The most important thing to remember is that you’re invited to holiday gatherings by people who like you, and chances are, unless you’re dressed as a reindeer, they’re not going to remember what you were wearing. A few years ago I was host to a Christmas Eve gathering and had a particular sweater I wanted to wear. It was soft and flattering, fit perfectly … and was flammable. In the house I lived in at the time, there was an upstairs fireplace in the master bedroom, and with a fire going well, I poked the logs around in an attempt to keep it smoldering while the guests were present. Then a spark flew out and caught my beloved sweater on fire!
Of course my mother always taught me to stop, drop, and roll drill for smothering a fire, and fortunately, I was able to snuff out my sweater within a few seconds, but it was definitely damaged and I couldn’t wear it. My stress level shot through the roof, until I calmed down and realized: the people coming here are people who love me. I went through my closet, found one of my “go to” pieces that always makes me feel like I look good, and enjoyed my holiday gathering thoroughly. I figured, nobody’s thinking, “The only thing wrong with this party is what she’s wearing.” And if they were, then maybe they shouldn’t get invited next year!
Sure, it can be fun to pick out a new party dress or outfit for holiday parties, but it can also be very stressful. Don’t spend too much time worrying about it. The more comfortable you are, the more relaxed and confident you’ll be. I even have a friend who takes the concept of “holiday fashion” and turns it on its head – resulting in a lot of fun! What you do is, invite everyone with the instructions that they have to wear the most hideous, over-the-top Christmas sweater they can find. You can always find plenty of these at thrift stores so nobody has to spend much money. Then, at the party itself, you have an ugliest sweater contest. It’s great fun, and a nice break from all the worries about making the holidays perfect.
When you feel your stress level increasing as you look over your December calendar and see a lot of social engagements coming up, remember two things: 1) You can actually skip some of them and 2) You’re invited because you’re you, not because you’ve found the perfect cocktail dress/high heels combo.