulse to gossip. Your bonus is your business, and everyone else’s is theirs. Just be happy with what you get.

– Go to the party, but don’t go crazy once you’re there. Treat your office holiday party as a professional event, like a conference, and act accordingly. Dress in line with company guidelines and be moderate in your consumption of food and beverages. If you need to sneak a snack on your way from work to the party in order to keep from eating all the appetizers, go ahead and do so.

– Give modest gifts. Your holiday gift exchange may stipulate a dollar limit, but if it doesn’t, make sure you don’t go overboard. Most people spend under $25, but beware of spending less than $5, as few people end up being that thrifty with their gift selection.

– Be considerate of those who enjoy the holidays more or less than you do. The office is still a workplace during the holiday season, so reserve your most effusive displays of holiday spirit or your grumpiest anti-holiday rants for your free time. Aim for somewhere between blasting Christmas carols all month long and glaring at anyone who so much as wears a festive pin.

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