By Holly Caplan, guest blogger

A company holiday party can be a night of debauchery, drinking and fun, yet someone will always end up paying for it in the end.  You surely don’t want to set yourself up for a potentially bad situation. In our current [sexual harassment] climate, it is too dangerous and at the very least could result in you becoming the office gossip on Monday and at worst, could cost you your job.

if you feel yours will lead to a bad hangover and potentially some awkward and regretful conversations or activities, just say no. Here are three options to consider if you decide to skip the party this year:

  1. Politely decline. Say you are taking a rain check this year. It doesn’t mean you are not a team player, it just means that you would like to find another way to celebrate the holiday and your colleagues.  Your professional reputation and relationships are what should prevail and be your legacy, so not attending the party may be the best choice for you. But it is your choice.

2. Offer up another idea. Offer an idea to management that is a healthy way to celebrate with your colleagues.  It could be a holiday scavenger hunt, or a holiday decorating competition. Either way, these are still tea- building situations and are fun and productive.  You could even offer to organize it the following year to show your engagement.

3. Be your own host. Another way to celebrate time time with your “work family” is to host a Sunday brunch at your home or do it collaboratively with your friends as a potluck event. You can share your best ham, stuffing, eggs benedict, potato latkes, and fruitcake. This way, it is fun, celebratory, yet on your terms.

If something makes you feel uncomfortable about attending, than certainly opt out. Your job will still be there waiting for you to execute to the best of your abilities.

Holly Caplan is an award-winning manager and author of “Surviving the Dick Clique: A Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Male Dominated Corporate World” For more information, visit