Mariah Carey has defrosted, the Grinch is most certainly disguised as the cost of living, and after a “will they, won’t they” few months, Kiwi companies have decided to go full steam ahead with the annual end-of-year party. Choo choo.
It might be a Christmas miracle, it might be BYO at your boss’ house, whatever it is, the train has well and truly left the station.
And while many work Christmas party stories include the usual “work do and work don’t” warnings, we’ve decided to really lean into the chaos and present you with the characters you might encounter (and how to deal with them).
Here are the 7 types of Kiwis at the work Christmas party:
Christmas in the Park Carol
She’s got four kids, a Volkswagen SUV, can never work weekends because she’s the coach of her twin daughters’ private school netball team, swimming team and athletics team, actually, just everything. When you ask what her big party plans are for December, it’s Coca-Cola’s Christmas in the Park for the little ones and the Summer Concert tour for her sanity.
Despite being insanely busy, Carol managed to help organise the work end-of-year party and even cooked a full-size ham, made a couple of Kiwi dips and grabbed some Bluebird chips on her way to the soiree.
Don’t be like Carol’s ungrateful daughters Charlotte and Madeline - thank her for her efforts in pulling the shindig together.
Mr 9pm curfew
He was once in his It Boy era and loved to spend afternoons yarning someone’s ear off about his latest jaw-dropping journey, but somewhere along the way, Mitch decided the world of fame and fortune wasn’t for him. Now, he’s harder to find than former New Zealand television presenter Drew Ne’emia.
Arriving at the Christmas party for approximately 20 minutes, he still loves a little bit of social butterfly behaviour but once he’s said hello to almost everyone and snacked on the free Pineapple Lumps and sausage rolls, he’s out of there before James Mustapic finds him.
Fred Dagg wannabe
This Kiwi battler loves to wear his Rodd and Gunn boots to work, while his weekend outfit consists of a pair of Canterbury shorts with a black singlet — that he still calls a “wife beater” despite you telling him multiple times “that’s super problematic, Carlos”.
After a few too many Speights, a couple of “can’t bloody believe the ABs lost” whinges and forgetfulness that he’s at a work party, he soon decides it’s time to light a ciggy inside and tell Christmas in the Park Carol she’s a “good Sheila” and asks if she can cut his hair into a mullet. He’s an HR nightmare, but Sir Dave Dobbyn is blaring, he’s got a tie around his head and thinks he’s quite a Slice of Heaven.
Hokey Pokey hubs and wife
She’s the cheese to his mince pie, the Kiwi to his fruit, the hokey to his pokey. Basically, they’re better suited than Watties Tomato Sauce is to a parcel of fish and chips so no one is surprised when they’re glued at the hip all night.
Sure, there was once a Chief Webber and Miranda Bailey moment where Mince’s wife marched on in accusing him of having an affair with Cheese and everyone low-key believed it. But after a slightly awkward explanation, the world returned to more peace than it did after Tip Top revealed Goody Goody Gumdrops was making a return.
The Gen Z in the business has everyone puzzled. Belle’s 22, lives solely on Skinny Dipped Almonds and Coke Zero, always looks cool — even if you aren’t ready to admit it — and has a vocabulary that could honestly have come from another planet. Seriously, what does “quiche”, “slay” and “delulu” mean?
At the work Christmas party, she’s taking pictures of everything in between her fruity vape breaks, but unlike the millennials trying to get the “perfect” shot, she’s looking for pure chaos. The uglier the better — seriously, mash up that Pavlova. It’s poetic.
Like David Seymour on Dancing With the Stars, he’s the late-millenial workmate who knows what the people want. Twerking his way to the soiree, he’s reached the point in his life where he literally couldn’t care less about other people’s opinions. He’s fully committed to the festive theme - yes, that is a mini Christmas tree on his head - slay David. Or should I say sleigh?
Undoubtedly a Leo, he’s New Zealand’s version of Michael Scott and desperately wants to be cool while maintaining some form of Boss status. He’s the first to clean up any messes at the party and the last to get off the dance floor but most of all, he’s the person you can’t help but have a soft spot for.
Lillie Rohan is an Auckland-based reporter covering lifestyle and entertainment stories who joined the Herald in 2020. She specialises in all things relationships and dating, great Taylor Swift ticket wars and TV shows you simply cannot miss out on.