The Christmas parties kick off this weekend. Buckle up for the wonderful whirlwind that is December.
I’m a really good host – I love to throw parties – but I’m not always a great guest. I have to be in the right frame of mind to entertain or be a great guest. So, this year, I’m determined to enjoy and really engage in the parties that I attend.
I’m going to make an effort to mingle and be a good conversationalist. I’m banning all boring talk and questions from my mouth. So, what the heck am I go to say or talk about? Well, the first step to being a good party goer is to be prepared.
One strike against me is that since our last election, I’ve tried to pay as little attention as possible to the “news.” Anything big enough that I need to know about it, I’m still going to hear about it. So, to opine in depth on current events is out for me. Plus, you’re not supposed to discuss politics, religion, and a litany of other topics in polite conversation, right?
The second strike against me, and this is a big one whether I’m in Nebraska or Georgia, is that I don’t pay that much attention to sports. I prefer to watch the recap and not the whole game unless I’m at a party of course, and then you can usually find me in the kitchen, or it’s the super bowl, for that one I’ll watch. And any live sporting event, count me in, I just don’t like to watch sports on t.v.
The third strike against me is I have kids and everybody loves to talk about there kids but SNORE, I can even bore myself so I’m going to definitely minimize the kid bragging, I mean talk this holiday circuit.
So, what the heck am I going to talk about??? After thinking about this a bit (back to the prep part), I have a three-part gameplan of potential topic areas. I think everyone is fascinating and has something to teach us. So, I’m going in with a mindset of being a curious, interested, party goer, fascinating in my own right and ready to let a bit of that shine.
I’m going to be like a politician, I can direct the conversation away from the boring questions/topics other party goers will go to and to the much more entertaining and interesting topics that I have prepared.
And I have a plan. Of course, it’s in three- parts, I love things in threes so here it is:
Part one: focus on the season
- Ask about favorite Christmas memories/stories/traditions. I have several good ones to share and several of them roll in my kids in a non-braggy or overly done way.
- Ask if they have ever been snowed in? I’m from Nebraska, I’ve got some really great being ‘snowed in’ stories. Also, remember Georgia went through Snowpocalypse a few years back and we all have a story from that one and live in fear that this might be the year we get another storm in the South.
Part two: focus on something you have been up to that’s interesting
- My new hobby is a brand new community garden in our area. I am the proud renter of a raised bed in said community garden. It is a blank slate, being winter and all, but I’m working on what I will plant this spring. I’m hoping to get some input on that and see if I have any fellow gardeners around me out here in the suburbs.
- Part two will not be just about me, I hope to learn what other hobbies are out there in my network. You never know when you are going to need the help of say that woodworker or knitter…
Part three: focus on where people have or are planning to travel to
- This is the safer part of my three-part plan and I think it’s a good fall back if I can’t get someone engaged in parts one or two.
- People love to talk about trips they’ve taken or are planning and good for me, I never get tired of hearing about what people like and experience in their travels.
Bonus topic, thrown in for fun and because I re-read this post and it occurred to me but since I like to keep things in threes it’s a bonus, back pocket, pull it out if needed topic.
- Storms in Georgia can be quite a passionate topic and if that string of conversation really gets going, I can direct the topic to whether or not people are, or are planning to be, prepared for a potential weather event.
- Preparedness is another one of my interest areas. I think it’s only the responsible thing to do but sadly seems to be missing in the DNA of Southerners as exhibited by the wild desire to buy every last loaf of bread in the store if a heavy rain, say from a hurricane, is predicted to hit us. This one could get interesting, but I’ll keep it in my back pocket and pull it out if appropriate.
So, dust off your best Ugly Christmas sweater, do a little conversation prep, and go out there and be a great party guest this season. Oh, and drive responsibly, or better yet, Uber.