With Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time when you’ll probably be gearing up for your office Christmas party.

It’s a nice time to relax after a long year and unwind with your colleagues, but if you’re planning on getting ridiculously drunk or telling some of your work mates some home truths – think again.

While parties can be pleasant affairs, if you approach the work Christmas get-together in the wrong way, it can have disastrous consequences!

With that in mind, I’ve put together the top five things you definitely shouldn’t do at the office Christmas party!

1) Not Turning Up

If you’re not the best of friends with your colleagues, it can be tempting to just avoid the whole office party thing altogether, but if you take this approach it won’t go down well with the business.

Not only will you be ostracising yourself from the rest of the workforce, but you’ll also miss valuable networking opportunities and chances to get to know some senior staff members who can help your career.

Obviously if you’ve got a good reason it’s fine to miss a Christmas party, but just not bothering to go will make it seem like you’re not a team player and are unreliable.

2) Drinking Too Much

At most office parties, there will be a fair amount of free alcohol, but this doesn’t mean you should take advantage and down drinks like there’s no tomorrow.

Not only will you make a fool of yourself or possibly say something you’ll regret, you could also end up being the subject of the dreaded office gossip – not ideal!

Make sure you know what your alcohol limit is and take yourself home if you feel like you’re getting a bit too lairy. Also, if partners are invited to the party, keep an eye on them too – you might be acting professionally, but you don’t want your partner embarrassing you infront of your colleagues!

failure3) Get Romantic With A Colleague

So, you’ve had a few drinks and have had your eye on Fred in Sales for a while, so now that you’re both feeling festive and a bit inebriated – what a great chance to have a cheeky kiss, right?! WRONG!

I don’t need to tell you why this has been, is, and will always be a bad idea, but especially now that everyone has a camera phone – the picture your snog under the mistletoe could be doing the rounds in the office within minutes!

Also, not only is it unprofessional, but you might get yourself a bit of a bad reputation in the workplace which could damage your professional development.

4) Dress Inappropriately

Obviously, you’re not expected to go to the work party in the same clothes you’d wear in the office, but there still needs to be some sort of professionalism – it is a work event after all.

By all means get out the sparkly dress or funky shirt, but avoid anything with any offensive slogans/images or anything that shows a bit too much flesh.

Dressing the wrong way could mean you end up with a bad name for yourself or colleagues talking about you – none of which you’re going to want going into the new year!

5) Get Grudges Off Your Chest

Finally, no matter how much you think Linda in HR has been stopping you getting a pay rise, or how Joe in Marketing gives you a dirty look every morning, the office Christmas party is definitely not the place to pull them up about it.

Everyone has unresolved work issues, but bringing them up in a place where people are trying to have a good time and there’s alcohol involved is a really bad idea.

Not only can these sort of disagreements end nastily, but you’ll be cringing when you wake up in the morning and it could cause unnecessary hostility when you go back to work.

So there we go, a few things you definitely shouldn’t do at your office Christmas party! Have you committed any of these faux pas, or have any advice of your own?

Let me know in the comments below.