What is with this time of year?

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…

Unless you work for a fancy bank, and then the wine is more likely to be cold and drinkable. But the company is likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth…

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.

Which reminds me of this one time I was at Mr. Woogs Christmas Party. He was working for  big fancy bank at the time and it was before the ass end fell out of the economy so shin digs were a little bit fancy back then. We were on the Endeavour ship at Darling Harbour and I was trying to have a very awkward conversation with Mr Woogs boss. We were talking about the boat when I mentioned how amazing the restoration job that had been done on it.

Which is all very well and good if it had not been scuttled of Rhode Island in 1778. We were standing on a replica, I was told.

I am not good at fancy small talk with intelligent topics.

So let us look forward and not backwards, and re-visit some of my etiquette rules when it comes to the silly season.

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. I am currently made up of 99% champagne having had four parties under my belt during last weekend, and another one on this evening.

What about you? Hitting the party season hard?

Or binge watching The Crown Series Two instead?

  • AH! I always miss those tooth brushing hints. Glad you covered it, now I know when to leave 😉

    I’ve avoided every work party this year. Not in the mood.

    • We have a Woogsworld office Party on Friday. It is basically me drinking a glass of wine and opening a packet of Twisties!

  • mrshanksy

    I introduced myself to my soul mate on the dance floor/deck at my friends party on Saturday night. We have both never laughed so much in one night, I had THE best time, mainly throwing shade at my hubby together but now I have a brand new mate who just happens to live up the road from me. I almost hightailed it at 8:30pm cos I was a bit meh and then ended up staying till 2am! Bloody hilarious, funniest chick ever (well except for me) x

    • YOU NEED to have a fun chick in the hood! I have several and consider myself very lucky xx

  • Buddy

    My mommy also monetises her friends and her kids’ childhoods. Woe is me.

    • Well Buddy, if you have been a very good boy, she may even spend some of it on a brand new shiny bike for you for Christmas! Send her my love xx

  • I have one on Thursday with an entire room of people I have never met but have just started working for via email/internet. It shall be interesting…. and I’m driving so dutch courage for me. Luckily I have no shame or qualms about talking to strangers! xx

    • Having met you in the flesh I know you will be fine! xx