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The 12 Office Mishaps of Christmas

By Dr. Woody Woodward Ph.D. Columns FOXBusiness

An example of table setting is seen on display at a State Dinner preview event at the White House in Washington, November 24, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a State Dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later in the ... evening. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS FOOD)

The holiday season is upon us and that means office parties, decorated cubes and plenty of holiday cheer at the workplace.

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With 12 days left until Christmas, it’s time to flesh out 12 popular office mishaps that employees should be aware of during the holiday season. Let’s face it, the desire to spread holiday cheer can sometimes get the better of us, and career-hurting mishaps can happen.

The Winter Wonder Cube. I’m all for showing off your festive side, but there is a point when the non-stop electronic Santa’s “ho-ho-hoing” gets a little unnerving. Be respectful of your office mates, and remember: it’s all about moderation.  

Spiking The Egg Nog. I’ll admit it: eggnog can taste better with a little rum.  But you must give all partakers fair warning. Inevitably, someone doesn’t get the memo and slogging the nog will definitely get them some attention from the boss, just not the kind they need. 

Sharing Your Calories . When the holiday season rolls in, the calorie train comes with it. Inevitably, there is always that one person leaving their gifted chocolates and treats on the break room counter for everyone to partake in. Is this really an act of altruism, or is it a plot to pass unwanted calories of guilt on to the rest of us?

Getting a Little Too Gourmet . Fine foods are always fun, but sometimes they can get a little over the top. Serving gourmet reindeer meat to your vegan boss at your holiday party is probably not the best way to climb the corporate ladder.  

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Proselytizing Your Cheer. Christmas has become so commercialized that we sometimes forget what it’s really about. I believe in spreading cheer and lifting people’s spirits, but it’s always good to be mindful of others’ religions, beliefs and cultures.

Appointing Yourself as Parson Brown. If I have to explain who Parson Brown is, you clearly need to beef up your holiday music listening time (look up the song Winter Wonder Land--I like the Annie Lennox version). It’s natural to assume that your coworker’s opposite sex guest at the holiday party is their significant other, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes single people will bring a friend as their date, so don’t assume the role of “Parson Brown” and marry them on the spot!

Dropping the Deadline Ball.  There is nothing worse than making people work over the holidays. What’s worse are those disorganized fools who can’t seem to get their act together in time to make sure you don’t get stuck working Christmas morning.    

Forgetting The Little People . Remember in high school when you were the last one to hear about the big party? OK, maybe that was just me. Anyway, be a uniter, not a divider this holiday party season. You should always invite everyone to the office party. The holidays are about inclusion, so boo to you if you are selective with invitations.

Turning Secret Santa into Freaky Santa. Giving Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer underwear as a secret Santa gift is just a little too personal for an office party. Talk about awkward.    

Hard-selling Your Charity . We all have our causes and yes, the season is about giving. However, when charity turns to hard selling, people tend not to feel so good about their gifts. So don’t push your kid’s cheesy charity gift wrap on your coworkers. 

Being too Sexy for Your Santa. There is an appropriate time and place for a sexy Santa suit-- and it’s not your office holiday party. Adhere to proper attire at all times.  

Being the Office Grinch. Mean co-workers are annoying all year round, but a bad attitude during the holidays is particularly annoying. We all have lapses where we take ourselves way too seriously, so just keep in mind that it is the holidays… and yes, it’s a time for cheer! Bottom line, get over yourself, even if it’s just for a week!

Remember, whatever faith you subscribe to the season is about being thankful and showing gratitude. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!   

Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership.Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook 

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