It's all fun and games 'til they roll out the peppermint schnapps.
Office holiday parties are notorious for being one of the best and worst times of the year.
They bring peppermint-coated candy canes, free bottles of sparkling prosecco and the opportunity to embarrass yourself in front of everyone you work with.
In one moment, you're casually sipping on a glass of chardonnay while mingling with directors over Bing Crosby's "White Christmas."
In the next, you're downing eggnog Fireballs with your boss while belting out Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
While hard liquor is fun, and flirting with your overwhelmingly attractive co-workers is inevitable, you also want to ensure employment after the new year.
Therefore, it is both important and necessary to determine a common ground between being a sober Scrooge and a "Polar Express" train wreck at your office holiday party this year.
Here are 12 ways to avoid disaster:
1. When your boss offers to “buy you a drink,” say no.
It's just one drink until it's two, four, six, "want to stay at my place?"
2. Eat the food.
The assortment of cheeseburger sliders, mini hot dogs and mac and cheese balls are actually there for you to eat them.
Stuff your face like it's Christmas dinner because feeling bloated in your little black dress is better than taking a trip to blackout city.
3. When you feel yourself bragging, stop.
"I recently got promoted to manager (because I'm awesome), got a huge bonus, ran a half marathon and got a new cat."
The next morning: "Shit, I must've sounded like such an idiot. Who was I saying that to again?"
4. Stick with wine or beer.
The menagerie of alcohol offered at every holiday party makes it hard to say no to drinks like whiskey tonics and, of course, vodka sodas.
However, your professional (morning) self will thank you for NOT choosing to drink the entire selection of hard liquor at the bar the night before.
5. Realize that heels are only attractive if you can walk in them.
If you can't walk more than two steps in your shoes, you'll probably end up looking like a wobbly reindeer in headlights by the end of the night.
Not classy. Not fabulous.
6. Avoid wearing anything you wouldn't wear in the office.
Leave bodycon dresses and sexy Santa suits at home because despite what it looks like, this isn't the club.
7. When company-wide celebratory shots are suggested, shoot water.
THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH WATER SHOTS, and quite frankly, they're a brilliant allusion for vodka.
Celebrating one team victory often leads to celebrating your role, his role and every single person's role within the company. Aka, multiple shots will be taken.
8. Avoid lip-locking with co-workers.
Even if you think it's romantic because you're under mistletoe, don't.
9. Understand that selfies are cute, but not with your directors.
When you check your camera roll the next morning, you're going to want to delete, delete, delete.
10. Don't get stuck with one person the entire night.
"Did you see him and her talking, drinking, dancing and eating all night together? Yeah, they're totally hooking up."
BAM. And that's how office rumors start.
11. Set an alarm to go home.
The reputation of being the last one standing at the bar drinking Jack and Cokes will not help your career.
Instead, listen to your (sober) iPhone when it tells you to GTFO before it's too late.
12. Remember you're an adult.
Although you're entitled to cut a little loose after a full year of nonstop work (because hey, you deserve it), it's important to maintain class and intelligence in order to ring in the new year with a job and — not to mention — your dignity.