A feast of festive survival tips


It’s that time of year… and whilst some of us are wild with excitement at the prospect of all sorts of gatherings, some of us are looking forward to a cup of tea and a good book. And some peace and quiet.

Whatever your preference, I’ve been updating, sorting and sifting resources and hope you’ll find something to help you thrive through 2017’s festive season.

Stuck for something to say?

Maybe “what are you up to for Christmas?” won’t win you too many prizes for originality, but I suppose it’s a start. You and your fellow party-goers may have more fun comparing “what’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at Christmas?” (or ‘most embarrassing’, best/worst, or weirdest – select according to the company). Still tongue-tied? Get your hands on The School of Life’s ‘100 Questions’ and carefully select a few to try.

Introvert and dreading the whole party season?

An oldie but still a goodie is Beth Campbell’s ‘An Introvert’s Guide to Navigating Parties’ piece for Paging Dr Nerdlove’s blog. Campbell offers tips for four different kinds of parties, depending on whether they’re big or small, and whether or not you know anyone / everyone.

As someone who’s never been socially gifted I particularly appreciate her tips on ‘Making Your Exit’. Also useful are Modern Flourish’s ‘Top 6 tips on how to survive your office Christmas party’ – I like ‘Have a buddy system’.

Some of you may like JR Thorpe’s ‘7 Essential party tips for introverts’ – but after seeing the video clips, I needed a lie-down.

Scared you’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons?

Aussie recruitment firm Paxus is typically forthright with their ‘Office Christmas Party Survival Guide’. ‘Don’t gossip’ is a tip worth remembering.

Natasha McNamara’s ‘The office Christmas party survival guide, aka, how to NOT get fired. As told by pandas.’ for Glamour is still a favourite of mine a year on, thanks to the ‘eat carbs’ advice – and of course the pandas.

‘How to win at the office Christmas party’ is a joint effort from The Telegraph and Braun – so check this post out if you want some beauty tips. Personally, my top choice from the piece is ‘Don’t tweet’.

Dreading the family gatherings?

For some of us, the work bash is a breeze – it’s the family festivities that fill us with fear. Family Lives offer their tips for ‘Surviving Christmas’, which may be useful for ‘blended’ families (meaning various permutations of married / divorced / remarried); but if you need the full legal run-down, try Family Law Matters’ detailed guide. Or you may need ‘8 expert tips to survive Christmas with the in-laws’, courtesy of Focus on the Family.

Clueless when it comes to presents?

Trust etiquette oracle Debrett’s to offer advice on what to / not to take to parties as gifts for your host, as well as how best to say ‘Thank You’ for gifts (their disparaging views of texting one’s thanks may capture attention).

Don’t know what to wear?

CHO’s ‘Top 6 Christmas Party Outfits’ may be useful for female readers (and possibly those seeking gift ideas for them).

Phew. Have fun, stay safe and sing loudly whenever it’s appropriate to do so.

Image credit: Many Christmas balls – @ montego / DepositPhotos

Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’, available now at bookstores and on Amazon.

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