Like many of you I find Christmas a bit of a minefield, dofn’t get me wrong I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Christmas, the visiting friends, the impromptu nights out that turn out to be the best ever and of course the spirit of giving.
However, said season can be a minefield. From the bombardment of emails for drinks, to the thinking of what to get aunt Mildred who criticises everything and only ever gets me socks!
I’m 2 weeks into the festivities already, I’ve visited a Christmas Market, drank some mulled wine, visited a winter grotto, attended a Christmas Party and my first Faux Christmas Dinner.
None of which have gone off without a hitch, including the zip breaking on my dress at my boyfriend Christmas Dinner. And there is no let up in my calendar next week either!
So the pressure continues, with some of the biggest events happening next week:
Work Christmas Party
Firstly, it’s the annual work’s Christmas Party this Wednesday, which I’m approaching with mixed emotions. The dread that comes with the potential for judgment, should I get too drunk or something disastrous happen to my dress, again! But equally the joy of a night of jubilant celebration with my colleagues and a good old boogie!
The same emotions come to mind when I think about all of the casual after works drinks invites that are in my inbox, also currently marked tentative.
Luckily for me I am in no way involved in any of the organising of the formal party, so at lease I am fully available to enjoy the night.
However, I do have an intense amount of work politics to navigate through and that is before ensuring the dreaded BREXIT it not brought up in conversation!
Starting with: what to wear?
Every year I have this dilemma and every time I change my mind on the day! Luckily with my boyfriend’s Christmas party a dress code of “Black Tie” was given. Fortunately for me, this is a dress code I often face so I have an extensive choice of ASOS Outlet and other sale pieces to choose from. So that was safe, or so I naively thought!
However for my work’s party no dress code has been provided, which lead to a number of furious IM’s to my colleagues of:
Katie: Are you going to the Christmas Party?
Pal: Yes, not sure what I am going to wear though…
Katie: I know, there isn’t a dress code!
Pal: No, I mean do I choose between this Jumpsuit or this dress?
Which left me even more bamboozled as to what that means the dress code is – “Smart” or lI forgot to change after work casual”… Also how much are you getting paid that you have the disposable income for a £150 dress!
In the end, I’ve gone with this dress I bought last year, but haven’t gotten around to wearing yet, with my trusty Next snakeskin espadrilles (to be tagged out by my red trainers by drink number 4!), my black velvet bag and most likely my leather jacket. All of which were already in my wardrobe – so who’s winning here!
I know its not that dressy, but it will do and I may add a gold belt and likely my favourite rings. For some extra glamour.
Next, there’s the dread that you could get stuck with someone you have nothing in common with/ worse still don’t like! This is my worst nightmare, as I am the terrible at exiting a conversation.
So I always make sure I have a few handy cues at hand:
- “I’m going to get another drink?”
- “Do you know where the loo is?”
- “I just need to go an check on X.”
They’re not the best in the world but 9 times out of 10 they work or at least introduce (trap) someone else in the conversation! If these don’t work and I haven’t gotten away, I often just resign myself to my fate.
Finally, there’s the dreaded “Christmas Party Drunk” I’m the worst for this, because I think I am the world’s biggest heavy weight, when in reality 3 pints and I’m gone! For this reason I do always try (when I remember) to have a glass of water between each drink. I often forget, especially the more drunk I get.
Just remember the golden rule, if you start to feel drunk get a cab home! It’s always better to be labelled a flake and still have a job the next day, than stay to the end – telling people some home truths and being unemployed the next day.
Another tip is to make sure your next day is easy, our dos are always in the week so the next day is a bit of a survivors parade. I try to make sure I’ve drafted a few emails to send the day before, so I appear to be more alive than I am, as well as using the day for an admin clear up.
Casual After-Work Drinks
Secondly, there’s the casual work drinks, which, I always mark as tentative. Mainly because I never know how I am going to be feeling that night. Whether I’ll still be hungover, just fancy a night watching Home Alone or will need to do some last minute christmas shopping!
So, tentative is the way to go, this way you’re not saying no and the organiser cancels the night due to poor response, but are not 100% committed to go and have to flake after 1 drink.
As with the formal Christmas Party the dilemma’s remains the same, what to wear, who to chat to and drinking too much…
My outfit choice is dependent on a number of things, the venue, how sure I am that I will go and how hungover I am from the night before.
For a night down the pub I’m likely to stay in what I wore to work or maybe even dress-down further, for a fancy venue I am likely to wear something a bit more glamorous to work and wear it all day, maybe dressing it up slightly with accessories, if I’m uber keen. If I’m hungover I will be in a jersey swing dress and possibly even a grandma cardigan!
Seen as these events are more casual, but often mean more chatting I do tend to make sure I’ve looked at the news that day and maybe have one or two other interesting topic up my sleeve, to fill up those empty voids of conversation and make the night more fun.
I apply the same drinking rules here as at the formal party, but allow for a few shots to sneak in later in the night!
Formal Dinner with Friends
Finally, the formal dinner with friends, I always have at least one of these type of events in the festive season. Whether it is a ball, dinner or cocktail party, this is where the finery is dragged out and all levels of pretension are let loose!
This year it is a White Tie Dinner in Clubland, which I just know will be exquisite in every way, from the food to the company, the wine to the venue, this is the host who always pulls out all of the stops.
However the same 3 dilemma’s pop up…
Thankfully, again this is a dress code I have covered in my wardrobe from previous events. So I will be wearing this dress, which I’ve worn once before and cost me £48. So, all things considered it was a bargain. With my trusty Topshop silver Mary Jane shoes, which are the non-glider version of these. Accessorised with some of my favourite pieces of family jewellery.
However, I am currently facing the dilema of whether or not to buy Opera gloves for the occasion, as tradition states that they are worn, but then there is the whole etiquette of gloves to be learnt! Aggghhhh… First world problems, right!
Here I’m not worried about being stuck with someone I don’t like, as everyone is wonderful. Although, I am sacred of feeling inferior, as everyone there is so wonderful and hugely brainy. However, in a positive way, this fear forces me to learn more and in the preceding weeks to attending one of these parties I find myself reading more and absorbing everything around me.
Again, this is another event where I am plagued by my love of alcohol. Here I need to remember to pace myself as last time I was somewhat of a mess, especially when I was shouting at a doorman – for not letting me into the Ritz hotel at 4am! So the water rule will have to be implicated here and I may even have to up the rations.
So, there you have it, the reasons I always put tentative to attending an event are due to the other stresses and strains involved. From the pre-event prep, whether that be in the form of what to wear, what to say or what to drink! All of it adds up and takes its strain.
Let me know in the comments what you find stressful about attending festive events? Or if you have nay tips and tricks to help me?