(mostly, have wine. Lots of wine)
Making a strong entrance is an important first step at any holiday party. You want the host to know you appreciate them, and you want the other guests to know you're there to celebrate. When you're all toasting to a warm and wonderful holiday season later on with your delicious champagne, you'll pat your past-self on the back for coming with the perfect host gift.
2. Find a Buddy
This step is essential. There's no way you're going to survive your office party or your extended family's holiday gathering without a buddy to keep you entertained. Whether it's your fun cousin or your best work-friend, enlist them early on in helping you make the most of the evening.
Once you have you partner-in-holiday-party-crime, I'd highly recommend making things more interesting with a drinking game. Someone's wearing a santa hat or antlers to the party? Drink. Someone asks you if you've "been good this year?" Drink. Someone cries/grinds on the CEO's wife/does something that will be the talk of the whole next year? Finish your drink. Tailor the rules to your party, and have at it.
3. Mistletoe: It's a Trap
What's your plan here, champ? You and the family friend you grew up with are finally going to have that long-sought, Love Actually moment? Brad from Creative is finally going to notice you? What's far more likely is you'll be pressured into kissing Great Uncle John on the cheek, or you'll actually make out with Ben from Accounting and regret it all year. Best to avoid.
4. Make Red Wine your Best Friend (as if it wasn't already)
Company party has an open bar? This can be both a blessing from the party gods and a dangerous temptation trap. You want to avoid both consuming a billion calories of sugary mixed drinks and also being ushered into a cab by your supervisor later on. Luckily, you have a friend: wine. Consistently on the low-cal side of alcoholic beverages and predictable in its alcohol content, red wine will be the true-blue companion to get you through the night successfully.
5. Navigate Away from Tricky Conversation Topics
Your uncle keeps baiting you with Trump references? Walk away. Co-worker wants to know what you honestly think of so-and-so's promotion. Nope. There's a time a place for talking politics, digging up family secrets, and diving into water-cooler gossip, and this ain't it. Come prepared with a few canned topics of conversation that you can deploy in case of emergency.
6. Never Be the Drunkest Person There
There's always one, but it shouldn't be you. If you've spent that last 30 minutes trying to convince your co-workers to hit the dance floor with you, or if asking a relative to play "Santa Baby" on the piano so you can sing sounds like a good idea, it's time to shut it down.
7. Gift Someone an Aervana
If it's a gift-giving party, you'll want to bring something your recipient will actually enjoy. And what's better than the gift of perfectly aerated wine? Getting an Aervana will make them feel like a kid again on Christmas morning, not being able to get it out of the box fast enough to play with. And playing with Aervana means plenty of wine for everyone - a Christmas miracle I'm sure you can get behind.