Christmas is a magical time of the year, don’t you think? It’s filled with joy and love, and who doesn’t get a warm fuzzy feeling when they’re surrounded by joy and love?!?!
But, despite all those lovely fuzzy feelings, we can all admit Christmas can also be a bit of a stress. And that’s jut putting it mildly… Christmas Day can be great, spending time with those you love most on one of the most sparkly, well televised days of the year. But what about when you’re not surrounded by your best and dearest but instead you find yourself perched on the sofa with a small child screaming on your left and an anti-social teenager on your right. What do you do now?
So here’s my essential list of things to get you through.
#1 Smile; pretend this is exactly where you want to be
I know this can be hard but it will make a difference! Smiling will make you seem so much more approachable and it might even make you feel better in yourself. It’s that fake it till you make it thing, if you do it enough you might actually believe it. And if not really knowing anyone is your problem, being approachable is key! Look like you’re having a good time and people will want to join in on it!
#2. Come up with a game!
Now this very much depends on the type of Christmas gathering you’re at it, if everyone’s manically running around after the kids then maybe this wouldn’t be the best. But if you can find a few people who’re up for playing a game like ‘who’s in the bag’ or ‘trivial pursuit’. Then that’s a sure way to pass the time! It doesn’t even have to be a game you bring in advance, there are games like ‘black magic’ and ‘the triangle game’ which involve secret rules and can be pulled out at any awkward moment you find yourself in.
#3 Find the person you came with
Maybe this can’t always be done but I’m thinking of you’ve ending up in a slightly awkward Christmas scenario because someone you know brought you along… Maybe a significant other? Well whoever it is, find them and stick to them like glue. Try to join the conversations he joins, don’t refuse to talk to anyone else, but use them to get into the conversations.
#4 Befriend the stressed looking parents
This one depends on your character, but I have a theory that the more stressed someone is the more likely they are to be able to befriend. All you have to do, is offer to hold the baby or play Lego with their 5 year old and you instantly have a friend, if you helped them out they’re bound to be forever grateful. This works the same for the host, if you’re finding the party all a bit too much, offer to do the washing up, they’ll be glad for the help and you can have a quiet conversation and they’ll love you!
#5 Find a group
If singling out the people you know, or the people you think look stressed isn’t working for you, then this would be my next bet. Hover around a group and see if you can join their conversation, all you need is one thing you can relate to and you’re in. This takes a bit of boldness but if you can do it you might be set for the evening, you haven’t just made one friend but you’ve integrated into a group and that is better than knowing just one person anyway.
If you’re struggling to muster up the confidence for these essentials then I recommend finding yourself something to drink and I don’t mean a Pepsi. It’s Christmas there must be something around that will give you the confidence.
I hope you have a really great Christmas and survive any awkward social gatherings. Let me know your biggest Christmas nightmares and how you survived them, I would love to hear!