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Rules for Dealing With the Holiday Season at Work

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The holiday season can be a very tricky time in the workplace. There are holiday parties, gift giving, overeating, and holiday celebrations that could get in the way of normal work activities. Then there's the matter of taking care not to offend those who don't celebrate the holidays the same way you do. Here are some rules you can follow to help you deal with the holiday season at work.

1. Keep Holiday Gift Giving Reasonable

In some workplaces everyone exchanges gifts for the holiday. This can get way out of hand and cause serious financial problems for some people. Don't break your budget or expect anyone else to break his or her budget. Consider starting a secret Santa, or secret gift exchange, where each person buys a gift for one other person instead of buying gifts for every person in the office. Set a price range and stick to it.

Read: Gifts for Co-Workers

2. Keep Holiday Feeding Frenzies to a Minimum

During the holiday season, food is everywhere, all the time -- even in the workplace. It's hard to stick to a balanced diet when clients send goodies to the office and every person working there decides to bring in cookies and other treats to share with his or co-workers. Arrange a schedule that allows each person who wants to participate to bring in treats on a different day. Keep non-perishable gifts sent by clients for after the holidays when the cupboards are bare.

3. Don't Let the Holidays Get in the Way of Work

Remember that you are at work to ... well ... work. With all the holiday cheer it's sometimes hard to get your job done. Don't let yourself fall behind. If you must, get to work before everyone else so you can get a head start on your day.

4. Be Mindful of Your Workplace's Holiday Culture

The holidays play a bigger role in some workplaces than they do in others. If your co-workers are pretty low key when it comes to celebrating the holidays in the office, keep in mind that may be exactly the way your employer wants it to be. If you want to celebrate with your co-workers consider getting together after work.

5. Respect Your Co-Workers' Religious Beliefs

Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and not everyone celebrates the holidays in the same way. There are even some people who don't celebrate any holidays at all. Try not to offend anyone by forcing her to celebrate in a way in which she is not comfortable.

Read: Topics to Avoid Discussing at Work

6. Behave Properly at the Office Holiday Party

Remember to behave professionally at the office party. Don't drink to much, don't dress inappropriately, and don't party too hard.

Read: Office Party Don'ts

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