Aside from gift-giving, tree lighting and hot chocolate drinking, there are some terrible, terrible things about this season. Like holiday parties. Dreadful, stomach-in-knots, awkward holiday parties. Whether you’re meeting your significant other’s family for the first time or just trying to scrape by at the annual employee New Year’s party, you’ll probably find these tips helpful.
1. Never point out the awkwardness. I know this from experience. Seriously, just don’t.
2. As tempting as it is, do not drink the awkwardness away. You’ll simply be displacing (and amplifying) it for the next run-in, which is most likely Monday at work.
3. Always keep a drink in hand (yes, I do realize this sounds completely contradictory to the above). One, it keeps fellow awkward-feelers from buying you drinks in hopes of forming an awkward-victim drunk duo. Two, a drink is like a safety blanket in social situations (oh, that’s just me?).
4. Ask party veterans if a gift is necessary. You don’t want to be the only one showing up empty-handed. On the contrary, you don’t want to have to kick a beautifully wrapped Chia Pet in the bushes upon your arrival.
5. Also ask party veterans for the “dress code.” It always sucks to show up in a “If you can read this, you’re too close” tee when everyone else is wearing sparkly Dolce and Gabbana dresses (actually, it sucks to wear that shirt ever, but that’s beside the point).
6. Find another loser and CLING. Losers are less distinguishable in pairs.
7. Avoid the “I’m so busy on my iPhone” stunt. You look much more antisocial than if you were simply standing there, and you risk being called out for rereading the same text conversation 24 times over.
8. Laugh. A lot.
9. If you’re seriously dreading it, show up late, so all of the people who didn’t read our holiday party tips are already buzzing pretty hard and won’t remember how awkward you were anyway.
10. Remember, others think the party sucks as bad as you do.