xmas-mad-men

MRS WOOG’S GUIDE TO PARTY SEASON

What is it with this time of year?

Why do we always feel the need to catch up with people that we have spent the last 11 months trying to avoid?

Why would you want to go and party with people from your work? I mean you are only really all in one room drinking cheap, warm wine because you all happened to be successful at the interview process… Unless you work for a fancy bank, and then the wine is more likely to be cold and drinkable. But the company is likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Whether it is a fancy bash, or a more casual affair, there are plenty of events leading up to Christmas. Some are eagerly anticipated, while others bring fear and dread (think partner’s office Christmas party at a function centre).

But one thing in common is that you need to know your responsibilities if you want to be the model guest…


THE RSVP

It is just always, ALWAYS essential. You must do this. It is the height of rudeness to ignore an invitation. I always RSVP as soon as I receive the invitation. Emily Post would have agreed with me 100%.

When you RSVP, it is a nice idea to let them know of any special dietary requirements.

…Like, you only eat lobster.

 

THE OFFER

It is nice to offer to bring something, especially if the festivities are to be conducted in a private home.

We have moved, I hope, from beyond the keg party, but I always bring a bottle or two. It is just manners. Even a fancy carafe of mineral water will be appreciated.

If you are going to a casual get-together, the offer of bringing a salad or fancy ‘artisan’ bread is de rigeur.

Or, if it is a more formal affair, I like to offer a “top or tail” option. Shall I bring some cheese? Perhaps something sweet?

 

THE GIFT

Some say it is not necessary, but a hostess gift is always nice. It does not have to be flashy or over the top, but for the love of all things from the re-gifting cupboard, do not re-gift. TACK-ER-AMA! Ditto, service station flowers. That is just embarrassing for everyone involved. At least go into the service station and thoughtfully purchase replacement car mats.

 

CONDUCT

Do not arrive early and do not arrive late. I like to make my entrance about ten minutes after the required time, to allow the host and hostess to finish up their fight about not putting the bins out of sight and why, oh why, one of them chose that exact time to let their spouse know that they will be going away on business the following morning.

While at the soiree, avail your services to the hostess. Ask once or twice whether there is something you can do to help, but keep in the back of your mind that some hosts are complete control freaks and do not want you anywhere near the kitchen.

If this is the case, you have hit the jackpot! Go forth and be merry. Which leads me to a few Dos and Don’ts

DO

  • Make sure that you introduce yourself around. You might meet the love of your life, a new best friend or at the very least, a medical practitioner who you can show the funny shaped mole on your chest to for a free consult.
  • Alternate your wine with vodka and soda. You must keep hydrated.
  • Eat something that actually ends up in your mouth. Steer towards canapés that are served on those little spoons, as most of the hard work is done for you. AVOID BEETROOT DIPS LIKE THE PLAGUE. Devil’s work.
  • Partake in dancing if it is available. Trust me, you are a fabulous dancer.
  • While dancing, do avoid the man on the dance floor who is a serial dipper.
  • Make use of the toilet facilities and all they have to offer, such as air deodorizers.

Remember: You’re a fabulous dancer… Join in!
 
 

DON’T

  • Be a bore. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Ask questions. But not too many. Maybe just nod along with a conversation…
  • Create an alcohol shortage. Listen to your inner party-angel telling you that indeed, you do not need a sticky after dinner is served. It will not mix well with what is already sloshing around in there.
  • Don’t be too opinionated. There is a fine line between having a lively and enjoyable debate and having an all-put slanging match. Know where that line is. Avoid it.
  • Do not ignore the obvious signs from the hosts that you might be on the path to outstaying your welcome. If they are standing in front of you in their jammies, brushing their teeth, call a cab and take your leave.

 

I hope you have many opportunities to put my tips and tricks into action over the upcoming party season, and I will leave you with two personal manifestos that you should try to remember, but might be a little overdue if you find yourself walking through your front door in the style of a crab.

One from Emily:

“The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him or herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts.”

And one from me:

Leave while you are having a good time, never change venues and avoid any sort of dips, whether it be served in a bowl or spun out on a dance floor.

 

How is YOUR party season shaping up?

What’s your best tip for Christmas party-goers this month?

 

 

MORE STORIES BY MRS WOOG

Get Ya Kaftan On!

Dead Pets & Vets

10 Pests To Avoid At Christmas

Celebrate Great, Not Weight

 

*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.” You can follow me on Twitter @Woogsworld.

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15 Comments

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Lisa Mckenzie

    My Christmas season is being very busy at the moment but Yes Mrs Woog i will take on baord your tips,they are gret especially the toilet air freshener one :)

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    C

    Hi Mrs Woog, just a heads up, your bio needs an update with Sonia Kluger now in the mix.

    Cheers!

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Reservoir Dad

    I always avoid the dippers but one of your ‘don’ts’ really concerns me –

    …. Don’t talk about yourself too much…”

    I only ever go to parties to talk about myself. Don’t see much point to them otherwise. And it’s funny because the longer the party goes and the more I drink the more interested people seem to be in what I’m saying (they also seem better looking). I don’t want to disappoint.

    • Reply December 4, 2012

      JessB

      Hilarious Reservoir Dad, well said!

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Nikki @ Styling You

    Dance on tables and sing like you’re a contender for next year’s auditions for The Voice … but not at your husband’s swish and fancy work do. Must. Remember. That.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Mary J

    Oh, the serial dipper!! I love those guys who can actually dance! One of our best friends is an ace dipper! I think I am the control freak hostess – you do make me laugh!! I’m looking forward to dancing at the company party again this year!

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    ro.watson

    I love the illustrations~especially the barefoot hostess in the kitchen….be safe, seasons’ greetings…and Mrs.Woogs, I enjoyed your reference to making the most out of a control freak in the kitchen….

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    ro.watson

    Sorry there are so many Mrs.Woogs’, I pluralised you. Clearly, my projection..

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    sami

    I’m terrible at parties, I don’t dance and I am too scared to talk to anyone! So no advice here, except maybe be braver than me ;)
    Meanwhile my work xmas party is on friday night and thankfully I love my work so it should be a fun night. Problem is I have no dress yet, I have left it a bit last minute and now can’t find anything ‘semi-formal’, whatever that is :( party fail.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Carolyn

    Reservoir Dad, I think you and I have attended some of the same parties.

    I was once begged by a guy I met at a party to PLEASE stop talking to him about politics. The message here is clear: be more polite to people and listen to their political views until they have finished sharing every last detail.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Mumabulous

    What no mention of the classic photo copying of butt cheeks ? I’m disappointed.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    ro.watson

    I am glad there are some people who have a grip on this particular season…summer solstice, christmas etc… but at the risk of self-abuse, this is not the only season in a year. Happy new year.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    ro.watson

    Message from a former frontline worker~ party goers~pick up your mess after yourself, and others, help with washing up and generally add conviality to the end of the party by not being too pissed or judgemental, and generally helpful in clean-up… Your hosts may be wishing to go on holiday the next day……

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    YELLOW IS OUT, GREEN IS IN

    [...] Mrs Woog’s Guide to Party Season [...]

  • Reply January 23, 2013

    REGRETS? MORE THAN A FEW

    [...] Mrs Woog’s Guide to Party Season [...]

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