EVERYONE dreads the Christmas work do, which can be a social minefield as the booze flows.
Not so long ago, the traditional bash could end with snogging the boss, having a fumble in a cupboard or photocopying our bums.
Sadly, social media and political correctness have conspired to end such fun.
Now, 86 per cent of workers say the typically badly-behaved Christmas party is over.
Even a snog under the mistletoe could end with a call from HR. No wonder almost three-quarters of staff say they wouldnt try kissing a colleague.
Many hope to spend just two hours at a bash. And 28 per cent insist theyve never considered using the photocopier inappropriately. Sad times.
Katie Glass reveals ways to navigate the Christmas party and still have fun...
With snowflake-season year-round now boomers and millennials are more worried than ever about causing offence, as every conversation risks a micro-aggression.
There used to be a simple rule for this: Never talk about politics, religion or money. Now nothing is safe.
Now nothing is safe. Even the weather could lead to an argument about climate change.
But rather than being a party bore, choose an enemy everyone hates: The French, Prince Andrew, estate agents.
Just find something your co-workers also cant stand then safely launch into your outspoken opinions.
There's an age-old rule for seasonal drinking: Beer before wine, then youll feel fine.
Wine before beer, erm, its Christmas. Say yes to champagne, yes to cocktails, yes to mulled wine but no to punch, which is either just sugared-water or will have been over-spiked.
Once you get to a place where you can chat merrily with co-workers without wanting to rip out your eyes, try alternating between alcohol and water. Youre golden now.
DO NOT DO SHOTS. It may seem like nothing says Christmas like Jgermeister but what starts with a cheeky chaser ends at 3am with Tom from accounts dragging you to a strip club.
Unless the look youre going for this Christmas is messy divorce never turn up to the work party with mistletoe.
Likewise, never point out the green stuff is hanging overhead.
In fact, this box is a trick, because the only thing you should avoid at the work Christmas party is a snog.
While three-quarters of staff now say they would never try kissing a colleague that still leaves a quarter who would!
If you really must flirt and drink then find someone anonymous online to do it with this is why Tinder was invented.
You have had a few drinks, you are feeling buzzy, now seems the perfect time to shimmy over to your boss and share your brilliant thoughts about company restructuring...STOP.
Its a weird urban myth that Christmas parties are a great opportunity to speak to your higher-ups.
The opposite is true.
Instead of making a fool of yourself, make a bee-line for junior staff they are the ones who have all the best workplace gossip.
This being Christmas, nothing is too much. Think fancy dress: Santa or an elf, but perhaps not Jesus.
Wear flats to dance, an elasticated waist to scoff canapes and something you can get in and out of easily after a few drinks so you dont find yourself struggling with your jumpsuit in a toilet cubicle with gossiping Sharon banging the door outside.
Remember, this is your chance to show people who usually see you exhausted at your desk that you are actually quite attractive.
So layer on the make-up and pull on your Spanx!
I hate to break it to you but if your dress doesnt fit at the start of December youll have no chance by the end of the month.
Now is far too late to diet. And dont even consider not eating and drinking no one likes a drunkorexia.
Focus on lining your stomach think carb-heavy lunches and full-fat milk.
Theres no point in starving yourself at the start of the night.
At the party youll be lucky to grab a few greasy canapes and a dry mince pie, and we both know youll be waking up beside an empty McDonalds bag.
Are you thinking of calling your ex? Doing karaoke? Asking your boss for a pay rise? Putting tinsel on your head and dragging that cute designer out to dance to Last Christmas? Yes, then GO HOME.
Have a few conversation-enders ready: My boyfriend is calling, Get out of my way Im going to be sick.
Dont worry about just sneaking off. By now everyone will be too drunk to remember if you stayed or whether you even still work with them.
If you want to be truly organised, set yourself a three-hour time limit and advance-book your cab.
The worst thing about the works party is the next day you cant call in sick.
If you slept with Tony from I.T, told the security guy you love him or vomited mulled wine in the lift, now youll have to walk back into the office (and possibly past your own vomit).
Hold your head high as you return to your desk or workbench.
As Johnny Depp told Kate Moss: Never complain, never explain.
And its not like theres loads of embarrassing rumours going around...
Honey on toast. A full English breakfast. A pint of milk. Half a tablespoon of salt and two teaspoons of sugar dissolved in half a litre of water before bed.
A shot of whisky and an espresso . . . I could go on.
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Still, Kingsley Amis had the best hangover advice: If youre in bed with your partner, and theyre willing, perform the sexual act as vigorously as you can.
If youre in bed with someone you shouldnt be dont .
The guilt and shame will be overwhelming. For the same reason, he suggests, abstain if youre alone.