For the last couple of weeks, you’ve been trying to close off the small talk with work colleagues and emails with an effective but well-meant wish for them for the Christmas period. Make sure you avoid these total clangers, which immediately identify you as a total tool.
1. ‘See you on the other side’ – a phrase originally uttered on the Apollo 8 Space Mission by astronauts attempting the dangerous mission of reaching the dark side of the moon. Yet you’re now using it to ironically convey that there is a chance you won’t make it back to the office in the New Year because of the stress of making a Christmas dinner for four, and sitting on your arse all Boxing Day watching the football.
2. Talking in Victorian language. Everyone knows that all the good carols were written in the 1800s, but it’s a bit weird for you to say ‘Glad tidings of great joy to you and your kin’ to Mike in IT as you pass in the car park for the last time before Christmas. Same goes for any use of ‘Yuletide’, ‘Salutations’, and ‘Ye’.
3. ‘Happy holibobs’ – Legislation to make the use of this phrase as a hate crime at any time of the year is still making its way through parliament. In the meantime, however, it should definitely be avoided, unless you are five years old.
4. Merry Crimbo – some say this statement signals that you only want to celebrate the non-religious, non-commercial aspects of Christmas. However, you’re just using it as a more economical greeting on your work Christmas cards, in which case, you’ve saved…oh, about 1/10 of a second of your precious time. Ditto ‘Xmas’.
5. Any work-related message – everyone is looking to clock off from the tedious grind of their shitty job for a few days. So the last thing they want is an email from you which ends ‘ Have a great Christmas – hope you get the new marketing strategy document finished before the big day!’.
6. Any crappy Christmas puns. Telling Sandra in HR that you hope her Christmas Pizzas are like Good King Wenceslas’s – Deep and Crisp and Even – will just leave her confused and waking up in the middle of the night wondering what the hell you meant.
7. ‘Good night and may your God go with you’ – The comedian Dave Allen is always on telly at Christmas but no one else is going to get your niche reference to his catchphrase, which you deliver in a crap Irish accent while drinking a glass of whisky in the staff canteen. Expect to be referred to occupational health for alcoholism when you return in the New Year.