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Office-Party Dos and Don'ts

How to finesse office-party season, from etiquette expert Pamela Holland, co-author of Help! Was That a Career Limiting Move?:

Don't beg off because you've got kids at home. You're not the only one  -- and by coming, you'll score points for professionalism.

Do try to meet new people. Now's not the time to stick with your usual lunch buddies; broaden your contacts.

Do some homework to find out what your boss's interests are so you can make some small talk. If she supports a charity, for instance, ask her how her last fundraiser went.

Don't talk too much about your kids. One cute story per child is enough  -- after that, change topics.

Don't be conspicuous if you have to leave early. Say a quick goodbye to your friends and host, then head out discreetly.

Do relax and enjoy yourself. How often do you get a chance to enjoy some adults-only time out?

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