You did it again.
In a moment of joyful, early-December Christmas spirit — the eggnog was on sale and you’d forgotten all about Aunt Edna and last year’s tragic exploding turkey — you agreed to host the family Christmas party.
Obviously, you are doomed.
But in a heartfelt effort to write a blog post while also providing you with professional holiday help, AND to honor the memory of Aunt Edna, we called Julia Child to get her 10 Tips for Hosting a Christmas party.
But that didn’t go particularly well because, come to find out, she died in 2004.
But Christmas is no time to be a quitter. So, on the off chance that she was not serving jail time, we rang Martha Stewart for her Top 10 Christmas Tips. They retail at $900 plus postage per tip (each festively hand-crafted by elves in Chinese prison camps).
At this point we stopped doing Christmas research and, in the time honored tradition of journalism, we put on Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, started drinking heavily and began to type when the spirits hit us.
Here, then, are:
10 Tips to Avoid Christmas Party Disasters:
For the ladies
1. If your husband plans to dress up as Santa, to make the Christmas party “one for the kids to remember”, make sure he has turned off his cellphone AND his pocket taser. We wouldn’t want a repeat of that incident involving the neighbor’s former cat, now would we?
2. Brief your husband early and often on holiday etiquette: OK to sing Christmas Carols and give presents; Not OK to tell Christmas jokes about Penn State, the Fix-a-Flat transgender Booty Doctor, or why Santa says HoHoHo in the red light district.
3. As a responsible hostess, you would have made Christmas nibbles available HOURS before dinnertime (Walmart cheese balls, assorted nuts, cheese nut balls, and chocolate minty cheese ball o’ nuts) — enough to feed the Green Bay Packers and Newt Gingrich. Yet your guests will have eaten every nut in sight by 5.32pm. Remember, even though you are busy, it is essential that you DO NOT ask your husband to put out more food. (Remember the time he recycled cheese dip from that BBQ lunch after using your pantyhose to strain out broken Doritos and pieces of grasshoppers? Are you really that busy?).
4. It is so, so important to make sure everyone is having a good time at your party. But please, ladies, be careful that this social activity does not become a “Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars” source of holiday friction. While women like to smile and frequently have brief, meaningful chats with every guest within a radius of 10 miles, men have a different approach. They lavishly pour booze (or spray it if they have a Christmas Booze Hose) over guests while encouraging them to “do the Christmas Gator” in memory of Aunt Edna and John Belushi. Each to his or her own, we say.
5. One must take great care to ensure that all turkey- or ham-related carving knives have been washed and securely locked inside the credenza immediately after dinner, before Uncle Burt (Aunt Edna’s very lonely widower) has drained the cask wine and positioned himself within pouncing distance of the mistletoe.
6. Stock up early to ensure that your “loo” never runs out of festive toilet paper, cute little scented candles or those wonderful Holiday Pine Scented room deodorizing soaps that are shaped like little Christmas wreaths. So cute!
7. If you DO run out, do NOT let your husband “get involved”. If given half a chance, he will replace these items with green shop towels, a Coleman lantern and a couple of Dr Scholl’s Great Outdoors Scented Odor Eaters. Because he is a man, willing and able to assist.
Specific Christmas Disaster-Avoidance Tips for Men
8. Never, ever loan your Santa suit to an overtly pregnant woman, even if she swears she is still “weeks away” from giving birth. We will not elaborate on this other than to say four words: huge dry cleaning bill.
9. Holiday laughter is a joy. But humor is a funny thing. For example, even though, on paper, and after many adult Christmas beverages, it may SEEM like a great idea to tape sparklers to the kids’ Air Swimmer Remote Control Inflatable Flying Shark and fly it right at Grandma, odds are that, even if you’d win America’s Funniest Video, not everyone would see the humor. Especially if Granny karked it on Christmas Eve.
10. Your wife is special. And it’s Christmas. So even though money is tight and she tells you NOT to buy her a Christmas gift, you can be sure that she really WANTS you to buy her a gift. A nice, small one. Nice, but not too nice. And not too expensive. But certainly not cheap. Because, that would mean you were taking her for granted. At Christmas! And that would be a very, very bad thing that probably involves coal in your stocking and sleeping outside with the reindeer.
So best of luck! We’re sure that, if you follow these tips, your Christmas party will be a HUGE success.
At least that’s what Julia Child said.
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