Along with gifts and excessive amounts of fruitcake, the winter holidays bring a string of obligatory and potentially awkward social functions. The most unnecessary might be the office party, in which people with mainly professional ties must see each other in party mode. The following day can be one of the most uncomfortable times of the year.

Among the tips for handling common holiday drinking scenarios, Grubstreet New York keeps it straight on office parties, suggesting that you “only accept invitations to parties you really, really want to attend.” The problem is, you don’t really have a choice when it comes to mandatory work-related functions. Still, we can co-sign Grubstreet’s eggnog advice: “If the ‘nog’s pedigree is in any way questionable — it came from a carton or jug; the friend who made it owns neither a bottle of rum nor a bottle of brandy — stay away or you will later regret a misguided effort to be festive.”

If you do attend an office party that gets a little loose, at least know that drinking can lend to better productivity. Bloomberg Businessweek points to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago which says that those who indulge in a few sips are more adept at creative problem-solving (probably because they just think “screw it!” and throw out whatever ideas pops into their throbbing head).

[via Grubstreet NY]