A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called ‘Rosy Cheeks and Sparkling Eyes: A Holiday Shopping Survival Guide.’ Of course, shopping is more-or-less wrapping up, but now the holiday gatherings are starting. I have put together some ‘do’s and don’ts’ to get through all the festivities.
‘WHAT?!?’ You say. ‘But I love absolutely everyone and have no discord or strife in my life at all!’ Congratulations! You aren’t human. Since that means your parents have likely been lying to you, you DO officially have some discord to discuss. If, by chance, you really, truly, have nothing but sunshine and buttercups throughout the holiday season, then go back a couple posts and read about Dolls. That should scar you nicely and bring things around.
If, like the rest of us, there are occasional irritations and tensions at holiday get-togethers, then I have some helpful hints to keep things running smoothly.
1. Alcohol is what we call a ‘mixed blessing.’ A little might help you relax (if you’re into that). A little more might encourage you to say what you’ve been working hard not to say for the past 7 years. Or photocopy your rear end at the office party. A lot more and you might not remember the whole thing – but everyone else sure will. Less is more, people. Less is more.
2. Be sure that there is at least one person at each gathering that is your ‘home base.’ This is the person you go to when you’re afraid you’re going to say that thing from #1, when you aren’t sure exactly how much you’ve spiked the eggnog, or in general when you’re evaluating exactly how many years on the naughty list something will get you. (Hint: if its more than 2, you really need to reconsider). Its best to tell your ‘home base’ person the plan. After all, if you do hit the eggnog a little hard, you could end up choosing a new home base person, which is most unwise – as are most decisions when you’re a bit sloppy.
3. Facebook is not your friend. Do not post how unexcited you are to attend a gathering. People see that stuff, you know? Also, don’t post about how ‘so-and-so has the absolute best party every year!’ You know what that means? Every other person who invites you is going to have a big ol’ stick up their butt, because their party didn’t get top honors on Facebook. That’s just a recipe for holiday gathering disaster. Even if it is the truth. And judging by how up tight they seem, it probably is.
4. Know the food situation ahead of time. Are you supposed to bring something? If so, make it something awesome. Do not bring boring food. And for Pete’s sake, this is not the time to try out your new Super Tofu Organic Vegan Chocolate-Free Fudge. Or, at the very least, if you do bring it, don’t label it. If you ignore my advice (idiot), that stuff better be amazing. And by amazing, I mean accidentally labeled something else. Even if its the best Super Tofu Organic Vegan Chocolate-Free Fudge on earth, no one will eat it. They will look at it, and then scope out the room for flannel, ironic suspenders, and hipster beards. If you are going to a Super Tofu Organic Vegan party, then my advice is ‘Eat before you go.’ No offense to all my vegan friends out there (ok, friend). Healthy eating is AWESOME – and way to go you all (you . . . . one?). It just doesn’t scream ‘HOLIDAY PARTY’ to me. However, if you add some edible glitter to that (cake decorating aisle, craft store), you should be able to get that ‘sparkly farts’ thing happening. Maybe you can have a contest?
5. Get yourself a really awesome gift (like, say, a glittery rainbow unicorn mug). Put it on a shelf, and make a deal with yourself. ‘I will not lose my poo at any of my holiday gatherings.’ If you manage it, you get your gift! If you don’t, you must present your awesome gift to the holiday party guest you’d most like to, ahem, write a sternly worded letter to Santa about. When things get stressful, just imagine your awesome gift, waiting for you, if you don’t lose your poo. Then, don’t lose your poo.
6. **Warning** This segment is ‘What NOT to do.’ You should not, under any circumstances grind up anti-anxiety medication and put it in the drinks of obnoxious people. It will be tempting. If you have such a prescription, you may consider taking one yourself. Do not slip them to others. That is illegal. ‘Orange is the New Black’ is an awesome TV show, not an awesome life. This has been a public service announcement. Now, in certain states, certain other relaxing substances have been made legal. If you live in one of those states, there would be nothing stopping you from baking that substance into a tasty treat. You could certainly offer those around. If its legal in your state. Its not here, and its not really my thing. But, whatever earns you your rainbow unicorn mug. And really, whatever keeps your eye from twitching.
Take a deep breath, and remember that most holiday gatherings are, in fact, fun! Ok, some holiday gatherings are fun. You know what, just make it easy on yourself and only go to the fun ones. Unless you have to, in which case, best of luck.
If I promise to help make any holiday gathering of which I am part, fun and enjoyable, will you promise to LIKE and SHARE? It might not get you a unicorn mug – but you might help me earn mine!