Sunday 18 March 2018

Susie Rushton: My gruelling Christmas schedule of parties, parties and, hmm, parties

I'VE been on a four-a-week regime for the past month. I don't mean gingerbread lattes, nor gym sessions, but something more fattening and tiring: Christmas parties. Some of these might have been civilised sit-down dinners in a pub, others were raucous stand-up-then-fall-over gatherings in bars, but either way, it's been a gruelling schedule.

Quite apart from the season's physical demands (from keeping the broken loo door closed with one heeled foot to sawing through a plate of marble-hard Brussels sprouts), the marathon is socially and emotionally taxing. On one long journey home last week, I formulated my own rules for survival. It really is no good to simply throw yourself into "the spirit"; you've got to be organised.

So, first of all, what to wear. There is only one thing to bear in mind on this subject, and it concerns the colour red. A surprising number of revellers still insist on a Special Red Outfit – clingy scarlet dress for women, questionable claret-coloured velvet jacket for men, tomato-coloured jumper for either – reserved for the season. This is like co-ordinating your outfit with the Christmas tree. So my only diktat on this is: wear anything – nobody notices really, it's too dark – so long as it's not red. Or sparkly, obviously.

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