Christmas Party

It's that time of year again. Time for the seemingly incessant holiday party circuit!

I went to one last week, and it was actually pretty fun. One of my coworkers hosted the party at her house and brought in one of the chefs from Boulevard to cook for us. [We're big foodies over here in the Bay Area, I tell ya.] A comparative tasting of Scotch followed.

It was a great night. The party was swanky, yet informal. Comfortable. But then again, I knew almost everyone there.

SOH at Someone Out There regales us with her tale of a holiday party she attended this weekend. I know I can definitely relate:
I'm tired this morning, more mentally tired than physically. I spent six plus hours at a pre-Christmas cocktail party yesterday afternoon and evening. Six hours of yackety-yak and small talk.

I'm a quiet person, more inclined to reading, blogging, movie watching and hanging with the family, than socializing with large groups of people. Still, I ventured forth yesterday into the world of the Christmas party. I slapped on some makeup (which I normally shun unless absolutely necessary), slipped on my Christmas sweater (Oh God, I just know that is so cliched and wrong) and shuffled down the street to the neighbor's house.

Hello neighbors, here I am. Everyone take a look! I have stepped outside of my house! Oh well, not exactly like that but something similar. Am I the only one who feels that way when they arrive at a party? If I could crawl in a corner and hide, I probably would. Somehow, I manage to make it through the awkward first hour and then as more and more people arrive, it's easy to blend into the crowd and feel less conspicuous.

The better half and I intended to stay only an hour or two but we found ourselves chatting it up with various people who live only a few houses away. People I have never met or seen before but who live their lives only a few hundred feet from me. They were interesting to spend a little bit of time with. Hour two passed into hour three and then four. Before I knew it, hour six had arrived and it was definitely time to head home.


The outing was interesting and fun. I'm glad I went but I have to acknowledge that I'm really not a party person. So, for the moment, I just want to curl up on the couch and watch something, anything, to stop the party voices in my head.

I don't know what it is about the holidays, but I have found myself more and more being forced to painfully attempt to make small talk with many people that really have nothing to say to me. I'll admit, I am shy (at times), and it's in mixed company where I find the most performance anxiety.

Some people, like SOH, just aren't "party people." It's exhausting making small talk for hours on end, to people who you may or may not ever see again.

What are some of your "tried and true" conversation starters? Let's have a discussion here - maybe your suggestion will help someone out for an upcoming party this weekend!

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