The holiday season is about one thing and one thing only: parties. You’re more than likely to find yourself booked solid with social obligations for the next month or so, and in light of this reality, I’ve gone ahead and identified the different types of parties you’ll inevitably find yourself at during this festive time.
The work party
At this type of party, you’re likely to know a handful of people who you work with every day, which can be comforting, considering there will likely be a greater number of people that you don’t really know. This can be a nice opportunity to interact with other employees you’ve never really had the chance to speak to. It can also create a situation where you’re face to face with your social anxiety and every conversation you have is one step closer to being able to run, screaming “I’m free!” from the building.
Your significant other’s friend’s boyfriend’s party
Who do you know here? Not really anybody. This party will be filled with a group of friends that probably know each other really well. Depending on the type of people they are, you’ll either feel welcomed and comfortable, or like a ghost skulking on the periphery of the fun. In these types of situations I like to play it safe by quietly observing the way everyone interacts with each other and throwing in a hearty laugh whenever someone tells a joke.
A family engagement (maybe even literally)
You should be on your toes this holiday season, because you never know when you’ll find yourself amidst someone’s holiday proposal. Be on the lookout for anyone who looks especially excited, because chances are they’ve got a ring stashed in some confectionery item at this gathering.
An actual enjoyable evening with friends with whom you can truly connect
This is perhaps the rarest type of holiday party you’ll attend, but they do exist and are deeply enjoyable. If you have a group of close friends, spending a semi-quiet night with them, enjoying food and each other’s company is really what the holidays are all about.
Secret Santa party
This is likely run by a friend of yours that enjoys controlled fun, similar to Monica Gellar. A Secret Santa party is actually a really nice idea for a social gathering, but if you’re anything like me, you probably forgot to buy a gift for your person and are left scrambling last minute to put something together. Luckily, most Secret Santa parties place a limit on the amount of money you’re allowed to spend, and because it’s usually fairly low ($10 or $20), you can buy a cheap bottle of wine or some bubble bath at the drugstore on your way to the party and rest easy that you’re not letting anyone down.
Identifying what type of party you’re going to prior to arriving can be a helpful way for you to clarify your expectations about what type of experience you’re about to have. If you know that you probably won’t know anyone at the party, and aren’t particularly socially savvy (me), you can prepare yourself for it. If you arrive with realistic expectations for your holiday parties, it will only serve to elevate your enjoyment of them. Happy Holidays!