Top Holiday Party themes better than the Ugly Sweater

As a consultant, I usually escape the nonsense of company holiday parties. Friends also rarely invite me to house parties since I am known to drink only the most expensive bottles, urinate on lawn decorations, and leave partially-chewed brownies in the guest bathroom sink. Yet, nary a season passes without an invitation to an Ugly Sweater party. I say, why stop at the sweater? Why not Ugly Slacks? Ugly Sneakers? Ugly Facial Hair? I think women should have a special category: Ugly Crotchless Lace Panties–the Sasquatch of clothing.

I realize the purpose of this theme is so that people can justify keeping closet shelves stocked with decade-old clothing. It’s a sort of self-deprecation strategy: “Look, I have this sweater, which I once wore, thinking it was fashionable. Silly me. Now, I save it only for these special occasions, because I have fine taste.”

Right.

When I go to these parties, sometimes I wear a ridiculous sweater, but act like I’m unaware of the party’s theme. Then, when people approach me and comment on my silly top, I react similar to how a barren chubster acts when someone asks when she’s due.

“That’s awesome, dude. Ha ha ha!”

“What?”

“Your sweater. Classic.”

“My mother bought this for me the year she died of pancreatic cancer.”

“Umm …”

“You’re mean. You shouldn’t get your jollies at someone’s expense. That’s called bullying.”

“But, this is an Ugly Sweater party, so I assumed …”

“When you assume, you make a dickheadish meaniehead of yourself.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“This is a fine sweater. It keeps my nipples toasty. If you don’t like it, you should keep your opinion to yourself. I haven’t commented on that unsightly skin tag on your neck, have I? No. Why? Because I am polite and considerate.”

At this point, I usually blow my nose on a hanky I have stuffed up the sleeve.

“I’m sorry.”

“Apology accepted. Hold this for a second. Say, is there any eggnog left?”

Wouldn’t it be fun to have an Ugly Socks party? Guests would be required to tuck their slacks into their socks. Puffy ankles rule!

Better yet, I’m going to host an Ugly Guest party. Invitees will be required to venture into used clothing boutiques and Walmart to find people they can bring along to my party. I’m also going to require the guest be leashed and drink from a sippy cup. The night will culminate in a contest where the guests will be required to dance Gangnam Style while I toss insults and deviled eggs at them. (You can throw a nice curveball with a deviled egg. It’s all about the aerodynamics, people.)

How about an Ugly Child party? This has obviously been Ugly Child month as evidenced by all of the social media posts of runny-nosed kids wearing antlers and puffy jackets. Bring your smelly little monkey to my party, but leave it outside to play in the cul-de-sac, please. They tend to dirty my carpets. I promise to provide play-weapons, skates, scooters, boards, and ramps they can use to begin working on head injuries to justify the approaching therapy and drug addictions.

The Elf on the Shelf is a creepy stool-pigeon.

The object of this “toy,” as I understand it, is to convince your children that the doll is watching them to make sure they behave, otherwise it will tap into your home’s WiFi and let Santa know. If this works in your home, you need to ask yourself if the ends (good behavior) justify the means (your deception and the kid’s gullibility).

I have a great idea: How about instead of a doll talking to an imaginary being, put a fucking WiFi camera in the room? Yes, they make those. Then, show your runt the video feed on your iPhone. The stupid toy costs $30, so the camera is only a few dollars more, and here’s the hook: it’s REAL!

Stop lying to your kids now so they don’t spend their late teens strolling around my neighborhood in black pants and suspenders, interrupting my workday while handing out silly religious propaganda. Stop with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Pedo-Claus.

Imagine if children of today fully embrace this Elf on the Shelf thingie, and begin developing adult prototypes. It would be worse than Mormonism.

  • Elf in the Backseat – Making sure you don’t pinch Susie’s boobies until they’re ripe.
  • Elf in the Dorm Room – Reporting home to your parents that you spend the book money they send you on pot, cheap beer, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Oh, and you masturbate too much.
  • Elf on a Bar Stool – Telling your wife or girlfriend that you continue tipping over 30% in a futile effort to have sex with the bartender.
  • Elf in the Workplace Bathroom – Telling all your coworkers it was you.
  • Elf in the Cubicle – Yes, she is shopping and he is looking at celebrity tits.
  • Elf in the Shower – Nothing goes down that drain except soap and loose hair, Mister.
  • Elf at the Gym – Texting from the elliptical is not a fucking exercise.
  • Elf in the Shopping Cart – M&Ms are not vegetables.
  • Elf at the Lakers Game – Shoots foul shots as well as Dwight Howard and he costs over $19 million less.
  • Elf in Kate’s Womb – “King me, motherfucker!”

I’m going to steal two of these silly dolls, pose them in various sex positions, take pictures, and post them on my blog in an effort to desensitize the Republicans about gay marriage. If Santa’s elves can wear such devilish grins while invading each other’s innards, maybe it ain’t so bad.

If I am invited to any house parties this year (unlikely, since I took an upper-decker last year and drew penises on the mirrors using bar soap), I’ll hunt for the Elf. I’ll kidnap that little creep, torture it, send pictures, and demand ransom. I’ll bury that prick up to his saggy cap in cat litter. I’ll microwave the munchkin. I’ll tie the brat to the bumper of my car and parallel park. I’ll tape it to the fence of Middle School playground, and taunt it. Don’t think I won’t. I have a dark side and low tolerance for magic tricks.

(Don’t buy yours here.)

I’ll be fat for Christmas.

