The holiday office party used to be an event that led to great stories the day after. I remember back in the day, my business partner and I used to DJ the employee Christmas parties at 2 Atlantic City casinos.  These were huge events that lasted 18 hours.  As you can imagine the alcohol flowed freely and if walls could talk...

Many businesses no longer have holiday parties.  Social sensibilities have changed, and many businesses don't want to assume the risk of inviting their staff to a night of drinking.   Some businesses have replaced the traditional party with a staff dinner, or open house.  Others have discontinued the gatherings altogether.

If your work invites you to gather for some holiday cheer, there are some things to keep in mind, that will prevent you from embarrassing yourself, or get you fired.

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How we handle alcohol is at the very top of the list.  Know your limit, and drink half of that.  Most of us drink alcohol to loosen up and relax.  Alcohol also lowers our inhibitions and causes us to do and say things that we ordinarily might not do or say.  Things that sound or look funny after a few drinks, may look different through sober eyes.

Dress appropriately for the occasion.  Ok, we are talking about a party, right?  Yes, but it's a gathering of your peers and supervisors.  Don't be the person who has the wardrobe malfunction that becomes the annual staff story.  Keep your pants on!  Seems obvious, I know, but I attended an office party where one of the guys wanted to show off his new tattoo.  Trouble was it was on his butt.  We didn't need to see that.

Many of these gatherings don't include spouses.  It's a really bad idea to flirt or try to hook up with a co-worker.  Morals aside, you can find yourself entangled in an HR nightmare.  The fact that you're not in the office, doesn't protect you from very real legal consequences.

Be social.  A good strategy when attending these functions is to blend in.  You don't want to be remembered as the loud, obnoxious one, but you don't want to be standing alone and get a reputation for being unsocial.  Blend in, by making sure you greet each person at the party.  These are your co-workers, and you work hard.  Have a good time.

Finally, if you are buzzed, call an Uber.  According to the NJ State Police, we had nearly 100 traffic fatalities in our region so far this year.  Don't become a statistic.

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