Here’s How to Win Every Holiday Party You Host or Attend


Including the tricky office after-work drinks thingy.

Holiday parties are, more often than not, only sort of fun.

Corporate blowouts of yore have given way to mildly festive, just-as-awkward after-work “drinks.” Hosting friends and family usually equates to a slow-build of stress that bursts into a flurry of activity and then leaves you with endless cleanup.

So because you can’t (or shouldn’t) Scrooge your way through the holidays by denying every invitation, it’s better to adjust your perspective. Instead of simply showing up, show up with a plan.

Specifically, these plans.

At the Office Party

These things are complicated. You have to show face, even though you’ve showed face all day at work and you’re likely stressed and quite frankly sick of these people, but it’s the holidays so oooooooookay.

To navigate the situation best, follow the advice of Patrick Janelle. He’s the creator of the cocktail app The Liquor Cabinet, so he knows booze. He’s also the creator of @AGuyNamedPatrick, an Instagram account dedicated to travel, style, and all things debonair, so he knows classy.

What to wear: The velvet blazer

It’s classic, cool, and says holiday, not HOLIDAY. “You can have it in your work bag for the day and throw it over your oxford shirt for the evening,” Janelle says.

What to order: The amaro spritz

Good bartenders know how to mix one, but just in case, ask for a 3:2:1 mix of sparkling wine, amaro, and soda water. It’s low ABV yet complex.

How to converse: The “figure at least eight”

Chat with at least eight people you don’t often talk to. “It’s best to ask about highlights of their year.” Vacations. Movies. Books.

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