On the 2nd day of Christmas... you made an awful joke
The office Christmas party is a good chance for team building and social interaction, but things can be perceived differently when you have a few drinks. What may be perceived as innocent office gossip might jeopardise a position in the business, let alone management reputation.
What's at risk?
Though intentions might be harmless, inappropriate jokes might strike just the wrong chord. You never know how a co-worker or an employee might react to "out-of-office" humour, so it's better to keep it on the light side to avoid, quite literally, a sobering conversation with HR. No one likes an awkward moment at a party, but some can take it to the next level and hold you accountable.
How to avoid it?
Drink responsibly, for starters. You do not want to become the centre of the next day gossip. Though it's a great chance to take your work relationships to a more friendly level, don't take this too literally. An office party is hardly the time to announce your workplace crush, let alone pursue it under a mistletoe pretence. To damage control any employment practices claims, get the right D&O cover in your insurance plan that includes an Employment Practices Liability add-on. But, most of all, just remember to keep it professional.
Read about the 3d risk of Christmas.