This is an account, word for word, of an actual conversation that took place earlier this week..
Random work colleague: “Oh my God! Is it true!?”
Bewildered me: “Is what true?”
Random work colleague: “You’re not attending the Christmas party on Thursday!?”
Bewildered me: “No, not this year, I’m just not in the mood.”
Random work colleague: “But it’s the Christmas party! You have to come!”
Bewildered me: “Do I? Why?“
I won’t bore you with the details, but I can tell you that the remainder of the conversation continued for a further seven minutes, as my random work colleague couldn’t comprehend that I just wasn’t in the mood to attend this years Christmas party at work. To make matters worse another random work colleague overheard the conversation and proceeded to join in and tag team to negotiate my attendance.
It’s important to note that the intentions of my random work colleagues were honourable, no outward aggression was shown although I just couldn’t understand why anyone would attempt to guilt trip me into a social event that doesn’t necessarily bring everyone together but does provide a great opportunity to dance awkwardly and drink a little too much Merlot.
It is still amazing to me that even though I left the school playground when Kris Kross were in the music charts, there are still small social expectations you have to battle through to maintain your individuality; but rather than spar using swords and shields, words and apologetic tones are the weapons of choice.
Last time I checked “Thou must attend the Christmas Party” was not part of any ancient scripture, law or the missing commandment Moses forgot to mention. It’s a choice that I should enter willingly and not be subtly pushed into it simply because “everybody else is doing it.” If that was the case I would have already purchased my Star Wars: The Force Awakens cinema tickets, but just like the cultural phenomenon of Star Wars, the social institution of the Christmas Party isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so perhaps I’ll jump on-board next year.
However I do have to take responsibility for my actions because as well as being a self proclaimed realistic optimist I am also antisocially social; which means that if I have an opportunity to socialise with a group of random work colleagues or stay at home and catch up on Jessica Jones on Netflix, I’ll opt for the domestic based option every single time.
Am I knocking the annual cultural phenomenon of the Christmas Party? Of course not! Anyone who makes the choice to attend an event that allows people to laugh, break bread, get loose and bounce along to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas I warmly embrace…but that’s the point…I respect the choice.
So if over the festive period you want to indulge in one Ferrero Rocher chocolate too many or if you want to remain disciplined, as long as you move in a way that feels right to you, enjoy it!
That being said I wish you all a great Christmas and New Year whatever your plans are and more importantly I hope you are able to stay true to who you are and have fun doing it.
Until next time