This is not the month to practice restraint. Baby carrots? Cottage cheese? Michelob Ultra? What? Not when there are bowls of these devilish delights called Pretzel M&Ms around. Why should we deprive ourselves? How much irreparable damage can we do in two, short weeks anyway? This will lead up perfectly to our New Year’s resolution. If we don’t pack pounds on now, the success of our resolution will be hard to measure.

Here are some goodies we need to seek and hoard, especially when fat Uncle Tommy is hovering near the buffet:

  • Cream cheese and salami roll-ups – These can easily be stacked like Jenga blocks and devoured.
  • Deviled eggs – Sprinkle some extra paprika on them and deliver an nasty egg burp to make your niece giggle.
  • Pot stickers – Who cares what’s inside? Dunk them in duck sauce and down the hatch!
  • Candy – This is why you have pockets. Make sure the coast is clear and load away. Left pockets are for jellybeans and right pockets are for chocolate. I’d avoid the nonpareils or you’ll be finding melted sugar dots in your slacks.
  • Sandwiches made from cheese cubes and Doritos – Throw in some ranch dressing for fun.
  • Artichoke dip – When fragile pita is foolishly served by an inconsiderate host, grab a spoon. Shovel in a lump of dip and then bite a stale pita crisp. Mission accomplished.
  • Meatballs – Wait a minute. Are you wearing white? Hm. OK, do not bite the meatball or you’re going to be wearing it. Shove the entire burger pop into your mouth. For added flavor, roll the tasty ball in red pepper flakes or parmesan.
  • Assorted Liquors – Nothing you drink at a party should be sans alcohol unless you’re pregnant. I suggest adding Bailey’s to your coffee. It’s more fun than creamer and only a few million calories.
  • Olives – Any host who serves plain olives is uncultured. Olives must be stuffed, and not just with boring pimentos. Pack them with bleu cheese, garlic, and anchovies. Don’t you dare wrinkle that nose, young lady. Anchovies are seafood, which even Dr. Oz says is good for you.
  • Pigs-in-a-Blanket – These take various forms depending which coast you are on. Halupkis (stuffed cabbage) are my favorite and I highly recommend them with a side of Beano.

Skip the gym, Sugarcookie. These two weeks of indulgences are your rewards for the goodies you passed up all year. As you perform your bedtime tooth-brushing, admire your handy work in the mirror and be proud of those jiggles. If you have a bed warmer, that fucker had better be on the same program or you’ll need to kick his vinaigrette-eating ass to the curb. I have little patience for skinny pricks during the holidays.

Now, mangia!

An introvert’s guide to attending social mixers.

If you’re the life of the party who flits around filling wine glasses and karaoke request sheets, your presence is not required here. Go make some napkin animals, deviled eggs, mini-cupcakes, or something. Seriously, go away. Shoo!

Ah, serenity.

All my fellow introverts remain. Now we can discuss strategies to seem extroverted without turning into that annoying you-know-who (who had better not still be reading this).

You’re going to be invited to parties, friend. You can’t keep tossing random excuse after random excuse at the party hosts or you’ll be left holding your pet. Let’s scratch these excuses from our repertoire:

  • “Oh, gee, sorry. I have that thing I have to do.”
  • “Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of town.”
  • “I feel like I have a cold coming on.”
  • “I have to work.”
  • “I have another event I must attend.”

The host will accept your excuse but she’ll also know you’re ducking her.

The next invitation you receive must be returned with the “I will attend” box checked. Ideally, you’ll also have a plus one or more. If the host greedily placed a line after the box reading something like, “I will be bringing [insert food and drink thingies],” I have some suggestions:

  • Mini-carrots and mayonnaise packets
  • Doritos
  • Vanilla soda
  • Blue Jell-O cubes
  • A bib

Now, always arrive to the party early. This is crucial because you need to scout the area and claim a space. I typically bring a jacket and drape it over a chair in the far corner facing the front door. We introverts like crowds as long as we have our people-free zone. Outdoor parties allow for the digging of a moat. Indoor, not so much. Block yourself in with chairs, stool, and ottomans.

Since the extroverts will be dodging around the place pressing palms and patting shoulders, you’d be wise to stay put and let them come to you. When these grown infants corner you and suggest the following, smile and say “Fuck off” with your inside-your-head voice.

  • “Are you having a good time?”
  • “Have you met my Uncle Otis? He’s a hoot.”
  • “Are you feeling OK?”
  • “So, are you doing anything special for the holidays?”
  • “Are you still single? You should meet my cousin Agnes.”
  • “Why aren’t you dancing?”
  • “You’re totally stoned, aren’t you?”

A good way to keep yourself amused while repelling these human mosquitoes is to latch on to another introvert and play a little game I like to call, “Holy shit, who dresses you?” You take turns pointing out the most awful sweaters, jeans, shoes, and Botox blunders.

A poor strategy employed by some of my fellow intros involves being hunched on the sofa playing iPhone word games. It’s not so much that it’s rude. We each could use a chubbier vocabulary. (In fact, go look up “codswallop.” It’s a good one to deploy when Betty accuses you of being unsociable.) The problem is it will cause premature curvature of the spine.

When the last guests arrive, it’s a good time to leave. If you don’t leave at the busiest time, you may be stuck saying goodbye to the hosts, who will once again badger you with accusatory questions. Exits are easy. Grab a beer from the cooler in the garage and keep walking. Make it a road soda. Pretend you have a call and no reception inside the house, then sneak away. Go have a smoke. You don’t smoke? Well, maybe it’s a good time to start.

Be prepared for the “What happened to you?” emails and text-messages the following day. Best to delete them and, if you’re asked, say you’ll check your junk mail folder and get back to them.