It’s time to start preparing for your Christmas party night!

The Christmas party season is almost upon us and whether you’re destined for a night out with mates, a festive meal for all the family or the annual work ‘do’, preparation and common sense are key to the evening’s success.

The Christmas party season is almost upon us and whether you’re destined for a night out with mates, a festive meal for all the family or the annual work ‘do’, preparation and common sense are key to the evening’s success.

Christmas parties are all about having fun, so avoid wearing clothes and/or shoes that could make you feel uncomfortable all night long.

Find out the dress code for the event well in advance.

A good guide, if you are in any doubt, is to ask what your friends, relatives or colleagues are wearing and do this well ahead of the night to give you time to sort out your
wardrobe.

If you are bringing your partner along, make sure they understand the style and type of venue and dress accordingly too.

If the location is a bit of a drive away, make sure you get directions well in advance or print out a map, so that you’re not a late arrival or worse still, a no-show.

It is mannerly to be on time. Fashionably late is one thing but if a meal is involved you don’t want to be the one who has left people chomping at the bit for their starters as they await your arrival.

If you’re planning on having a drink, then arrange for someone to drive you or book a registered taxi so that you can let your hair down without running the risk of losing your licence.

Even so, it may be wise to exercise caution over what you consume!

Be careful ordering those cocktails and shots - too much or a mixture of alcohol has been known to loosen the tongue with the potential to make you reveal well-hidden secrets that may well be better remaining unsaid.

If your Christmas party happens to be in the middle of the week, pace yourself - particularly if it’s a work ‘do’ - to avoid having to sit at your desk with a hangover the next day.

You could always plan ahead and officially book off the day after the party!

Be careful around colleagues/friends/relations who take lots of photos and who may encourage you to do silly things like pull faces, strike a funny pose or dance, for example, with your arms wrapped around your boss’s neck.

Subsequent circulation of such images might leave you more than a little embarrassed.

And, if you are taking pictures of others, be considerate.

It’s best all round to take photographs that flatter and wouldn’t look out of place in a family album.

You may also find it useful to master your small talk skills before the party and don’t be scared to use them.

Be cheerful, polite and ready to pay out compliments to your fellow party-goers and when it’s time to leave, be sure to say a proper goodbye to everyone.

It’s a small gesture but one that will make a good and lasting impression.