Best Practices For Navigating the Holiday Party Circuit

It is now December and that means it is holiday party season! I kicked off the month with a neighborhood Christmas block party on Saturday night and this afternoon we had our holiday luncheon for our University Communication department at CCU. Now by no means is my calendar chock-full of holiday party after holiday party…I am not that popular. However, Sidney and I do have enough Yuletide functions on our calendar to keep us busy throughout the holiday season.

For tonight’s blog post, I wanted to offer up ten best practices (in no particular order) for the holiday party circuit.

Sidney and I have some tips to make the most out of the 2017 Christmas party season.

1. Be Joyful – It is the most wonderful time of the year! For those who go to Christmas parties ready to laugh and toss back some cups of egg nog, you got this tip down. But if you had a bad day, put your Scrooge attitude in check and make sure your face lights up like a Christmas tree. The best way to snap out of a sour mood is to enjoy some holiday cheer.

2. Ice Breaker – The best way to greet someone at a holiday party? Look them straight in the eye and exclaim “Merry Christmas!” Make sure it comes straight from the heart and that you have a twinkle in your eye when you say it. I have found this greeting, when said sincerely, will immediately gain the trust and admiration of the person you are talking to.

3. Break Out the Santa Suit – Now I wouldn’t do this for formal Christmas parties, but if it is a gathering of friends or a holiday cocktail hour with co-workers, be that guy who busts out the Santa suit! When you randomly shows up in St. Nick garb, it makes people smile and it also makes you a photo magnet. Even better, it allows you to play a character and perhaps act a little goofier than if you showed up in street clothes.

Busting out the Santa suit is fun.

4. Advice on White Elephant Exchanges – Pack an envelope with scratch-offs! No, seriously. Each time Sidney and I bring lotto tickets to a white elephant/Chinese gift exchange, our gift always gets stolen the maximum amount of times. People can’t resist the thought of possibly striking it rich on Christmas. Trust us and do it at least once this season.

5. Be Fun At Your Spouse’s Work Party – One of the best holiday social functions of the season for me is my wife’s Christmas party for her school. All of her teachers get together either at a bar or bowling alley for some good wholesome fun. I do my best to put myself out there and get to know my wife’s co-workers. Show the people at your spouse’s work party that she isn’t married to some dud.

6. Be Responsible – This one goes without saying but I will put it out there just in case. Many of the Christmas parties you go to will have holiday num nums available for your enjoyment. Be smart and know your limit. The last thing you want to do is become a drunken fool at a winter celebration. Over indulging will not only put you on Santa’s naughty list but it will make you a danger when you hit the roads to go home.

7. Prioritize – Some of us (not me) have what seems like an engagement every night during the month. Others of us have less hectic schedules but might be invited to a couple different holiday functions on the same weekend night. Don’t feel bad about sitting at home in front of the fireplace for some of these. Remember, this special season isn’t all about hitting up party after party. Go to the ones you are looking more forward to and actually have time for. There is no shame skipping a holiday function to either reflect on the joyful birth of Christ or to simply take a breather.

8. Music – If you want the perfect soundtrack for your holiday party, go for the “Fireplace Christmas Mix.” Either type it into YouTube or dial it up on your Apple TV. This selection will deliver instrumentals of classic Christmas songs and will instantly make your heart feel warm.

9. For Those Who Want to Steal the Show… – If you want to bring a dish to a holiday potluck that will have people coming back for more, go with an addicting snack called Christmas Reindeer Crack. After seeing it last year online, I decided to make it. Even for someone like me who is an absolute disaster in the kitchen, the snack turned out incredible. What is Christmas Reindeer Crack, you ask? Well, it is a mixture of M&M’s, peanuts, pretzels, and Fritos coated in white chocolate. But if you want a better description, click here for my blog post from last year.

I made Christmas Reindeer Crack last year and it was beyond delicious.

10. Dress Code – If you aren’t going as Santa (see tip #3), have a general idea on the type of dress that will be worn by most at the party. As I am not a big fan of “ugly holiday sweaters,” I tend to dress in Christmas colors depending on the type of function it is. If it is a more formal event, I will sport a red tie. If it is casual, I might slip on a red or green (or maybe a red and green) thermal. Never deny the power of props! Some reindeer antlers can go a long way.

If you are attending a more formal holiday gathering, wear a red tie.

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In closing, let me end with alluding to what I addressed with tip #7. Enjoy the opportunities to socialize and eat good food this holiday season and use the above to help you maximize the fun. But please remember what Christmas is all about. Just in the same way that we can get all wrapped up in buying presents and accumulating material possessions, we can do the same with focusing on holiday parties. Have a good time but set a limit. Don’t Blink.

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