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Written by in Food & Drink on the / Christmas Party Survival Guide

No matter how much you pride yourself on being the artful dodger, there's no way of circumventing the fact you will be attending a Christmas Party. For most, it will play out as a spell of routine. Get sufficiently lubricated, try it on with Jane from accounts, but settle for Barbara from Human Resources because she's got a bottle of Pinot Noir back at hers. Women undoubtedly embrace parties, especially if hosting. Whereas men who aren't of a gregarious nature, see them as an endurance test. They loathe the thought of being malleable to the tediousness and prosiest of conversations such as 'Any plans for New Year?' They fetishize on ripping the vinyl head from the record player and ordering everyone out (Eddie Murphy, Trading Places). “Screeeccchhh! Get....Out!” Here are some practical tips and hints on how to navigate your way round the masses and be the most interesting cat amongst the pride.

Be the Barman 

Don't just turn up with a bottle, bring a bottle with mixers and fruit, and set up a little area in the corner of the main room. I did this recently and even burnt a few more calories by printing off a mini cocktail menu. Don't pretend you suddenly have a degree in mixology, make up your own cocktails and give them silly names - be the pusher of the last legal drug.

Be the DJ 

I was recently put in charge of the music at a Christmas party. Every man should relish this opportunity. If it's in your house, put together a good ductile selection of 3-4 hours’ worth of music. Invest in a good docking system and download the Spotify App on your phone. Ductile means no Death Metal, no DubStep, no Katy Perry. Think about what your neighbours would like to hear at 2am. 

Take Some Notes 

Ahead of time at the sober-half’s Christmas Party, I asked her to give me the details on 10 guests of whom I'm likely to encounter and what their story is. For one, I have a memory like a spaghetti colander so I write things down like that guy in Memento. Two, you should have seen this girls’ face light up when I asked her about her blog and what part of Israel she was from. It was like I was given the Christmas Party Almanac and got everyone talking about their favourite topic, themselves.

Have No Agenda 

If you dragged yourself to a Christmas Party with the myopic intention of bagging Jane from accounts and you come away empty handed, then your night could be a complete disaster. Worse still, a heartbreaker when you see her leave in a cab with dishy Steve the newbie. Of course, there is always Barbara, but wouldn't it be a better night for everyone if the barometer for a good night wasn't determined by any expectations? 

Don’t Lose Anything & Leave Early 

Yep, avoid the cataract of goodbye air-kisses and waking up on a stranger’s couch. As a rule, at parties I now set an alarm on my phone every hour to make sure I still have it. Sometimes I pretend it's someone calling to escape a corner, 'I must get this, will you excuse me?' I give the sober half the heads up and over my shoulder I can hear the faint, 'He's constantly working.' I then slip off to the toilet for fifteen minutes and fart around on Instagram.


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