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Don't Do This at Your Office Holiday Party!

Get tips by sign to avoid embarrassing mistakes

Holiday office parties can be dangerous territory in terms of personal embarrassment. A few cocktails lower our usual restraints, and suddenly we're telling off-color jokes to the boss or flirting heavily with that cutie from accounting. Hopefully you're lucky enough to work for a company you love and with people you adore, but if you're worried you can follow these tips to jump any hurdles your sign might face.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

You're a go-getter, quick to accomplish things and say exactly what you think. Number one rule at the office party: Don't engage in heated debates, especially with people you dislike. Even an innocent question like "Who's hotter, Ashlee or Jessica?" might spiral out of control after a few glasses of wine. And dress up a little -- looking like you came straight from the gym won't score any points.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

You're not a show-off, but you do have an affinity for nice things. And you like to spread the wealth around by giving lovely gifts. The office party is not the place, however, to bestow expensive gifts -- especially to the boss. Nor should you come bedecked in your most opulent finery. A little populist-consciousness goes a long way at the holidays. Also, no snide comments about that Aries who just arrived in workout gear!

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

You have a short attention span, Gemini. But no matter how bored you get at the party, do NOT start text-messaging your best friend, thinking no one will notice. Regaling co-workers with the fascinating details of your latest romantic exploits isn't a good idea, either. Nor is slipping out back for a smoke and forgetting to return. Instead, ask questions, practice your listening skills, and make sure you're not the first to leave.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Getting you out of your cozy nest is often tricky. Unless you own the company and think of your employees as family, an office party may not be your idea of a good time. Your usual strategy when nervous is to overeat -- but that won't make you feel better in the long run. Nor will confiding your secret fears to an office-mate, who may turn them into gossip. Take the focus off yourself and encourage others to confide in you.

Leo (July 23 - Aug 22)

You love parties. No one's going to call you a wallflower; in fact, you're usually the center of attention. Perhaps it's your flashy outfits or the witty, suggestive jokes you tell. This can work against you at the office party, however, which might seem like a lark but is often driven by politics. So save the joke about Brad's aphrodisiac for another crowd, and whatever you do, don't wear those red leather pants!

Virgo (Aug 23 - Sept 22)

People think you're cautious and reserved. They don't expect to see a tiger emerge when you've had a drink or two. That's when you let down your defenses and go a little wild. This may not be a bad thing, unless you have an image to uphold. In which case it's better to play it safe and nurse a Perrier. Also, remember that this party is supposed to be fun, so resist the urge go over numbers or strategies with colleagues.

Libra (Sept 23 - Oct 22)

More than any other sign, Libra, you know how to charm the room. You'll bring the most scintillating bottle of wine, wear the classiest outfit and say all the right things to those who count. The problem is that others will hate you for it. Jealous of your seemingly perfect life or threatened by your superior skills, they will plot against you. Better to let down the facade a bit, even tell a slightly off-color joke, to show you're one of the gang!

Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

You may be tempted to boycott the office party, Scorpio, because of that guy in HR who's got it in for you, or due to threats of impending layoffs. But that's all the more reason to show up, brandishing a smile and a good word for all. Wear your most festive holiday outfit (preferably not black!) and toast the team to affirm you're still on board. Just keep your sultry charms in check -- even an innocent flirtation could backfire on you.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21)

Your most garrulous side comes out at the holidays, Sagittarius. You delight in telling tales, debating issues and burning the candle at both ends. This behavior can quickly get you in trouble at the office party, however. What you find funny can alienate others. Religion and politics are strictly off-limits -- especially that hilarious 'Borat' quip! Minimize your drinking and count to ten before blurting out something you may regret.

Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 19)

Being "large and in charge" is fine during the workweek. That's what they pay you for, after all. But it could work against you at the party. So step down from your pedestal and mingle with the crew -- let your hair down and have a few laughs. Eschew the starched shirt or basic brown and wear something pastel -- even pink -- that brings out your softer side. And make your gift to the boss heartfelt, not just impressive!

Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18)

You've been an outsider most of your life, Aquarius. So when you find a person or group you feel a kinship with, you bond like glue. At this year's office party, though, rather than hanging out with the techies or those who speak your language, make an effort to reach out to the rest of the group. Otherwise, they may feel excluded or see you as snobbish. And, leave the cutting-edge outfit at home and wear something classy.

Pisces (Feb 19 - March 20)

You truly care for people and want them to know it. But the office party is not the right setting for lavish displays of affection or gratitude. When you've had a couple rounds, you can get mushy -- saying too much to the wrong people or accidentally leaking secret info! Switch to sparkling water after the first drink, don't spend too long talking with any one person and be sure you're not the last to leave.

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