Social planning

The holiday get-together season is upon us and a bulging list of Facebook invitations has you in a frenzied sweat of confusion and social anxiety. Breathe easier with this tell-all guide to what you can expect — should you click “join.”


It’s like regular Thanksgiving but instead of Aunt Sandy asking why you’re still single, it’s your college roommate asking why you’re still single. Some hosts spend hours plunging elbow deep into turkey gizzards and develop carpel tunnel syndrome from churning mashed potatoes, while others order Dominos and assume you’ll bring your own beer. Discretion is advised.

Warning: If you come to the door without a vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free dinner option, you must wait on the front steps for 45 minutes as punishment.

Ugly Sweater Party

Or as my friends call it, a party. This involves wearing a holiday sweater that looks like a gift from your grandmother but in reality, set you back $59 at Urban Outfitters. Mine goes down to my knees and features jolly old Saint Nick riding a motorcycle. Classic.

Yankee Swap

Usually taking place in the midst of inter-office holiday cheer, this game has confusing rules and can quickly escalate to hostile arguments and heartbreaking betrayals. Also known as “White Elephant Gift Exchange” and “Dirty Santa” (says Wikipedia, though I’ve never heard it called these).

Pro Tip: Practice your most scathing evil eye for when George in accounting ponders trading his bedazzled backscratcher for your ergonomic mouse pad.

Secret Santa

I know, doesn’t it seem like Allston Christmas just ended? But alas, ‘tis time to put that $15 limit to good use and find something full of whimsy or humor for that friend-of-a-friend you aren’t sure why was invited.

Recommended Gifts: “Star Wars” tchotchkes and novelty socks.