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The ghost of Christmas parties

We’re not rookies. You could say that we’ve been around the block. But don’t say that. Obviously. What you can say is that we have had more than our fair share of Christmas parties. The good, the bad and the smugly. Some of them might have looked a little like this:

Your boyfriend’s parents’ afternoon Christmas party

You stood around in a quiet room, with other people’s parents, getting INCREDIBLY drunk. You could see people pointing you out as speculation ran rife about whether your boyfriend was going to propose, which only made you drink more. You tried to help with the clearing up, but ended up asleep on the sofa wearing antlers and a plastic moustache from a cracker.

The one where you stayed for twenty minutes

You have that lovely friend who you love from somewhere like the gym, or school, who you see on a regular basis and get on incredibly well with. The only thing is, you know NO ONE in common – so when she invited you to her Christmas party, you enthusiastically accepted – then arrived and realising you were literally in a room full of strangers, immediately wanted to leave. You strung out twenty minutes, fake-sipping on your drink, obsessively fake-texting, going to the bathroom twice before sneaking off without telling anyone.

The unexpectedly brilliant work Christmas party

Much like your family, you can’t pick your work colleagues – and while you may have a handful of decent work friends, the idea of spending a whole evening having to socialise with people who are usually looking serious during video calls with New York is not your idea of a good time. But then there was that one occasion where the planets aligned and even the most innocuous soul turned out to be a major hit on the dance floor. The evening was rife with scandal. Everyone was hammered. People shagged. There was vomiting. And the next day, embracing your hangovers en masse, a new camaraderie was born.

The family one

Your sister wasn’t speaking to your brother. Your mother was livid with your father. Your uncle was drunk. Your cousin never turned up. Your sister-in-law kept crying. Your nephew couldn’t be prized off his phone. You were in the middle, sounding relentlessly cheerful and shrill, desperately trying to rally everyone to have a lovely time – until you just gave in and sloped off to watch Elf by yourself with a box of Quality Street and a pint of champagne.

The genuinely festive one

You were handed sheets of paper with carols on them, which you lustily sang en masse while someone played the piano. You binge-ate mince pies, burnt your tongue on mulled wine that for once wasn’t disgusting, talked to children about what they were going to ask Father Christmas for. You wore red and everyone wanted to kiss you. There were fairy lights everywhere, open fires and Bing Crosby. It SNOWED for God’s sake.

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