As Christmas draws ever closer, the mine field that is the Office Christmas Party hovers like the spectre on Death on your social calender. It's a rare employee who can look their colleagues in the eye without embarassment the day after a Christmas party.

In order to prepare yourself for the large amounts of alcohol, boil 2 pints of milk and .5 lb of lard. Mix together, then drink. Whilst this may not create a fatty lining in your stomach to slow down alcohol absorption, it will make you vomit violently, which gives you the perfect excuse to stay at home and watch television.

If you must attend, then prepare yourself for the fact that you will flirt with colleagues, and you will go home with one, which will then be discussed in the office for the next 12 months. It's fate. Just make sure it's not your boss, or the mail room woman.

Office party music is always the same. Resist your urges. Do not dance to Chris de Burgh's Lady in Red, Eric Clapton's You Look Wonderful Tonight, George Michael's Careless Whisper and at least one Cliff Richard record. If you must dance, do it late in the evening when the video camera batteries have expired.

Do not challenge your boss to arm wrestling. It will not enhance your promotion prospects. Do not demand to know why he hates you. Do not tell the managing director why the company strategy is wrong. Do not grope the CEO's trophy wife, or 18 year old daughter.

If you work in an Internet company, and the party is in the office, remember the curse that is web cams.

Finally, remember that you will not earn respect from your colleagues by sending them photocopies of your buttocks or breasts in internal mail.

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