How to Avoid Embarrassment at Company Holiday Parties

Inside Edition spoke to an expert about how to keep things professional at a company holiday party.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but how do you balance having a jolly time while avoiding embarrassment in front of co-workers? 

To celebrate a year of hard work, some companies are going all out for their holiday parties, with alcohol, dancing and even celebrity guests like Pitbull making appearances.

While everyone agrees it’s a time to drink and be merry, loosening up a little too much may end with embarrassing moments in front of your co-workers.

Workplace consultant Stephen Viscusi says it’s OK to party, but keep it professional.

“You should dress the same way that you’re dressing for the office, but maybe a little festive to show you’re also enjoying the holiday,” Viscusi told Inside Edition. “Office gossip is so important not to discuss at an office party. Keep the conversation to family, friends, what you’re doing during the holidays but keep it away from religion and politics.”

If alcohol is being served, Viscusi says to make sure to eat beforehand, and set a limit on how many drinks you’ll consume.

"I have a very important rule for drinking at an office party,” he said. “Two drinks only. The first drink you're fun, the second drink you're silly, and the third drink you're stupid."

Peter Sherman, owner of Bar Bacon Restaurant in New York City, says their facility hosts office holiday parties every year.

"Everyone sort of feels the freedom to do the things they're not supposed to do,” he told Inside Edition. “I've seen people lock themselves in the bathroom to do some things in private, I've seen people light their hair on fire. It is a constant flow of bad decisions.”

To avoid problems, many companies are toning down or dropping the celebrations altogether.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, only 65 percent of companies are opting to host holiday parties, the lowest number in nearly a decade.

Instead, companies are opting for ugly sweater competitions or cubicle decorating contests.

No matter what your company is doing for the holidays, Viscusi says to keep in mind that "the most important thing about the office party is to show up.”