1. There are two types of company holiday parties. There are company holiday parties where employees bring their spouses or significant others and maybe their kids, and then there are the company holiday parties where employees go alone. Friends and family parties end at 9 p.m. and everyone gets home safely. Employees-only parties usually last 36 hours and lead to at least six people being reported as missing.
2. It’s OK to be the first person at the company holiday party. Just don’t be the last person at the company holiday party.
3. For the last time: that little pastry hors d’oeuvre being passed around on a tray? It’s stuffed with cheese and mushroom. You’ve been going to the same company holiday party for the past seven years and it’s always been cheese and mushroom. Stop asking.
4. The company holiday party is not the moment to try Jagermeister or walking on your hands for the first time.
5. If your company’s holiday party is taking place in a penthouse with piles of lobster, expensive champagne, trapeze artists and Coldplay performing live on stage, immediately run back to the office and clear out your desk, because your company is declaring bankruptcy tomorrow.
6. The five scariest words anyone can say at the company holiday party: “Sure, I can totally DJ!”
7. If you see the company CEO at the holiday party, walk right up and give the boss a 90-minute, detailed lecture on all of the things you would do differently if you were the boss. Highly encouraged! All CEOs love a good unsolicited 90-minute lecture.
8. Counting calories? Here’s an easy office-party diet tip. Before going to the party, drink one glass of water and eat a banana and a handful of raw almonds. It will fill your stomach, and you will only wind up eating 94 crab cakes, 47 mini egg rolls, 54 nachos, 18 ounces of cheese, a leg of lamb, 11 brownies and four ice cream sandwiches—plus a glass of water, a banana and a handful of raw almonds.
9. If you work in a company with an art department, just know the people in the art department have more fun than anybody. They have expensive haircuts and cooler shoes, and after the company party, they’re going to a better party, and you’re absolutely not invited.
10. Yup: It really is called a Pig in a Blanket and don’t think too hard about it or it will completely weird you out.
11. Everybody sees you hanging out all night at the shrimp bar eating shrimp. You’re not that slick.
12. Unless you have two hours to spare talking about the BCS championship, avoid anyone at the office who went to Notre Dame or Alabama.
13. Dancing at the office holiday party is a bold move—though not as bold as dancing by yourself at the office holiday party.
14. If you used to be a decent break dancer “back in the day,” and “the day” was sometime during the Reagan administration, you might want to reconsider hitting the floor.
15. If your company holiday party is a karaoke party, do yourself a favor. Get a co-worker, spend $2,000 on a vocal coach, take six weeks of lessons and master Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream.” It will be a smash hit, you will both become office legends and will probably get promoted the next day.
16. Whoa, you just went to the buffet table and made a sandwich out of two gingerbread cookies and six slices of roast beef. Nice job.
17. If you’re showing co-workers videos of your cat on your iPhone, it’s time to hail a cab home.
18. If you think you’re showing co-workers videos of your cat on your iPhone, and it turns out they aren’t your co-workers, and you’ve accidentally gone to another company’s company holiday party, it is definitely time to hail a cab home.
19. Yes, you can expense the cab home. Expensing the two stolen cases of wine in the trunk might be trickier.
20. No, you don’t need to go to the underground disco after the company holiday party. That’s for the employees 25 and under and they’re already freaked out that you’re in the car with them and demanding to hear Phil Collins.
21. There’s always someone who tells you all week they’re going to “take it easy and drink only water” at this year’s holiday party. At 9:15 p.m., you will look over, and this person will be passed out atop a giant pile of winter coats.
22. French fries at 4:15 a.m. are your best friend in the world.
23. If you come to work the next morning and discover you have 153 messages on your voice mail and a note from human resources: Just go to Starbucks and hide until New Year’s Day.