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Boozing At The Office Holiday Party? Use Our Tips, Take Our Survey

Sipping on rum punch at the office party may be festive, but too much alcohol can lead to behavior that might embarrass you later iStockphoto hide caption

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Sipping on rum punch at the office party may be festive, but too much alcohol can lead to behavior that might embarrass you later

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Looking forward to sipping on spiked eggnog or rum punch while hobnobbing with the boss?

Dipping your cup into the punch bowl at the office holiday party may be festive, but too much alcohol can lead to behavior that might embarrass you later.

Not to fret: The Salt is here with tips to help you stay in control.

There are a couple of things to do before you put on your party shoes.

First, decide what kind of impression you want to make. "Do you want to be the life of the party, really?" asks therapist Patt Denning, who counsels on alcohol-related issues at the Center for Harm Reduction Therapy in the Bay Area.

Second, she says, decide ahead of time how many drinks will be optimal. "If you have one glass of wine, are you tipsy?" Or can you handle a few martinis with ease?

Denning says go into the event knowing your limits. The office party is not the time to channel your inner Frank the tank. Once you've determined how many drinks you'll allow yourself, stick with that number.

"Make a pact with yourself or with somebody else to take a break before each drink," she suggests. And alternate between glasses of water and alcohol.

Also, use common sense: Eat a meal before you start imbibing to slow the absorption of alcohol. As a general rule of thumb, don't consume more than one drink per hour. (That's 12 ounces if we're talking beer, 5 ounces for wine, and 1.5 ounces for hard liquor.)

And if you want to skip the headache the next morning, as we've reported, you may want to sip on distilled spirits instead of wine and beer.

That said, many of us have overdone it at some point — or seen others drink one too many at an office event. Let us know your experiences — take our survey below. We'll share the results next week.

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