Ho-ho-how happy are you that office Christmas party week has finally arrived? Is there a more joyful sight on God’s good Earth than seeing Alan from accounts downing tequila straight from the bottle, while your boss dances Gangnam Style in a Santa suit? If there is, I haven’t seen it.

But be warned – the Christmas party can descend into a career nightmare faster than you can say ‘mulled-wine-induced-photo-copying-incident’.

New research from lastminute.com has shown that hangovers cost businesses almost £260 million in lost man-hours – so employers are probably on the lookout for staff members over-indulging in eggnog.

I can’t imagine this performance went down too well with the bosses, for instance:

But the good news is that the latest research shows us young folk are beginning to take some restraint when it comes to hitting the bottle. Levels of binge drinking among young people have fallen dramatically in recent years:

Only 17% of women aged between 16 and 24 admitted to drinking more than six units on their heaviest day of drinking.

Compare that to 27% in 2005 and you can see how young people’s attitudes to drinking have changed. The same trend has been mirrored amongst men, with 24% now admitting to drinking more than 8 units compared with 32% in 2005.

So chances are you’re going to be less sozzled than your older colleagues at your Christmas party – and that probably includes your big boss (wo)man.

If you haven’t managed to buddy up to him or her, this could be a really good chance – when their guard is down and their glass is up.

I hadn’t spoken to an old at all boss over the 6 months I had been interning with them, until the Christmas party, when I managed to tell her a couple of ideas I had for articles in between dancing to The Locomotion and Oops Upside your Head.

The next week I (gently) reminded her of our chat and she ended up commissioning me for work. It was a little Christmas miracle.

So even if you’re not part of the group of young people who are laying off the sauce, you might want to consider staying sober at your Christmas party (not necessarily as a judge, but defo steer clear of Shane Macgowan from The Pouges territory).

I know it reeks of ‘bah humbug’, but you might not get another chance to bend your boss’s slightly inebriated ear for another year. So suck it up. And Merry Christmas!