A Survival Guide for Your Company Holiday Party

This is the time of the holiday season when you start experiencing party fatigue. The socializing, karaoke caroling and spontaneous egg-nogging can leave you spent, and when the next grand affair rolls up on the calendar, it can feel like certain doom.

Not to fear, though, because we at RELEVANT are seasoned holiday-party veterans. We’ve done battle in the dense Christmas tree lobbies and mistletoe hallways of the corporate world, and now, we’re coming together to present you with our greatest survival tactics for every party you grace this season. So grab another cookie and knock back another ‘nog: This advice will help you find a second wind.

Take your time.

Be fashionably late, so you don’t exhaust yourself by having to make small talk with people you see every day anyway. — Kathy Pierre

Wear a conversation starter.

Every year for the office Christmas party I wear my Stone Cold Steve Austin holiday sweater. He’s a professional wrestler and the sweater has his logo on it, which is a giant skull. Everyone looks at it and asks what the heck it is, so then I can tell them all about Stone Cold Steve Austin.

One time when I was 6 years old, I saw him chug a beer in the middle of the ring then flip off the entire crowd. I’ve never been the same, but it’s a pretty great story, so probably worth it. — Tyler Daswick

Find a strategic spot to occupy.

This one is for the introverts. I love people, but I am also exhausted by small talk. You don’t want to keep having the same conversation over and over again with people: “So, you going away for the holidays?” Yes—for the 14th time. If you pick the wrong spot at the party, you’ll be doing that all afternoon.

So, scan the room and find a spot where you can be out of the high-traffic small talk areas. Not by the punch. Not next to the food. Somewhere a little off the beaten path. You’ll find that one or two people may come visit you for bearably pleasant conversation.

Pro-tip: A strategic spot doesn’t always have to be lonely. It could be next to Das in his Stone Cold Steve Austin sweater, which puts you close to people but not the center of attention. Or worse case scenario, you can always retreat to the dance floor. No one will try to talk to you there. — Andre Henry

Have an exit strategy.

I find that even the best holiday parties have 60 to 90 really good minutes in them before it starts feeling like a never-ending watercooler conversation (maybe 45-60 minutes if you brought a date who just has to nod politely all night). Unfortunately, most holiday parties are scheduled to last a couple hours longer than that, which means you need to show up with an exit strategy in the back pocket.

It can be another party, movie tickets or a sitter who has to get home early to study for finals, but it’ll help make sure you optimize your party attendance time for maximum enjoyment and, depending on the exit strategy, can help craft the illusion that you live an enviably and mysteriously thriving social life. — Tyler Huckabee

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Remind everyone that you say Merry Christmas!

I fashion myself the life of any party, that’s why at every holiday gathering, I wear a shirt that says, “It’s OK to Tell Me MERRY CHRISTMAS!” and then, unprompted, I begin to loudly read the Christmas story from the Book of Luke while everyone is eating.

At some point in the evening, I will then decide to boycott the party, and attempt to make a scene as I loudly exit. — Jesse Carey

Don’t be that girl.

You know exactly what girl I’m talking about. Don’t snapchat the whole party. Don’t say to your table, “Wait! No one eat yet, I need to get all of this on Snap.” And definitely don’t say, “Hey, get in my Snap story!” to your supervisor … or to the CEO of your company. This goes for your Instagram story as well, even though we all know IG is a bit more classy.

Disclaimer: I am usually that girl. — Lesley Crews

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