94 Days

Yesterday I had my first “We must try and catch up  before Christmas!” thrown at me. Please note that it is September. And all of the shops are selling highly marked up cheap Chinese made crap already. There are exactly 94 days until Christmas Day, and I believe the long and extended lead up to the day is detrimental to societies mental health. And why do we always feel the need to catch up with people that we have spent the last 11 months trying to avoid?

Why would you want to go and party with people from your work? I mean you are only really all in one room drinking cheap warm wine because you all happened to be successful at the interview process…

Whether it is a fancy bash, or a more casual affair, there are plenty of events leading up to Christmas. Some are eagerly anticipated, while others bring fear and dread. (Think partner’s office Christmas Party at a Function Centre), but one thing in common is that you need to know your responsibilities, if you want to be the model guest.

THE RSVP

It is just always, ALWAYS essential. You must do this. It is the height of rudeness to ignore an invitation. I always RSVP as soon as I receive the invitation. Emily Post would have agreed with me 100%. When you RSVP, it is a nice idea to let them know of any special dietary requirements. Like you only eat lobster.

THE OFFER

It is nice to offer to bring something, especially if the festivities are to be conducted in a private home. We have moved I hope, from beyond the keg party, but I always bring a bottle or two. It is just manners. Even a fancy carafe of mineral water will be appreciated.

If you are going to a casual get together, the offer of bringing a salad or fancy “Artisan” bread is de jour, or if it is a more formal affair, I like to offer a “top or tail” option. Shall I bring some cheese? Perhaps something sweet?

THE GIFT

Some say it is not necessary, but a hostess gift is always nice. It does not have to be flashy or over the top, but for the love of all things from the re-gifting cupboard, do not re-gift. TACKER-AMA! Ditto Service Station Flowers. That is just embarrassing for everyone involved. At least go into the Service Station and thoughtfully purchase replacement car mats.

CONDUCT

Do not arrive early and do not arrive late. I like to make my entrance about ten minutes after the required time, to allow the host and hostess to finish up their fight about not putting the bins out of sight and why, oh why, one of them chose that exact time to let their spouse know that they will be going away on business the following morning.

While at the soiree, avail your services to the hostess. Ask once or twice whether there is something you can do to help, but keep in the back of your mind that some hosts are complete control freaks and do not want you anywhere near the kitchen.

If this is the case, you have hit the jackpot! Go forth and be merry. Which leads me to a few do’s and don’ts.

DO

  • Make sure that you introduce yourself around. You might meet the love of your life, a new best friend or at the very least, a medical practitioner who can show the funny shaped mole on your chest to for a free consult.
  • Alternate your wine with vodka and soda. You must keep hydrated.
  • Eat something that actually ends up in your mouth. Steer towards canapés that are served on those little spoons, as most of the hard work is done for you. AVOID BEETROOT DIPS LIKE THE PLAGUE. Devils work.
  • Partake in dancing if it is available. Trust me, you are a fabulous dancer.
  • While dancing, do avoid the man on the dance floor who is a serial dipper.
  • Make use of the toilet facilities and all they have to offer, such as air deodorizers.

DON’T

  • Be a bore. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Ask questions. But not too many. Maybe just nod along with a conversation…
  • Create an alcohol shortage. Listen to your inner party-angel telling you that indeed, you do not need a sticky after dinner is served. It will not mix well with what is already sloshing around in there.
  • Don’t be too opinionated. There is a fine line between having a lively and enjoyable debate and having an all-put slanging match. Know where that line is. Avoid it.
  • Do not ignore the obvious signs from the hosts that you might be on the path to outstaying your welcome. If they are standing in front of you in their jammies, brushing their teeth, call a cab and take your leave.

I hope you have many opportunities to put my tips and tricks into action over the upcoming party season. And it will be eleven months until you get to do it all again.

Are you a festive party animal?

Tell me about your office Christmas Party!

September People, September!

  • Heidi D

    I have an October birthday. I refuse to even think about Christmas seriously until I have had that.
    I absolutely hated back when my husband was working & would have the christmas party. The worst was the harbour cruise, trapped for hours on a boat with all the people he worked with. A couple of them were lovely. One guy made my skin crawl. It was a long night on a small boat.
    My biggest problem will be trying to make polite excuses for why we won’t be at the fostercare agency christmas party. My 14 year old is so over it. The last 2 years santa gave her the same book, they are totally aimed at under 10’s & she hates it.

  • Woogster I am very concerned with the high number of things I do with great regularity, that are sitting there on your “DON’T” list.

    Just as concerning however, is the fact that I don’t do many of the things, on your “DO” list either.

    Reading your blog, in many ways is like having two wives!

  • Corina Morgan

    “If they are standing in front of you in their jammies, brushing their teeth, call a cab and take your leave” Hahahahaha I love it!
    My boss started turning off all the lights at our Christmas party once. We all got the hint!