The inexplicable awkwardness of holiday parties can perhaps have its uncomfortable nature traced to the root cause of most people at your corporate cash cow of a company not trained in relating to anyone beyond a surface level.
Because the surface level never has to be cracked within the eight-hour workday, it reaches a breaking point when the hours carry over to a venue that is outside of the office. Thus, alcohol is provided–though it’s hard to tell whether this makes matters better or worse as there’s nothing more unwanted than a co-worker with no emotional holds barred. Even their fakeness might be preferable to seeing any glimpse of their realness.
It is also particularly unfortunate when the holiday party occurs well before the actual Christmas days you have off, as it means you will be subjected to seeing them again with the memory of their antics (or yours) fresh in your mind.