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How to Politely Decline a Work Christmas Party Invitation

How to Politely Decline a Work Christmas Party Invitation

Did you just receive an invite to the office Christmas party? Better RSVP now, or risk raising an eyebrow from your coworkers. But before you accept and stuff yourself full of bad paella and expensive wine, keep reading as we give you tips on how to politely decline a work Christmas party invitation.

Politely Decline an Invitation – Examples


Dear [name],

Thank you so much for your invitation. I appreciate the opportunity to join the office Christmas party on [date].

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend this year [due to reason or no reason]. I hope you have a wonderful time, and I look forward to seeing you next year!

Warmest regards,

[your name]


Hi [name],

I’m sorry to say that I won’t be able to make it to the Christmas party next Friday. I had a great time at last year’s event and was hoping we could do it again this year, but unfortunately, [reason].

I hope you understand and have a wonderful holiday season!

All the best,

[your name]

Tips on Declining a Work Christmas Party Invitation

There are several ways to decline a work Christmas party invitation in the most polite way. If the social event invitation caught you by complete surprise, it’s okay that you need some time to consider it. Take your time and decline an invitation gracefully without burning any bridges.

Apologize for Your Absence

The first thing you need to do is apologize for your absence from the event. This will make it clear that it wasn’t your choice, and you weren’t trying to snub anyone. It also shows respect for their efforts by acknowledging that they thought about inviting all members of staff regardless of whether or not they would attend.

Be Honest or Give No Reason at All

Be honest, only if you have other plans, you could prove, but don’t feel you have to explain yourself. If you don’t feel like going or don’t like your colleagues, it may be better to give no reason at all, as this could turn into a big loop of lies. If you say that you don’t have a car, they might even offer to pick you up or give you a ride home afterward. Don’t say “I have other plans” or “I’m busy.” as they may offer suggestions like “Let’s grab lunch sometime next week instead.”

Propose Another Plan

If the holiday party is on the weekend, say something like: “I’m very sorry I can’t make it, but I’m going away for the weekend. My partner and I are celebrating our anniversary.” This will show that you value your relationship while clarifying that you’re not trying to avoid spending time with your colleagues.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reschedule the Holiday Party

If you have prior commitments that conflict with the time of the party, don’t feel pressured into accepting the invitation to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Instead, let them know in the most polite way that your schedule won’t allow for attendance at this time. However, you would love to come next party or another date that works better for everyone involved. You can also suggest another date that might work better for everyone involved and see if they are willing to reschedule their plans around yours rather than vice versa.

Write a Thank-you Note

The best way to decline an invitation is by writing a thank-you note. It doesn’t have to be fancy — just write “Thank you for inviting me” followed by “Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it.” Be sure that the letter doesn’t come across as rude or ungrateful. Instead, convey that you appreciate their consideration and wish they understood that your schedule wouldn’t allow you to attend this event.

Be as Clear and as Direct as Possible

Since it will be over an email, don’t leave room for misinterpretation by saying things like “I’m not sure” or “I’ll have to check my schedule.” Give them a firm answer right away, so they don’t keep bugging you about it until the day of the party arrives!

Choose Your Words Wisely

It may seem obvious, but choosing your words carefully will help you avoid any awkwardness or hurt feelings. You don’t want to sound rude, so keep your tone friendly, but be clear about your decision to avoid confusion.

Be direct but kind by saying something like: “Thank you for inviting me, but I do not feel comfortable attending this event.” If possible, offer an alternative suggestion such as “I would love to take you up on that offer another time! Maybe we can do lunch sometime next week”.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Don’t try to make excuses or give explanations. People will understand if you don’t want to attend their party! You can decline an invitation by politely saying something like, “Thanks for inviting me! Sorry I can’t make it”.

Make Sure Your Last Words Are Upbeat and Positive

You don’t want to sound rude or ungrateful when declining an invitation. So people must know that even though you cannot attend, they still wish you well.


It’s always a nice gesture when your employer extends the invitation to join them for the holiday bash. With the right tone, it’s easy to politely decline a work Christmas party invitation if you don’t feel like going, and hopefully, that will be enough to sway your manager’s mind. Always thank the person for thinking of you, hope they and their family have a great holiday and wish them a Happy New Year.

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