20 ways to make yourself the least popular person in the room

‘Tis the season for love, cheer and goodwill toward men. So they say. The reality is that expectations are unattainably high — for mood, for behavior, for warm, fuzzy family togetherness, for the joy and wonder we’re supposed to feel and spread all around. For most folks, that’s more than a tall order — it’s a setup! Something’s bound to snap.

Worse yet, the passing of a year induces a sort of holiday amnesia, a fresh opportunity to repeat the mistakes of Christmases past.


So, as a public service, we compiled this Holiday Misbehaving Guide from actual events witnessed in years gone by. That warm glow you feel? Burning bridges!

In the community
* 1: Give the Salvation Army a dollar — if it promises to “lay off the damned bells for a stinkin’ minute!”
* 2: Knock over the neighborhood kids’ snowman because … well, just because. The world’s a harsh place — they might as well learn that now.
* 3: Roadways and store parking lots at Christmastime are sites of the most abhorrent treatment of our fellow man outside of war. Giving motorists the finger does not guarantee a safe merge.

Friends and family
* 4: Mash under the mistletoe, early and often!
* 5: Scream at your already-crying kids in the toy aisle, “Shut up — it’s not for you!!!”
* 6: At your in-laws’ holiday dinner, beg them to pull out your spouse’s wackiest childhood photos. Then stash a couple for later blackmail purposes.
* 7: When Aunt Wilma arrives at the party carrying her antler-wearing toy poodle, tell her that she and the pooch are starting to look more alike.
* 8: Regift back to the original giver. On purpose.

At the office
* 9: At your desk, put up an obnoxious musical display, reindeer dancing around a tree or a Santa with the nose you push to play “Jingle Bells.”
* 10: Give the boss a gift in front of your co-workers, who will fire off vicious e-mails to each other about what a little suckup you are — while thinking to themselves, “Why didn’t I do that?”
* 11: For the Secret Santa gift exchange, pick up some lacy “sweet nothings” for your colleague in the next cubicle. Then wait for the call from Human Resources.

At church
* 12: Arrive drunk and giggly at midnight mass — and sit near your in-laws!
* 13: Hog the communion wine. Get as much as you can.
* 14: If you’re a snorer, most definitely take a nap.
* 15: Under no circumstance should you remove any item from the creche. Not even myrrh!

At the office party
* 16: Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a sparkly, cleavage-baring red V-neck at a noontime luncheon.
* 17: Go ahead: Smuggle some booze into the “dry” office party. No one will notice the loud table.
* 18: Whatever you do at the office party will live in legend for the rest of your (limited) career and eventually catch up to you at your next job. But if you want your spirited rendition of “Play That Funky Music” to be your claim to fame, who are we to steer you away from the stage?
* 19: Mistletoe, schmistletoe. Stalk and grab co-workers with the gusto of Adrien Brody smooching Halle Berry at the Oscars. Say you were overcome by the holiday spirit!
* 20: When someone asks about your new baby, tell them all about little Clyde and don’t forget to describe your wife’s stretch marks. “Elephants have smoother thighs than my wife” goes over like a fruitcake.

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