An occasion notorious for encouraging usually sensible professionals to drink large quantities of alcohol, dance suggestively on table tops and let slip outrageous revelations that would surely have been better kept quiet.

The festive bash can be a minefield, but with a little restraint and consideration there is no reason it shouldn't be a fantastic evening of fun and sophisticated merriment.

Top 10 Tips for Christmas party etiquette

1. Dress appropriately and make an impression for the right reasons.

Check the dress code which will usually be determined by the venue or the theme of the party...

2. Time your arrival.

You don't want to be the first to turn up....or the last. Check you know the itinerary for the evening.

3. Choose drinks wisely.

Be sure to pace yourself throughout the evening and alternate with soft drinks or water. Resist the inevitable peer pressure to indulge in tequila shots or you may end up losing more than your inhibitions!

4. Don't discuss disagreements or grievances with colleagues.

Christmas is a time for reconciliation, celebration and festive spirit, and the office party is a time to have fun, get to know colleagues better (but not TOO much!)

5. Remember to bring cash.

Not all companies have the budget to lay on an open bar or complimentary wine with the meal. And at the very least you'll need enough money to pay the cab fare home.

6. Don't just talk with your friends.

Mingle with varying groups and circulate the room. Avoid monopolising a conversation with the senior management, you will regret it.

7. Don't talk shop all evening and risk being labelled as the office bore.

Use the Christmas party as an opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level, generally network and show other positive aspects of your personality. And don't just talk – be sure to listen too.

8. Avoid romantic liaisons.

Studies have shown that one third of all couples meet at work and considering how much time you spend there, this is hardly surprising. However, using the Christmas party to make your move on a colleague is not a good strategy, especially if fuelled by alcohol. Remember you have to work with them all year.

9. Avoid leaving the party with just one other of the opposite sex;

Try to leave as a group. This will spark rumors as people love to gossip even if it is just an innocent cab share to separate homes.

10. Organise your transport home before the party.

It can make all the difference to the end of the night and avoid awkwardness.