7. Don't forget to eat
Sometimes employees skip the food and head straight to the bar because they're excited to drink with their colleagues, or they assume the catered hors d'oeuvres aren't worth the calories.
If you do decide to drink alcohol — even if you limit yourself to one glass or two glasses of wine — it's important that you eat something.
8. Don't get drunk
This is an important rule — yet so many people fail to follow it.
"You don't have to drink, but if you do, stay sober," says Pachter. "It's easy to do something outrageous when you have had too much to drink."
She suggests setting a limit for yourself before going to the party and sticking to it. "It is much easier to limit your intake that way," she says. "Or, order a drink you don't like and sip it slowly all night."
9. Don't gossip or bad mouth your colleagues
When you speak to colleagues, keep the conversation upbeat and positive.
Complaining about the company or your boss will bring the mood down, and gossiping about coworkers can get you into trouble.
It's easy to do all of the above when you've been drinking — so be careful.
10. Don't flirt
This is not the time to hit on your boss, or his spouse.
Sometimes liquid courage gets the best of us — so stay away from alcohol if you don't think you can control yourself while under the influence.
11. Don't drone on about work
While maybe your holiday party takes place at the office this year, and at the very least it involves a bunch of people you work with, it's the last place you should be talking shop.
Save your project updates for the Monday meeting.
12. Don't post photos or comments that could get you in trouble
Avoid posting negative comments to social media about how "lame" the party was, or how much the food "sucked." Also, do not post photos of your colleagues taking shots or engaging in other inappropriate behavior.
13. Don't go in without a plan
A good way to avoid defaulting to gossip or work talk is having a "talking plan." As Voltaire said, "One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say."
If you're hoping to chat with a new coworker, think of a few icebreaker questions you can ask.
Did you decide ahead of time not to drink? Know what you want to say when people ask you "Why not?" Or perhaps you're planning to chat with the CEO. Think of a few smart conversation starters.
"Don't just talk business. Be up-to-date on current events and happenings in your community. Read the newspaper, your online news sites, news magazines, company publications, and your professional journals," Pachter says.“
14. Don't make a fool of yourself
Some people forget that the office holiday party is a work-related event and completely cut loose.
It's OK to have fun and celebrate the season — but use your head and think about the consequences of your actions.
Hot sauce shooting contests are inadvisable. And maybe save your saucy rendition of "Santa, Baby" for karaoke with friends — or just your significant other.
15. Don't forget to acknowledge those who planned the party
Make sure you say "goodbye" and "thank you" to the host or party organizers, says Pachter.
If you're not sure who was involved, or you don't see them at the party, follow up with an email the next day.