Holiday season can be brutal for the introverted or shame-afflicted. Here are a handful of tips for safely traversing the parties, from a former wallflower turned showgirl.
Have 1-2 small, funny gifts on you at all times. Just in case somebody attacks with a gift you did not expect, you've got a hidden arsenal. Options like whoopie cushions, hand buzzers, kazoos are non gender specific. Lightweight crappy toys at Christmas time make us all feel like a kid again, the ultimate gift.
Drink water between the wine, and eat a nut-butter cracker or two before you go out. Maybe it's just me. In fact, maybe I'm just writing that because I'm hungry and I can hear the peanut butter in the cupboard calling my name.
Wear idiotic clothes: ridiculous jumpers, absurd things on your head. This is a season that celebrates a fat, bearded man in fur trim and trees trimmed with food. Put away thoughts of being the sexiest person at the party and just decide to be the silliest. Even if you're not usually who's considered the life of the party, put away your reservations and know that if you dress to amuse, the ratio of people laughing around you to people avoiding you will change dramatically.
When attending family get togethers or parties-, have at least one joke on hand, for stemming the awkward political gaff that's bound to happen this year. If the joke is clean, it will be more useful in these family situations. But you know your family, sometimes if it's not a little bit dirty, no one will laugh. If no one laughs, say "that went over like a Trump-tweet in Hillaryland." Then everyone's back on target.
If this season brings up past traumas/dramas and you just can't get happy around others, then stay home, and enjoy being alone. No one will remember who wasn't at the office party. Once firmly ensconced at home, I recommend masturbation. Everything looks jollier after a good jollying.
Sing carols. It's easy enough to be cynically perturbed by the terrible, soul-sucking renditions of Joy to the World in Target. But singing your own versions, off or on-key, forgotten lyrics reimagined in the moment, and weaving in and out of the harmony part is a seasonal joy that should not be missed. It is not important to be good. It is only important to sing - that's what really brings Joy to the World.
Wrapping gifts is a useful art based on cheap materials. If the wrapping is good enough (time spent = good, not money) it doesn't matter what's inside. See #1.
Do not get fussed about parties you are not invited to. Facebook breeds FOMO and no party was as fun as it looked on Instagram. Sometimes the merriest night is still spent on a couch with a book and eggnog. #noshame