6 Tips For Simplifying Holiday Parties

December 3, 2014

I know I can’t be the only one feeling the frenzy.

The holiday season has certainly arrived, and with it a slew of invitations, social commitments, and, well, a little bit of stress–little ff you’re great at compartmentalizing.

Since I’m an avid supporter of your sanity, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you navigate the holiday party scene with ease.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Need to read! Tips for simplifying your social calendar this holiday season.

1. Don’t go giving it away 

When the first holiday gathering invite arrived back in late October you giddily RSVP-ed “yes” before even taking the time to read the thing. Ditto the second and third. When, by the fourth’s arrival, you suddenly realize your poor calendar is filling up to the point of socialite status, leaving you with little time enough to wax one eyebrow let alone two, you’ll realize, too, your mistake.

Let the invites arrive. Give them time. Certainly you should adhere to RSVP deadlines, but beyond that, don’t feel as though you need to immediately respond to any of them. 

This is your chance to act the part of scheming social climber, albeit an entirely more authentic and non-snobby version and therefore not actually at all like the character in comparison: see what invites may come. Weigh your availability then (when all the invites you’re expecting have arrived, in any case), your sanity level, and the logistical implications.

Then and only then can you, in good conscious and with the gods of Simplicity smiling upon you, RSVP to all, affirmatively or otherwise.

Need to read! Tips for simplifying your social calendar this holiday season.

2. Don’t go making all the pies. Or latkes. 

Along the lines of numero 1, don’t go making promises about what you’ll bring to the party before you give the matter proper consideration. 

Sure, you want to come through for you little Aunt Lisa, but if you’re scheduled to spend the day prior to her party in an MRI tube (poo!) then the likelihood of your being able to make your famous lemon-chocolate-merange-cake-torte-thing is low.

Tell your BFF you want nothing other than to be able to bring your secret family recipe for latkes and your grating hand to her Hanukah-hoorah, and you’ll need to consult your calendar before giving her a definitive commitment on the onion-potato front.

Maybe you’re crazy busy that week. So maybe you offer to bring the sour cream and applesauce instead. Or not even that, but your dedicated clean-up skills. Or not even that, but yourself and your bomb-ass, off the charts positive and present energy.

Your BFF, if she’s one, will understand.

Need to read! Tips for simplifying your social calendar this holiday season.

 3. On Repeat

The thing about holiday gatherings is that they’re usually social-circle specific: one with your family, another with your colleagues, another for the elite group of people constituting a carpool, and so on.

You know what goes exceedingly well with lots of parties and differing attendees? Outfit repetition.

Throw yourself a bone in the wardrobe department by selecting one or two outfits that you can rock at all the gatherings you attend during the holiday season. No pre-party perfect attire pressure here.

 4. You’re Free To Be 

Marlo Thomas had it right all along: we’re free to be you and me. And if being you means being unhappy past the second round of drinks, then by all means, claim your right to person-ship by gracefully leaving.

Certainly you may do your best to be polite and socially apt, and you should also be conscious of when your internal party timer dings. If that happens before the actual party is coming to an end, so be it.

Do you, guy, do you.

Need to read! Tips for simplifying your social calendar this holiday season.

5. The Pact

If you’re attending a holiday gathering with someone else, it may be wise to reach an agreement about how long you’ll stay before you get to the party.

Maybe you agree to stay until dessert. Until the annual game of charades commences. Until your uncle starts breaking out his really bad jokes.

When that moment arrives, you tune in with your teammate. You make the eye contact, you do the signaling. Maybe it turns out the unspoken communication is “actually this is way better than I expected, we can stay longer,” and maybe it’s “yeah, it’s that time we agreed to leave and I am ready to get the eff out of here so let’s book it.”

Either way, play like a champion.

6. The rotten egg

That one holiday gathering? The one that happens every year? That always leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, a gravy stain on your blouse, and a hatching family feud? This year, just say no. Stay home.

Because you never need an excuse in life when you’re not harming anyone and practicing self-care.

Image credits: Crate & BarrelMy Name is YehA Little Dash of DarlingBite Me More

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