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Awkward Holiday Party Moments

christmas tree party

Ever tried to come up with an excuse to NOT go to a holiday party? 

Let’s be honest, many of these parties are terrible for any number of reasons including but not limited to bad music, gross food, cheap booze, gaudy decorations, unoriginal ugly sweaters, etc.

However, worst of all is some of the weird scenarios we get ourselves into.

1. Getting there too early

Ever been the first to arrive to a party? I have and it’s Awkward with a capital “A.” The host looks at you like you’ve grown three extra heads when they see you at their doorstep at 6:55 p.m. when the party starts at 7 p.m. Being the type who always plans for a traffic jam, I’ve found myself on more than one occasion trying to mingle with a corner fern while waiting for others to arrive.

2. When is too early to start drinking?

Being a social drinker means I usually wait until surrounded by others, and not needing to drive home, to let loose and drink too much. BUT at a holiday party, especially the work type, am I going to get judged for cracking that bottle of champagne when I walk through the door? Hopefully not, but if we’re being real with each other…someone has to do it. P.S. Please drink responsibly.

christmas wine snacks

3. Fingerfoods or full plate?

I realize many parties have a mix of snacks and “real” foods but what am I to choose? Do I wait to see what the rest of the people around me are doing or do I use the pizza versus chip debate as a social tool because chances are I’ve never met most of the people there. Also, why is no one ever prepared with enough tables/chairs when having a party at their home. Please, for the sake of me not looking like a child who needs a bib, provide more seating options, folks.

4. Overstaying welcome?

I sometimes don’t want to feel rude but at the same time want my bed. Most parties never have a set end time, more like it’s over when everyone leaves but is there an appropriate time for me to skedaddle on home or should I be one of the last ones to leave? I feel like there should be a handbook.

5. Host gift

I pride myself on being like Leslie Knope when it comes to gift-giving but honestly why are host gifts a thing? It’s just an extra thing I’ve got to lug around because everyone should know I’m already buying them a normal holiday gift but now I need to bring a candle or a bottle of wine to say thanks? Can’t I just offer to help prepare or disassemble the party? I feel like that’s the purest gift of them all.

6. Please don’t break out the karaoke. Please.

I understand a host doesn’t want their event to fall flat, but can we please stick to a white elephant exchange or an Apples to Apples tournament and not let your cousin Susie try to sing a Whitney Houston song? It’s painful and I don’t want to be the person to break this poor girl’s heart. Please refrain from going on Pinterest for stuff as well or everyone will end up going home with mason jars they don’t need.

7. Mistletoe can burn in hell

No one needs peer pressure from a tradition to kiss another. Also, does everyone realize mistletoe is a parasite? You’re basically smooching under the plant form of a tapeworm. Mic drop.

8. Solid answers please

If I ask what I can bring to the party, please don’t say “yourself” and move the conversation along. I’m trying to help you Brenda so just be honest and say you want me to bring plates, or cookies or even a honey roasted ham. Honesty will get us all so far in this world.

christmas party

9. Dancing

I’m not opposed to other party-goers dancing but myself? I’ve got no rhythm and somehow always end up finding myself in the room where people are recreating “Saturday Night Fever” while I have the pleasure of explaining I’m worse than Elaine in Seinfeld.

10. Gratitude

It could be the Midwest in me talking but I’m pretty sure no host or fellow party-goer needs to hear me say “sorry” more than necessary. Walking through a doorway that someone is standing three feet away from? Sorry. Getting knocked into by Deborah with her appletini? Sorry. Realizing I didn’t eat nearly enough and need to take some food home to make sure the host knows I liked the cuisine? Sorry.

Good luck to all of us who are attending a holiday party this year!

Emily Ridener

A few words about me

There are quite a few mottos I like to sling around including but not limited to, “Life is short, eat the cupcake,” “What would Wednesday do?” and perhaps most importantly, “What’s so great about normal?” I don’t approve of people who put others down because society has taught us they are “less” and I choose to use my words to share truth, do no harm, and combat ignorance.