By Alyssa Tognetti

Holiday get-togethers can be stressful and nerve-crushing, especially if you have a large family or lots of events to attend.   This holiday season, turn that stress into success and be the friend, relative, or neighbor that everyone wants to get to know with these simple steps:

1.            Be the barista. Start by whipping up some clever new cocktails, then be the “it chick” that serves everyone, even if you are in someone else’s home. The host and/or hostess will take notice of your hospitable actions and you’ll make yourself popular by showing up with some fun drink mixes with interesting names.  Let the host know in advance that you will be supplying 2-3 additional cocktails so that they may plan for the tumblers or glasses.

2.            Remember the children. Go to the dollar store and purchase toys or candies for all the kids present at any event. Your nieces, nephews, and friends’ kids will love the fact that you brought them a small gift to play, something that will also occupy them while the adults make merry.  Amp up the fun by hiding the toys or candy in little bags around the home or event space.

3.            Let them talk. It is a fact that people would rather talk about themselves over anything else. Sit back and listen to what everyone wants to say to you, and ask some insightful questions that allow your friends and family to expand on their great thoughts. The irony is, while you didn’t share one detail about yourself, you’ll leave people thinking, “darn that chick is real cool.”  They’ll remember you over anything that was shared.

4.            Social media it up. Take photos at your holiday gathering and post them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show everyone how cool your family is.  Post photos and tag family members in real time with fun taglines like “Uncle Bob’s red sweater.  Love it, or hate it?  Vote now!”  to make them feel special and bring immediacy to the action. Also, don’t forget to Instagram the holiday food — it’s a must.  Share with your partygoers as comments come in to keep the excitement and conversation flowing.