6.) Prepare to break the ice.
You're at your third holiday party this week where you've known no one but the hosts. And every time the opportunity comes to meet someone — such as that delicious blonde sipping Scotch in the corner — all you can think to talk about is college football and rising gas prices. Next time, come to the party prepared with half a dozen ice-breakers to help you strike up chats with strangers.
Game Plan: "You want to say something meaty enough for someone to remember it — and you," says Will Pearson, publisher of mental_floss magazine and editor of the book
mental_floss presents: Condensed Knowledge. So, for Scotch girl, make something up, like, "You know, Mother Teresa was a Scotch-and-soda fan and was often seen nipping the stuff out of a Styrofoam cup. When she ran low, she'd shake the cup and rattle the ice, a signal for the altar boys to give her a refill." Explains Pearson, "You just want something that can make the conversation light," and make you the life — not the lull — of the party.
Bonus: Steer clear of politics, which can make strange bedfellows. Unless, of course, you're into that kind of thing.