The holidays can be a stressful time, what with everyone shoving fruitcake in your face and there being ice on the ground. That pales in comparison to the worst part of the season: parties in which you only know the host. You have to attend or risk invalidating the preceding year’s worth of friendship. But what do you do once you’re there? We’ve got some ideas to ensure merriment.
Loiter on the doorstep and ask people, “Is this where the party is?”
The key to attending a holiday party alone is to maximize your stoop time. The front door is the place where people will be most willing to introduce themselves and be accepting of new faces. Once inside, it’s all about clusters of people and awkward eggnog ladle encounters and AHHHH. Just stand outside and ask people if you’ve indeed got the right location; then tell them, “Cool, I’ve just got to send a text, and I’ll see you inside.” Do this to enough people, and by the time you actually enter, you’ll be the mayor of Who’s Whoville!
Don an esoteric holiday mascot costume.
Everyone loves feeling smart. Whether you’re Hannukah Harry or Kwanzaa Karen, people will appreciate you for your zest for life and cultural knowledge. Plus, you’ll be in a lot of Facebook pics, which means you’ll probably make friends retroactively as they request you for tagging purposes.
Make like The Baby-sitters Club and bring a kit full of board games and craft-making tools.
Fun kits are your ultimate BFF in a solo-partying sitch: they do all the conversation-starting for you! And who didn’t want to befriend Kristy, Mary Anne, & co.? Bust out Apples to Apples, hand it to someone who knows other people, and feel cool as everyone has fun because of something you instigated. If nothing else, you’ll walk away with a painted pinecone or something.
Plan your awkward moment escape route.
If you’re attending a party alone, you’d be foolish not to anticipate some dead time in which you’re not involved in any conversation. When those moments arise, you should have already eyeballed the nearest corner in which to whip out your phone and “text” your “best friend on the other coast.” PRO TIP: Check if there’s space to hide behind the tree in case your battery dies.
Know ALL the alto parts.
Make yourself useful! There’s always a chance these parties will devolve into gay ol’ caroling sessions. No one needs another soprano (divas!), but you can totally prove you belong if you can do the alto (or bass) line to “Joy to the World.” Bonus points if you know all four verses to “Jingle Bells.” (Ask me! I do!)
Leave after 20 minutes to go home and re-watch Love Actually in your PJs.
I genuinely want these advice columns to be helpful to you guys, so I’m going to level with you for a minute: If you’re attending a party in which you only know the host, chances are, you really just need to make an appearance. Like, 20 minutes, and then you’re free to go. So go. On a cold winter’s night, Hugh Grant and pants with an elastic waistline are the only necessary factors in creating your own “merriment.” Indulge, knowing this is what everyone has been wishing for you.
What other tactics do you have for those people attending holiday parties alone? Let us know in the comments!