Christmas Party

I attended my work Christmas party this past week. I haven’t been to a large number of holiday parties in my life and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The best parties I’d experienced up until this year were when I worked at Publix. The store manager would barbecue and we would have baking competitions. I would always bake something and it was nice to have good food during my break. The one work party I went to post-college that sticks out was at a bowling alley, which was fun. What made it awkward was we ate at the senior living community and then the bus driver drove us on the bus to the bowling alley. I remember feeling bad that Thomas the bus driver had to work on the night of the party. I also didn’t understand why we were eating at the community when we did that every day. I was also in a bad mood at the bowling alley because I’d fought with my boyfriend at the time and he’d refused to attend. What rubbed me the wrong way about that work party is that we were told we weren’t allowed to drink at the bowling alley, even if we bought our alcohol. Safe to say, I had a lot of trepidation before this work party. I also have an opinion, that I know is probably not the socially correct one. I like my coworkers and I would hang out with maybe two or three of them in my free time. Besides those very few, I don’t want to hang out with my coworkers. 

I made the fatal mistake of announcing that I would be skipping the work party and going home early. My work mom, who I’ll call Nina, promptly said i had to go. She said that the doctors were doing something nice for us and it would be wrong to not attend. I thought about arguing with her but decided just going would be easier. Part of my reasoning for not wanting to go is that i get overstimulated easily, especially in large groups of people. The other reason revolved around my social anxiety. I never know what to do with myself at a party. Do I stand in a corner, nursing an iced tea? Do I make conversation with someone who i won’t see again? Is bringing a book and reading at the table an option? I’m always afraid that everyone at the party will be able to tell that I don’t know what i’m doing. What if they know that I don’t know what to do? What if i feel anxious and can’t self-soothe? All my fears slowly melted away. 

I sat with the ladies from my office. I never expected to be accepted and liked by a group of people in an office setting. Some of my coworkers who I now get along with well, weren’t my biggest fans when I started. I’ve learned a lot about how forgiveness and being a good teammate change people’s minds and hearts. I got to see so many people i hadn’t seen in a year. It was nice to see everyone dressed up for the holiday and in a good mood. The doctors came to the party and judged an ugly Christmas sweater contest. I, sadly, didn’t win. The food was amazing and I enjoyed the relaxed environment. I did end up helping everyone at my table answer Christmas Carol trivia questions. Everyone looked confused when I said that I saw three ships as an actual song. Winning the trivia contest was awesome. I carry lots of random facts in my brain and they finally came in handy!

As we left the party (we carpooled and I drove), I couldn’t help but feel extremely grateful. I never thought I’d have a positive workplace experience after so many negative ones. I was and am grateful to be alive, to be at my current job, to have the people in my life that I do, and to be ready to take on a new year. Things can get better and there are wonderful things on the other side of difficulties. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!


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