When someone talks about throwing a holiday party, it’s almost never meant to be a tiny affair. And I understand why. It’s the time of merry gentlemen, spreading good cheer, having one too many (of everything) and wishing people Happy New Year! But by January 1, all types will confess to being socially exhausted with our belts nearing the last notch.

As an introverted Classic Freedom, I’m going a little against type here to suggest a couple alternatives to the traditional boozy holiday cocktail party. One of the reasons I’m bashing the traditional holiday cocktail party is limited available dates — there are only so many weekend nights between Thanksgiving & Christmas/New Year’s, which means many conflicts. The other reason is that even if you get to see a bunch of people you haven’t seen for a while, you often don’t have a chance to really catch up. And even if you do, you rarely get to know people; whereas, at a dinner party, you do.

Last year, on the 23rd, I threw a dinner party for 6 of us. I invited two of my childhood friends and their spouses. It was delightful. We actually caught up with each others’ lives and then just hung out. No rushing off to the next person I had to say “hello” to or tend to the buffet table. It was divine. The key is to keep it simple. I did a lasagna with warm bread and a salad — easy to be fully prepped ahead of time. Easiest for Funs to put this together last minute. Classics and Organics might be a little more stressed (but who cares if it’s your close friends?) and should be a breeze for Smart Structures, just don’t turn it into some uber complex gourmand meal.

If you can’t find a weekend evening for a dinner, yet another alternative is the holiday brunch. A friend of mine threw one last weekend and it was packed with a lot less people than a nighttime soiree and I left feeling the same way I did after my dinner party last year.

And if you MUST have a traditional holiday cocktail party, make it easy on yourself. Unless you are a Fun obsessed with cooking, get a ton of pre-prepared food (no excuse when places like Costco have amazing food.) And even Funs should give themselves a break and have back-up pre-prepared foods (or enlist a friend to help you — delegate like a Smart naturally does). Also, hire someone for the evening to circulate and replenish food & drink. There are myriad ways to make it fit your budget, it’s why Craigslist exists. Classics and Organics, don’t do it all on your own!! Smarts, yes, we know, you’ve got the caterer on speed dial.

Best for introverts of all Pixie types