I have been much teased for my book, Celebrate: A Year Of British Festivities For Families And Friends. Lots of journalists are saying that my advice is glaringly obvious. A spoof twitter account called @pippatips offers such pearls as: ‘Enjoy a glass of water by getting a clean glass and pouring in water from a tap or bottle.’ It’s all good fun, I know, and I realise that authors ought to take criticism on the chin. But in my defence, let me say this: Celebrate is meant to be a guide to party planning and, as such, it has to cover the basics. If I were to write a cookery book, for instance, I would be compelled to say that, to make an omelette, you have to break at least one egg. Actually, that’s not a bad idea…. Or maybe I should write a sequel and call it Bottoms Up? Now that could be a bestseller.
One subject I decided not to cover in Celebrate was the dreaded office Christmas party, perhaps because it would have undermined the joyful mood my publishers wanted. But never fear: here, as a seasonal treat for Spectator readers and inspired by @pippatips, are my excruciatingly self-evident tips for festive entertaining in the workplace.