For many, the holiday season can reinforce insecurities about personal success.

Are you:

  • Watching your boss unwrap a giant gift basket and sighing heavily because it’s his sixth gift basket this year?
  • Drooling over the adorable cheeses, meats, and jams that you’ll have to dig out of the office trash can?
  • Ordering your boss’s expensive gifts for her family online while searching for Vistaprint coupons to make “custom calendars” for your own?

Maybe you’re ready to tell people what to do!

You picture yourself barking “let’s walk!” while your minions follow you down the hallway, frantically writing your every word on a notepad. You want your evening glass of wine to say “well done, you deserve this” not “SHUT UP ANXIETY, I’m gonna make something of myself one day!”

You’re in luck.

While those with power love to lament holiday-induced stress, you’re better than that. For you, this December represents a chance at greatness. Plan a holiday party, a dinner party if you’re really looking to show off. The road to recognition is paved with potholes, but it’s your party, and you can fry if you want to – actually, don’t fry anything, it’s the surest way to get overwhelmed and smelly and spend the whole party in the kitchen.

More tips below…

1. Save your money for your party, not for gifts!

Definitely still make or buy all your family gifts at thrift stores.

No one’s ever gotten props for even the best gift, so don’t spend your money here. You’ll need it for the party. And, as we all know, the memory of a great party lives forever.

2. Don’t work too hard.

Do not forget that all great leaders know how to delegate. Once you invite people to this party, they will offer to help by bringing a dish or decorating. Do not reject their attempts to climb the ladder.

Just remember: any culinary additions that could be regarded as the equivalent of wearing white to a wedding should be rejected! You’re the star of this show, so any would-be Eve Harringtons should retreat accordingly along with their rack of lamb. Everyone loved those mashed potatoes Cheryl made last year, and this time people will remember they were at your party.

3. Show your friends underlings who’s boss.

Check in with your assistants throughout the days leading up to the party.

  • Will they bring their own serving utensils to go with their dish?
  • Have they agreed to bring wine but not specified the type?

Creating an accountability system will establish the power dynamic in your relationships. They may feel that you’re pressuring them, or acting like an evil dictator. They’re right.

It feels good, doesn’t it?

4. Curate a popular girl vibe by scaring your guests!

Specify requirements from your guests as well.

You would never show up to a meeting with your boss unprepared, would you? Do you want them to bring dates? Wear glitter? Engage in a game of White Elephant? Be prepared to sing karaoke?

Use assertive and concise language in your invitations: “Guests are expected to play the drinking game ‘Kings Cup’ and should be well-versed in the rules and alcohol tolerance requirements for play. No exceptions.”

5. Trash someone else’s place!

Don’t have the party at your house.

There are too many reminders of your previously low-status lifestyle in which you stole industrial size rolls of toilet paper from bars. The party location doesn’t have to be perfect, just slightly better than your own house. You can always make passive-aggressive comments that express how hard it’s been for you to work with the venue, and how much you’ve already done to make it look as good as it does.

6. Look SO GOOD.

Try to finish your preparations a solid hour ahead of time so that you can focus on your appearance.

Dress slightly more fancy than you asked your guests to, so as to assert your status. Strong brow. Strong lip. Strong cocktail while you apply them. Alcohol = confidence and we’re going for Mariah Carey levels of diva.

7. Take your time (more pre-party champagne).

If you have someone who can be there for the first twenty minutes of the party, ask them to answer the door and get guests settled while you get ready.

This will save you from most of the tasks that are below your pay grade: taking coats, getting people drinks, etc. Most importantly, you will be making people wait for you, which is the ultimate power move. Your entrance will be met with excitement and fanfare without seeming like you prompted it at all.

8. Raise your glass and your eyebrows.

Make a toast.

It should seem impromptu and gracious, but have been well-prepared in advance. Forget to mention someone while you make eye contact with them (cue the eyebrows).

9. Show these motherfuckers how to drink!

As liquor begins to flow and people unwind, take off your shoes, show off your dancing skills, take a shot!

The best leaders are respected for their ability to be real on special occasions. Their presence for this rare crack in your shiny veneer will make them feel closer to you, and thus more pliable in the future.

10. Let the compliments roll in!

Accept praise with outward humility and inward satisfaction. Soak it all in. Tomorrow you’ll be back at work writing random, unnecessary articles while you wait for your boss to order lunch. When the party is over and the guests are gone, listen to your nightcap as she whispers, “well done, you deserve this.”