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‘Social Santa’ and a Healthy Bit of Self-Censorship

Photo of Pete Goold Pete Goold 12/12/2012

Without giving too much away, I must admit that I don't know the person I picked for Secret Santa very well. You can't really blame me – Punch has been doing so well this year that we've hired a lot of new people (at least ten, including me). In between the usual work crunch, it can be hard to take time to get to know the newbies.

However, I have a plan: Facebook. What better way to sneakily find out more about this person than some good old Facebook stalking? By reviewing their likes, comments, and the interactions on their timeline, I am sure I can find some inspiration. At the very least, I won't buy them that Justin Bieber poster their aunt already gave them.

Speaking of social media, this time of year becomes a particularly interesting one across the networks as people imbibe a bit too much and get a bit too friendly with their smartphones while under the influence. Already, I have seen a few posts from friends that they probably cringed at the next morning.

At Punch, the office is abuzz with anticipation for the office Christmas party on Friday. According to all parties involved, last year's party was legen…wait for it…dary. Phil is stirring the pot with fiery rhetoric, George is dreaming of fantastic bow tie options, Jess is denying that she will finally reveal her crush on Will (she doesn't really have one, really), Alex is looking forward to his steak pie and raspberry cheesecake (we know all about it), and we'll all be toasting Kirsty as she jets off to Thailand.

Will (who is not the object of Jessica's affections) and George (before his bow tie obsession) @ Punch Xmas 2010

I'm not quite sure what to expect. The last time I attended an office Christmas party was in 2007 in New York, before social media was so deeply embedded in our lives. All the embarrassing moments had to circulate the old-fashioned way through social-media-crisis.html and gossiping over the phone. It took time to get the word out that so-and-so had snogged the Christmas tree, or that another person decided to make snow angels in the middle of a busy midtown street (this may or may not have happened and might be slightly exaggerated or changed to protect the identity of people that may or may not have been involved). Nowadays, these activities can be broadcasted inadvertently around the world with a tipsy touch of a button.

So, while it probably is a professional rite of passage to get drunk at a holiday party and embarrass yourself at least once, I would advise everyone out there to keep the crazy in the pub and off the pages of social networks. That said, bottoms up!