From scoring a holiday bonus to convincing your guy to hang his stocking at your place, here's a crib sheet to getting everything you want this season, even if you've been bad.
1) Ban Bad Gifts
Launch a preemptive strike against ugly sweaters, food processors, and other unwanted presents by dropping very specific hints. "Make it easy for others to shop for you," says Padwa. She suggests saying, "You know what would make me really happy this year?" and then fill-in-the-blank with whatever you've had your eye on. Need some inspiration? We've rounded up the most scintillating presents this season.
2) Bow Out of Lame Invites
Just because your inbox is flooded with invites doesn't mean your social calendar must be solely dedicated to celebrating seasonal cheer. (You don't want to waste a hot holiday dress on a boring party. We found 15 frocks that put the average LBD to shame.) Accept only the invites to parties you'd really like to attend. Lynette Padwa, author of Say the Magic Words, suggests limiting your "regrets" to a simple phrase: "I have a conflict." Try not to offer more detail, because the more you talk, the more it sounds like a lie.
3) Bring Him Home for the Holidays
Convincing your guy to spend the holidays around the mistletoe at your parents' house can be tricky, especially if he's never met them before. Though saying, "My parents will love you," seems reassuring, it also implies he'll be judged, Padwa says. Instead, mention every reason your guy will have a good time. And just to be on the safe side, make sure his first trip to your home is incredibly short. If you're headed home with him, read these four sanity-saving tips for dealing with his family drama.
4) Land a New Year's Eve Kiss...Without Having a Date
No matter how you ring in 2009, you don't want to miss out on some of the sexiest moments of the year. It's probably the only time you can get away with smooching a guy friend or a total stranger with no questions asked. To pull it off, just grab a guy at midnight and let your lips speak for themselves. Plus, find out how to avoid the major party fouls that could screw up your New Year's Eve.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.