Do Not Attend Your Office Holiday Party Without Knowing These 15 Etiquette Rules

As a kid, there were plenty of reasons to be excited about the holiday season. For starters, it guaranteed a vacation, which meant the possibility of sleeping in. Then there was the prospect of presents, which strongly suggested the chance of a new toy. And finally, there were all the sweets, which definitely meant lots of dessert. However, as an adult, the holiday season can be more stressful. Aside from the gifts to buy and the decorations to hang, there are the time-off logistics to plan and the family to see.

For grown-ups, there are only a handful of things to look forward to during this period. And one of them is a holiday office party. Sure, you may spend at least 40 hours a week with these people, and bosses will be in attendance, but you can also let loose with that co-worker you send funny Slack messages to and maybe get to know that seemingly interesting employee you see in the shared kitchen. Overall, it should be a fun night—as long as you don't overstep any boundaries.

"Depending on where you are and how long you've been at the organization, take time to research, adjust, and learn about what is acceptable, expected, and comfortable for you and your colleagues," says Sharon Schweitzer, a cross-cultural coach and international etiquette expert. "If you are new, find a trusted colleague to share insight on the unwritten holiday party rules."

It's safe to say that it's not a good idea to get too wild at a holiday office party, but in case you need more insight into what that means, hold tight. We asked Schweitzer for her advice on how to behave in front of your colleagues so that you can look forward to the event—and be able to return to work without any embarrassment. These are her 15 tips.