One of the most dangerous seasons is approaching, dangerous for those who have dared to speak up on what lurks behind the annual Christmas office party. I haven’t really been party to the party or the ensuing cold-weather risks (from being booted out on to the cold and barren streets of the north) of trying to remember who you talked to the night before, but I have been witness to many follies that have happened during the holiday month of December.

As I did research on the dangers of the office party I found out some major statistics are right on the money. Quite often the boss is the butt of the jokes, which are doled out by the dozen by rum-brazened employees. One major fact was that the time the most firings occurred was the morning after the staff party, leaving one to wonder whether if it is a corporate strategy to eliminate some pesky person who just happens to get the ire of the head honcho during the merriest of all seasons. Perhaps it’s a power tactic that Scrooge invented and has been copied over the decades by shrewd executives.

In some instances, the torrid office affair comes out loud and clear, open to all tongue-waggers eager to be the first to spill the proverbial beans to the next co-worker, and eventually to the boss, who in many circumstances, is the suspect, the culprit and target of ladder-climbing vice-presidents and lower management flunkies. However, in the Cree world, all company parties on Cree land are usually alcoholic-free zones. Therefore, the risk of potential impact from naughty holiday shenanigans are avoided altogether (at least to my intimate knowledge) and people never get fired as a result.

Incredible as it may seem, office parties during Christmas are usually steam-venting venues. This all ends on the first day of the New Year as reality sinks back in and the party hearty live to work again. Embarrassing situations aside, the idea of having Christmas staff parties originated with the story of Scrooge and dear Tim, where Scrooge realized that his lack of generosity to his only staff member caused the eventual decline of his small empire and total hatred of the common person to those in authority brings only sorrow and a dwindling bottom line.

Perhaps as a small lesson in protocol, schmoozing with the boss or president is totally acceptable, but calling him/her anything else other than a good person can lead down the road to the employment office. Flirting with the receptionist is acceptable, but disappearing with her for more than five minutes can lead down the road to a paternity suit or, worse still, the aisle down the church with angry family members toting sawed-off shotguns and a lifetime grudge from former boyfriends and girlfriends to rub in until time immemorial. Sharing more mentionable incidents (as this is a family magazine and children do read this column) the office party is the forum to either get ahead in life, to remain status quo or just to have a good time and rub elbows with those who would normally only give courteous acknowledgment of your existence on earth.

However the office party is looked at or experienced, it is something that many look forward to as it means that the holidays are nearing and good old Santa is not far behind with oodles of goodies for the good and tons of coal for the naughty.