From drinks and pie to gifts and gravy – ‘tis the season for indulgence! The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry. But a holiday work party should be approached with a little extra caution then the rest of the events on your holiday social calendar. While sipping egg nog with your fellow employees can be an awesome time, it can also make a great holiday party turn into a landmine masked with merrymaking.

While we prepare for our own Holiday festivities, here at Premier, we’ve compiled some simple rules and suggestions — key do’s and don’ts — to surviving and thriving the holiday workplace party… or at any company-sponsored party.

DO talk about something besides work

You’re at a party, the last thing someone wants to hear about is something to do with work. Whether your office party is away from the office or in it, keep the office talk to a minimum. Your co-workers are more than just humans that you work with; they’re also humans that have families, hobbies, and causes they care about—just like you do.

DON’T overindulge

As necessary as it is to relax, have an excellent time and share the greater social facet of yourself at the holiday party, you’re still in a professional environment, so hold your behavior in good taste and appropriate. Moderation is key. Don’t feel you need to drink excessively just because it’s an open bar. And don’t pig-out at the food buffet either. You can always eat and drink more after the party.

DO keep up with office etiquette

Don’t spend the evening complaining, bragging, correcting, whining, or ridiculing. And do avoid controversial topics (such as religion, politics, etc.) and off-color jokes. Nobody wants to be the butt of a joke, but when it comes down to it, somebody will inevitably do or say something embarrassing. Don’t let that person be you. Be known for your professionalism and not your mishaps.

DON’T let your guard down

This isn’t you and your best friends from college reunion party. Overdoing it at a workplace holiday party can be very easy. It may be fun to be the life of the party that night—but come the next morning, you’d probably rather be considered a professional. Act as though your behavior is being observed every minute, because it probably is.

DO Have fun

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself at the party. Employers spend the big bucks to reward their employees, so be sure to enjoy the only holiday gift you may be getting from the company. Take the time to schmooze and network with people at the party. You never know who can influence your career when you talk to co workers you don’t normally see on a regular workday. So, get out there and introduce yourself to new people you work with.

The office holiday party is a time to celebrate, connect with your colleagues, and showcase a little more of your personality. But it’s not a time to slip up. So, keep it classy—you’re going to see everyone again on Monday.

Article written by Morgan Hoover