Filipino man wearing Santa hat receiving gift from female colleague in office

And just like that, a year has passed – the holidays are coming, and your office’s annual Christmas party is likely happening soon. After 12 months of hard work and grueling hours, the company party is the perfect celebration to let loose and celebrate with your coworkers, right?

Not quite. Of course, your boss expects you to relax a bit and have some fun. But no matter how great you think your work ethic has been all year, it’s not a license to throw caution to the wind.

True, there are no hard and fast rules on how to behave at an office party. Still, you need to present yourself with your best foot forward when outside of work – not unlike how you would .

Here are some rules of etiquette you’re better off following at work parties.

Dress to Impress

Dress your best based on your party’s dress code. Even if the attire reads “holiday festive,” that doesn’t mean you should show up in a Santa outfit. You wouldn’t want to be remembered for that later in the year even when you’re making good at your job.

A good rule of thumb? Be one step above the dress code. In this case, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Showing up in a button-down shirt and pressed pants is never a bad idea. You can roll up your sleeves for a more casual look later! This would be proper, especially if senior management or executives are present.

To in any attire, it helps to smell the part. Reach for the AXE Dark Temptation Body Spray, with a 48-hour high-definition scent that lasts all night. It comes with a smooth dark chocolate scent that’s impossible to resist without being too overpowering.

Show Up, and Do So on Time

There could be several reasons not to attend your office’s holiday party. You may feel like you spend enough time with your coworkers in a week that seeing them again outside work seems excessive. Or you could be naturally introverted or not even a big drinker, which means there’s not much for you to look forward to with the festivities.

But as someone who works with the company, it is in good taste to attend and display a sense of camaraderie. It is also a chance to see a different side of your coworkers that you may have never known existed. If you’re gunning for a promotion soon, your attendance can put you on management’s radar.

That said, show up on time. While you may usually never show up early to any other party to be “fashionably late,” it’s better for you to be on time for an office party out of respect for your colleagues who organized the event, in case you had no hand in it. You also don’t want to be remembered as the guy who showed up just as the party was about to wrap up, with just enough time to dine and dash.

Eat and Drink in Moderation

If you consider yourself a social drinker, remember to hold your liquor and keep your consumption in check. The same goes for the food at the party – no matter how great that lumpia is, it is proper to leave just enough for the rest to enjoy.

Even if the boss encourages you to keep drinking, remember to consume just enough to keep your senses intact and . Politely decline if you can't handle any more. Drink as if you are a designated driver, even if you aren’t. This avoids the awkward possibility of the “I can’t believe I said that to my boss” moment coming Monday morning. Above all: avoid getting trashed and losing your composure in front of your colleagues.

Ditch the Shop Talk

This is understandably tricky, but you must strike a balance between appearing appropriately professional and not bringing the actual office to the party. Your Christmas party may be your boss’s only chance to let off some steam. While you may want to avoid doing anything too much fun, it’s also wise to keep work-related conversations off the table for now.

Don’t Hog the Mic (At Karaoke)

Karaoke can be a fun way to show off your singing talents, but there’s no need to turn the office Christmas party into your own impromptu concert. Read the room: chances are, you’re not the only one hiding a golden voice. Stick to two songs at a time, let others have their turn, then wait a bit before lining up another song – lest you be the subject of your coworkers' eye rolls. If you have a knack for performing, why not ask a colleague to do a duet? That should get the crowd going.

Watch What You Post on Social Media

Catch a colleague (or a superior)dancing awkwardly? Documenting a party prank and you think your coworkers are none the wiser? It may be hilarious to you (or your buddies), but remember that things can stay forever online – even a seemingly innocuous 24-hour story. Screenshots exist. Don’t be the cause of a blunder that could spoil people’s fun. Keep it light and wholesome!

Bring Gifts for Your Bosses and Colleagues

Before leaving your Christmas party, don’t forget to thank your bosses for a great year and provide them with a year-end holiday token. The same goes for your colleagues who have helped the workplace become productive and memorable. While your gifts don’t have to be expensive, it pays to be thoughtful. Your boss will appreciate a bottle of decent wine or even a bag of coffee beans, while your colleagues will love Christmas-themed snacks and treats.

You can absolutely have fun at your company’s Christmas party but remember that your actions and gestures can have an effect long after the party is over. Use your better judgment and party responsibly!