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The Survival Guide to Holiday Parties

Nov 27, 2012 08:18AM

Survival Guide to Holiday Parties

by Micah Holley

The holidays are upon us, folks. You know what that means: dazzling decorations, delicious food, and endless holiday parties. December is a time for celebration, so we compiled a list of eight tips to survive the fun parties, the awkward parties and the ever-dreaded office parties.

Dress for the Occasion It’s important to be comfortable at parties—especially if you plan on eating. Be sure to look sassy but feel airy and free. For more of a laidback party, wear a baggy sweater, skinny jeans and booties. Your clothing will be loose enough for you to let it all hang out, if need be. As for the more upscale parties, find a comfortable dress that pops. Just because you might end up stuffing yourself more than you planned, that doesn’t mean you have to look like a stuffed turkey.

Be Camera-Ready Whatever you do, do not leave your camera at home! The best part of holiday parties is documenting every nitty-gritty detail—everything from the crazy dancing to the traditional TwitPic to the dreadful “after” photos. Not only will you want to take your own party pics but so will everyone else. This goes back to dressing for the occasion. You don’t want any bad press.

Put Some Thought Into Your Gift Gifts aren’t meant to be expensive—they’re meant to be thoughtful. Although you may have gotten someone you don’t know well for Secret Santa, that doesn’t mean the gift shouldn’t be meaningful.  Ask around the office (or ask mutual friends) what he or she likes and come up with something creative. People want to feel loved around the holidays, so put in some extra effort.

Leave the Drama at the Door The holidays are a time for laughter and love. Don’t ruin a holiday party by pushing your drama onto someone else. Your friend isn’t there to talk about the office drama or your ex-boyfriend. Take interest into what’s going on in your friend’s life and be her open ear.

Put on a Smile If you’re single, now is the time everyone feels sorry for you. We’ve all been there, and it isn’t fun. Your girlfriend will try setting you up with her boyfriend’s best friend, and you’re going to have to deal with it. You don’t have to act interested, but you can have a good time from it. Have fun and go with it. Your friend doesn’t have a vendetta against you—she simply cares.

Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed If you were invited to a potluck-type holiday party, bring a treat! Not only does it look bad when you show up with nothing but a hungry belly, but bringing a dish, drinks or even a snack gives you a pass to eat as much as possible!

Have an Escape Plan Rule number one of any girl’s night out is to have a codeword. In the case of holiday parties, you need to have an escape plan. That creepy guy from the office surely will be sipping way too much spiked eggnog. When things get uncomfortable and you don’t want to be rude but are dying to leave, conjure up a scheme with your girls that won’t offend the host if you leave. This way, you don’t come off as impolite and you still have a chance at a fun night out—just somewhere else.

Say Thank You Last, but not least: give thanks! The holiday season brings together everyone you care about and it’s a lot of work. The party host goes through a lot to plan his or her party, so be sure to thank them for it. Offer to help with the planning, bring some vino, or be a part of the clean-up crew. Now is the time to be polite!

With this guide, you will dodge the awkward run-ins, while having fun and giving a lasting impression. Tell us about your favorite holiday parties! What do you suggest?