Christmas Party Survival Guide

Christmas party season means only one thing: it’s time to suck in that gut and test the strength of the button on those green corduroy slacks for one more year. People have mixed feelings about Christmas parties. Whether you love them or hate them, these tips will ensure you make it out alive.

What are you doing?

Ahh, the eternal question people ask you every year. What are you doing with yourself these days? Of course, if we had any sort of relationship throughout the year you should know, but since we only see each other at these parties, this question is a good icebreaker. Make sure you are armed with appropriate responses that don’t require follow up questions like, “I opened a Mormon Tabernacle choir for cats,” or, “I interpret subliminal messages printed in the opinion section of the New York Times.” Answer like this and people will be excusing themselves to refill on wassail faster than you can explain how you get the cats to sing. People don’t ask you this question because they care, they ask you this in order to see how the people in their sorry ass lives measure up to you. This year is going to be particularly fun for me because I’m unemployed and writing this blog. Most people don’t know about blogging so I will be able to fill the BS meter to capacity. My point here is not to make light of unemployment because millions of people are suffering in this country; but maybe you can brighten your day by making up some absurd answer to this question and watch people’s reaction?

Steak on Paper Plates

 People like to serve haughty holiday fare at these parties, usually without regard for convenience. Avoid steak if there are paper plates. I don’t understand why people think this can work. I like steak as much as the next non-vegan, but unless it was tenderized by an elephant, it’s going to need a sturdy surface to cut. And let’s be honest here, buffet steak is always overcooked, chewy and full of gristle. So unless you want me to be pulling chunks of chewed meat out of my mouth in the middle of your party and wiping my fingers on that felt Santa hanging off the faux Christmas tree, serve chicken.

“Christmas” Beer

 2012-11-30-spirits-sudsIf you are an avid reader of “Covered in Beer” you know my strong disdain for most beers not called “Coors” or “Bud.” One of my reoccurring nightmares is I get to a party and they only have special “Christmas” beers like spiced reindeer droppings ale or Chris Crinkles’ Lager. Do your slob guests like me a favor and have a few “domestics” on hand. I hate that word “domestic.” Most of the beer these hipsters drink is made in America, so doesn’t that also make it domestic? For those of you who are like me and find yourself in a similar situation, here is a tip. If they don’t have an acceptable beer, ask for very expensive wine or liquor. That’ll teach these snobs. Or, you can bring your own beer. Stash it in the bushes outside, get one of the crap beers, pour it out and replace it with the good stuff. Don’t worry about getting caught; those twits already think you’re some lower form of existence because of what you drink, now you’re playing the part.

What’s Your Name Again?

 I have been known to kill some brain cells with the drink every now and again, which is why I can’t remember who the hell some people are sometimes. It could also be because I know they don’t give a damn about me so why make the effort to remember their names? Either way, it becomes evident at these parties unless you have some skills. Usually I like to play it off with a “hey, man” or “hey, baby,” then I grab a breast (kidding). These generic phrases will help shield your ignorance, but if the conversation turns to specifics, you’re in trouble, especially if you have to introduce them to someone else. Hopefully, the person you do know will get the unknown’s name out of them and get you off the hook. These parties put your BS-ing skills to the test. I like to live by something George Costanza once said:

Call “Shotgun” Immediately

There seems to be a lot of disagreement amongst people as to when the appropriate time is to leave a party. Some people can’t leave without talking to everyone they see on the way out. People like me can slink out of a party like they just broke wind by accident. So when is the appropriate time to leave? I say wait for someone else to suggest going home and then call “shotgun” immediately. Everyone knows that calling “shotgun” is as sacred as blood oaths and contracts with DirecTV so they cannot be broken. Also, you won’t have to drive and risk having to include your mug shot in next year’s “Christmas letter,” so that’s a plus. Just don’t forget the rest of your beer in the bushes.

Happy Holidays Everyone.

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38 thoughts on “Christmas Party Survival Guide

  1. Hilarious, as usual. Love the stashing your beer in the bushes, and wiping your hands on the felt Santa.

    I don’t think I’ve been invited to a formal Christmas party in quite some time. Could be because I have moved around some, and don’t make much of an effort to make friends in my new digs.

    OR it could be that my behavior at previous parties put me on the not invited list for subsequent years.

    Either way, I’m grateful ’cause I hate the awkwardness that always goes along with these things, as you captured so well here 🙂

  2. Hi! Thanks for liking my blog and for such great advice on how to manage Christmas parties’ awkwardness. I’m unemployed too, so I’m gonna start thinking about what to say to people when they ask the “what are you doing” thing. What do you think of this: “I evaluate implicit terrorist threat levels in grumpy cat’s memes for the NSA”? I think that one also justifies the insane amount of time I spend on loltrap.com 😉

  3. LOVED this! Couldn’t help but wonder though….if you don’t like Reindeer Droppings or Bud, just what IS your favorite beer? We have a personal favorite here in the middle of the country called “Buffalo Sweat”…you should give it a try!

  4. Loved this post! I was invited to a Christmas party at a co-workers house. They had roasted a pig. Sitting in a chair next to my boss, paper plate on my lap, I was working on cutting this piece of ham with the plastic utensils that were provided. Needless to say the fork broke, sending my hand straight down into the plate of food, which flipped up in the air, food flying everywhere, very thoroughly covering my boss with what was on the plate!

    Thank you for signing up to follow my blog! I hope that you will enjoy my posts! ^..^ B

  5. I can promise you on Xmas Eve you will have real plates with real silverware !!!! The tenderloin will be easy to cut, will definitely have Bud and every liquor your heart desires !! I may need you to be my bartender, so then you can tell people that is your new job ! See you very soon !

  6. now, you’ve already garnered more comments in one post than I ever have, but here’s a hopeful tip: use the More tag break in your posts so that people can’t read the entire post from your blog homepage. This has visitors read a paragraph or two and then have to click on More.. to continue reading your long posts such as this, which then brings them the ability to leave a comment if they scroll down enough

  7. “People don’t ask you this question because they care, they ask you this in order to see how the people in their sorry ass lives measure up to you.” SO. TRUE. I’m not unemployed, but I work at a library, which in some people’s minds isn’t any different. Assholes.

    Also, I generally hate seasonal beers as well, but I make an exception for the Christmas Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Co. That one is tasty and still mild enough so that you don’t feel like you’re drinking a nutmeg-covered candy cane.

  8. Well, I’m sold. You put a Christmas Vacation clip and George’s famous, “It’s not a lie if you believe it” quote in one post. And as a vegan, I’m used to eating beforehand or bringing my own food only to repeat, “no, thanks” a hundred times when offered their fixings without causing offense.

  9. “Steak on Paper Plates”…. you really got me laughing at my screen at that point… Why is it that people serve complicated food on flimsy plates? Do they want to torture their guests, make them look clumsy and awkward? I am still waiting for someone to dish out soup on a flat paper plate.
    Happy Holidays!

  10. Hm I’m sensing some resentment toward the cat choir I started earlier this year- passive aggressive much? If you’re really passionate about it I’m sure we could make an exception to the no-human rule. Let me know.

  11. Pingback: How not to be an ass at your family’s Thanksgiving | Covered in Beer

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